Sunday, September 04, 2005

Cheapening your brand…

There are some intangible assets that a company owns. One of the most important of these is their brand. Many companies choose to cheapen their brand in obvious ways, making the company less valuable in the long run. They often do this due to greed in the short term. Examples:
  • Tony Roma’s – This used to be a premium brand. It was a nice restaurant to take a date. Then about three years ago, they started promoting Tony Roma’s frozen food in the ‘Deli’ at 7-Eleven. I started a new job in April, and a vending machine there sells Tony Roma’s food. A couple of month ago, I noticed that the Tony Roma’s restaurant in town went out of business. This is not a coincidence.
  • Pegasus/Windows CE/Palm-Size PC/Pocket PC/Windows Mobile – These brands were cheapened due to inconsistency. At first, Microsoft wanted to distance their PDA platform from Windows and now they want to embrace it (because Windows is still a valued brand). The entire time Microsoft was selling these, their competition kept (virtually) the same name, Palm or PalmOne. Now, Palm or Palm Pilot is how neophytes refer to all handheld computers.
Failed Brands that have been resurrected.
  • Microsoft Access – This is the name of a failed communications program for DOS that was not competitive. It is now the name of a popular database program and is now the corporate standard.
  • Ford Mustang – Ford somehow avoided completely destroying the Mustang brand when it was crap from 1974 to 1979 by calling that vehicle the Mustang II. They just brought out a new Mustang which increased the value of the entire brand.
  • Coca-Cola - This company temporarily ruined their brand by bringing out New Coke in 1985. 79 days later, they reintroduced the original as Coca-Cola Classic.
These are just a couple of examples. I may add to this article in the future and republish it. Feel free to add to the discussion in the comments.

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