Brands come and go but a portfolio is forever

One of the great and also sad parts of branding is the constant change.  Nothing in marketing is permanent.  The market dynamics, changes in consumer tastes, companies eating companies, all of these and more contribute to a continuously shifting brandscape.

This is great because there is new opportunity, energy, new ideas always being brought forward.  And it is sad because some of our creations inevitably disappear from the marketplace.

My musing on this was triggered by the news that Qwest is being acquired by CenturyLink.  Qwest was one of the brands I helped to create when I was at Bright Sun Consulting.  It was a tremendous success in the early years after launching.  And it was one of the few telecom brands created in the mid-1990s that is still around.

Ride The Light

Ride The Light

With the merger, there is a 50/50 chance that the Qwest brand will still be around.  But a more realistic scenario is that CenturyLink will become the corporate brand sooner or later.  There are times when the acquiring company adopts the brand of the acquired company (SBC acquired AT&T and rebranded as AT&T; Bank One and JP Morgan Chase).  But CenturyLink has a history of acquiring companies and rebranding them.

Longevity in this business means having a large portfolio of brands created and, inevitably, a portfolio of brands that were once stars and have now fallen to earth.  Even many of the designs of the great Paul Rand have been replaced over the years — 2 of them by our own Michael Thibodeau.

All is fair in the name of PROGRESS!  And, of course, reinventing marketing for today’s world.

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