Brands that might not make it through the year

By Eli Altman
April 22, 2009
Reading Time: 2 minutes
Filed under Branding

A report came out a few days ago that assessed the likelihood that some familiar household brands wouldn’t survive the year. On the watch list was Eddie Bauer, Chrysler, Old Navy, Esquire Magazine, Crocs, Saturn, Budget Rent-a-Car and Borders.

It’s tough out there. Lots of people are making difficult decisions. While some are facing new problems, others are finally seeing long-term issues reach a breaking point where serious action is needed.

To a certain degree, this is just the unfortunate part of how business evolves. Every once in a while you get put to the test, and if you’re not up to the challenge, your ship might sink. (Insert your own Titanic joke here.)

While Chrysler, Borders and Budget have plenty of issues that are unique to them, it also seems like they could all benefit from a return to the basics. They need to take a good look at who their customers are and what role they play (or could play) in their lives. They need to do a better job of picking their battles and dealing with them in smart and creative ways.

It seems like people are too complacent and willing to accept that things are going south because it’s happening all around us. Companies who know they’re headed into rough waters don’t seem to be prepared with sound survival tactics. The solution has to fit the scale of the problem. Where’s the escape plan? Who is putting it all on the line?

The longer companies wait to address their big problems head-on, the harder they become to solve. When do you need some outside help? When you need a completely new way to do business? If you can recognize when a big change is needed AND ACT ON IT, you’re likely to catch this stuff before it becomes too steep of a mountain to climb and you end up in blog posts predicting your untimely demise.