Ten Brands Missing in Action in 2009
Every year we lose some source of reference that we have been using for information, continuity or some other emotional tie-in for providing some happiness or routine in our lives. Yet, every year a popular brand or store goes away – never to be seen again. Are you missing an old brand name store or product.
The loss of brands and stores is a common component of the changing times and a rough, extended recession. Therefore, we must adjust our life or lifestyle to accommodate this element of continuous change.
So what brands disappeared in 2009? While there are numerous local and small businesses that disappeared from your local economy, there is a small number of key losses. Here is a quick list of key losses…
- Circuit City – the original big box electronics store that went national, was successful and then new leaders changed the model and they lost the battle with Best Buy. Yes, Circuit City closing has happened and local economies are hurting due to unemployment and a lack of low cost competition in the big box electronic business.
- Saturn – the GM start up that tried to change the buying experience, price affordable, build high quality, safe autos and use modern teamwork in the manufacturing plant. While GM shuts down Saturn, the bean counters and unions killed the opportunity for Saturn cars, but it was fun while it lasted. By the way, Saturn owners were very proud and loyal to the company – interesting.
- Pontiac Division – It is official – the Pontiac brand ending is now – no more fun cars like GTO’s or Grand Prix’s for drag racing or just power with style. These cars will be missed by my generation – read Baby Boomers!
- Kodachrome Film – Another victim of the designed in the USA and out sold by the Japanese! Oh, yes, there is the little matter of the digital camera. Flash drive anyone?
- Home Depot EXPO – This is unique as it was a division of the Home Depot – one of the two big players in the home improvement industry. They expanded into related areas and lost focus, so as they refocused some brands were killed. I wonder who will sponsor ESPN’s game day program if Home Depot completely gets out of the stage business.
- Max Factor – The original manly man used Max Factor products and were proud of it. Today, it’s all about “Sex Appeal” or got any “Axe?”
- Encarta – the first successful computer research and resource program – first on disk and later online. Well, they could not keep up with the Wikipedia or “open source” research and learning centers of the web. Even through it was a Microsoft product – there was a MAC version.
- Magazines – This category is huge and a larger number are failing this year due to the very low advertising budgets and a more web oriented marketing or advertising age. Some biggies that have gone away include Gourmet Magazine (Julia Childs would cry about this one!); Portfolio – no more investment guides please!; Vibe and National Geographic Review. And I believe some more will fall soon – they are ones that are really skinny – O is not one of the skinny ones!
- Newspapers – When the Rocky Mountain News was shut down – a whole set of wonderful memories felt a major blow to my personal history. Again, the low ad revenue is killing off the newspaper industry as well as the speed of news on the internet.
- Any company with a long history that was brought or merged into another company. Banks have been merging all over the place and old brands have disappeared. You can choose from several – this does not include the over a hundred banks shut down by the Feds. Bank card anyone? (We’re still using checks with the old name and they are still being accepted!)
There you have the top ten brands missing in action in 2009. This list is made up of names you might know and have had experience with during the years. I’m certain the original start-ups of these brands were excited about building a lasting and long term entity and never imagined the death of their baby.
Today the facts are cold and never ending. Companies, brand names and brands will be closed down, brought out or totally mismanaged by some new group with no idea about the vision or purpose of the original entrepreneurs. Change comes in many forms and directions, hopefully another new brand or industry will spring to live and last for decades – creating a new group of old timer brands.
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