“What worked in connecting with your dad is exactly the opposite of what will work with you. Brands need to change because the target audience changes, and new ones need to be born every time. Success with one generation can actually make it harder to create success with a new generation.” said Mark DiMassimo, CEO of ad agency DiMassimo Goldstein
Some of the world’s most profitable and enduring companies have achieved their long track record of success by constantly reinventing themselves. A successful company understands the need to reinvent itself every now and then to keep up with competition, market changes, technology and customer interest and if it dares to sit still for too long, it dies. Many of the most successful brands have undergone transformations to reinvent themselves and retain customer loyalty. Here’s a look at a handful of companies that maintained their longevity, and their bottom lines, by rebranding or reinventing themselves.
Netflix started with the DVD rental and sales via their site Netflix.com in 1998. One year later, the company debuted its subscription service, which allowed movie buffs to rent unlimited DVDs for a low monthly cost and receive them by mail. It wasn’t until 2007 that Netflix transitioned to online streaming.
Finally, viewers of all ages would have access to some of their favourite shows and movies, as well as original Netflix content. In July 2017, Netflix announced 5 million new subscribers during the previous quarter, bringing its total base to 104 million. Netflix stocks rose greatly from $3.80 in 2007 to $168 in August 2017.
After experiencing decades of success, Old Spice – the antiperspirant which debuted in 1937 – began to lose sales as competition increased. In 1990, Procter & Gamble bought Old Spice from the Shulton Company.
“We recognised that the grooming category had shifted and that product performance was no longer enough,” said Bill Brace, P&G vice president of North American skin and personal care.
“With young guys moving to more expressive scents, we needed to forge an emotional connection with our target.”
In 2006, Old Spice created a zany, over-the-top advertising campaign featuring actor Bruce Campbell. Almost immediately, sales of the brand picked up, closing a more than 4 percent gap in dollar market share compared with its rivals. Today, Old Spice is the largest brand in its category. The brand currently has upward of 500 million YouTube subscribers.
It was first founded as the Haloid Company in 1906, which manufactured and sold photographic paper. After being an innovation icon for years and having decades of success the company experienced downfall due to the rapid technological change and management failure in 2000. Over the time it realised the importance of reinvention and upgraded technology.
“Our foundation is strong, our product portfolio is as deep as it has ever been, and our customers are responding to our renewed focus on the document technology market.” He added, “This is a new Xerox and we are bringing innovative solutions to the market that will strengthen our business and enable attractive returns to our shareholders.” – Jeff Jacobson, CEO of Xerox
Today it sells toner, ink, software, scanners, inkjet printers and copy machines and is an $11 billion technology leader that innovates the way the world communicates, connects and works.
Apple has done more than reinvent itself; you could say it reinvented the “reinvention” business. In the late 1990s, Apple was on the verge of bankruptcy. Fortunately, Microsoft rescued Apple from collapse by forking over millions.
Microsoft’s $150 million investment helped Apple get the money it needed to change the technology space. In fact, it might be fair to say that, thanks to Microsoft, Apple is one of the world’s most valuable and innovative brands. With a brand value of $170 billion, Apple is currently the No. 1 company on Forbes’ most valuable list – ccording to Bloomberg.
The company reinvented itself as more than just a Mac maker. Its handheld devices – from iPods to iPhones to iPads – have brought the company to an entirely new level. Apple’s ability to reinvent itself helps explain why it’s consistently considered one of today’s best brands.
IBM knows a thing or two about reinventing itself and keeping pace with ever-evolving technology. Since debuting as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company more than 100 years ago, IBM has undergone major transformations. The 1980s and 1990s were rough for the company. According to its website, “IBM was thrown into turmoil by back-to-back revolutions.” The PC revolution brought competition from Microsoft and Apple, reported NPR in 2011.
IBM shifted its focus to IT and consulting which rescued the company. IBM’s current investments in Artificial Intelligence has created a huge stir, placing the company back in the top inventors. Still, the company has plans to further reinvent itself.
“We have reinvented IBM for this moment – to fuel your dreams with Watson, with IBM Cloud, with deep expertise, with trust.” – CEO Ginni Rometty.
Amazon started off as a book selling website in 1995. In 1997, Amazon introduced “1-Click shopping” and began offering different products and services in various categories: music, DVD/video, home improvement, software, video games, gift ideas, kitchen and more.
It’s hard to believe this go-to online retailer that sells everything you could possibly think of – from TVs and computers to groceries and household items – started off as an online book retailer. Today, the company is making big money. For the second quarter of 2017, Amazon earnings reached $37.96 billion.
In search for profitability and sustainability, these companies prove, many of the businesses will have to refine their goals, strategies, technologies, marketing techniques and whatever it takes to sustain in the market.