Marketing professionals, including me, always like to tell clients that brands are like people. They have personalities, dependable habits and characteristics and their archetypes ascribe a whole bunch of attributes that help consumers decide who to adopt into their brand families.
What seldom gets talked about is death. Brands die and much like humans it happens for different reasons and at different stages of life.
Locally (Seattle) we have seen Ballard Computer, Frederick & Nelson, ERNST Home & Nursery, Pay N’ Pak, Pay N’ Save, Larry’s Market, (G.I.) Joe’s and dozens of other noted brands just go away. Some because of poor leadership, arrogance, lack of relevance with consumers, tried to something they shouldn’t (off brand) or because somebody else did “it” better.
So what’s the key to longevity? Never believe you’ve made it; be humble. Always understand someone’s out to get you and ALWAYS ask your customers and your competitors’ customers what they think, want and need.
Remember; you’re not smart, your ad agency isn’t smart, the street is smart.