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Branding

Meet the Top 10 Brands That Will ‘Disappear’ in 2015 While You Can

24-7-wall-streetFrom CEOs with the worst reputations to the worst places to work in America, the happy-happy-joy-joy-listicle fun people at 24/7 Wall St. can’t (and won’t) stop. This time, they offer an apocalyptic countdown for 10 beleaguered brands across this great land of ours.

While many of the ten here have suffered due to a lack of a coherent crisis comms strategy, some of these haphazard brands made the list because of the ever-growing mergers and acquisitions market. In short, those brands may not have a choice about disappearing.

And so, here are 10 brands those subjective observers believe will be gone by this time next year.

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Crumbs Didn’t Fold Because It Only Focused on Cupcakes

crumbs bake shopNow that we’ve all wiped away the tears over the loss of the Crumbs Bake Shop, people are wondering what the heck happened. (*Now we’re also wondering if the shop will actually make a comeback.)

The biggest problems were financial. The company kept expanding, which is expensive, and they weren’t selling enough cupcakes to cover the cost. The company also went public in 2011, which can lead to a whole separate set of business issues.

Tied closely to that is the belief that the whole premise of the company was a fad, destined to flame out from a drop in sales. Cupcakes shot to prominence with Sex And The City and a guest appearance by Magnolia Bakery, another cupcake bakery, in the early 2000s. The AP makes the case that other companies like Krispy Kreme and TCBY also grew to great heights based on a food trend then eventually came crashing down along with all of our sugar highs. Things like changing health concerns (people are more calorie-conscious these days), shifting taste buds and increased competition from others who are chasing a fad can hurt business.

We’ll propose that it was less the cupcake fad and more the Crumbs brand that played a role in the company’s demise. People still like cupcakes. Maybe not as much as before, but I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen someone turn one down. Part of the problem was that Crumbs wasn’t as fun as a cupcake business should be.

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What Would Madea Do? Sue Someone in Jesus’ Name.

madea jesusJanie Tinklenberg, 47, a youth pastor from Holland, Mich., wanted to make Jesus a central part of her student’s lives by asking one salient question in Bible study. Another idea would be to brand that query somehow — pencils, pens, notepads — and then it hit her: beaded bracelets.

So, in 1989 she approached a local marketing firm about developing a brand and “W.W.J.D.” was born. However, not protected. By the time Tinklenberg decided to call the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it was determined that the logo was already so popular, it would remain public domain. (Source: Salon.)

Fast forward to 2014: two people decided to earn some extra dough and sued for the trademark of the ecumenical acronym. And this guy won because that’s what Jesus would do, right?

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‘Most Patriotic Brands’ List Is Almost Completely Arbitrary

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The 4th of July Holiday is over, but we can still talk about which brands benefited the most–and we don’t mean which ones built particularly brilliant campaigns around the event; we mean which brands benefitted from being identified as distinctly American and therefore “patriotic.”

We’ll review five of the top ten placements on a completely subjective measure of patriotism: a survey conducted by the people at the firm Brand Keys and summarized in a Forbes post last week.

So why are these brands seen as “most patriotic?”

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14 Brands That Got a Little Creative for Independence Day

furrworks

Independence Day can be a tough one. Everyone’s almost required to mention it somehow, but there’s only so much you can really say on your brand’s behalf.

When the kings of real-time keep things contained, you know it’s time to be very subtle with your messaging.

Still, the holiday did facilitate some creativity on behalf of various accounts, which we listed after the jump.

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Sufi Muslims Around the World Are Protesting Designer Roberto Cavalli’s Perfume Logo

just cavalliSo it’s not just companies that are tweeting the World Cup that are completely insensitive and out of touch. High-end designer Roberto Cavalli has kicked up some controversy with the new logo for his perfume, Just Cavalli, which closely resembles a symbol for “God” that’s used by Sufi Muslims. Oh goodness.

According to The Gloss, Cavalli’s logo is only slightly different and turned to the side.

“We have this sign that to us represents blessed peace. It’s a refuge. To see it disgraced like this for a company to make money is heartbreaking,” said Nasim Bahadorani, who has organized protests against the company over the ad.

According to The Independent, protests have taken place around the world — in Chicago, London, Texas and Germany — to have the symbol removed.

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Betty Crocker Redefines ‘Homemaker’ and Re-Brands as Champion of Marriage Equality

Notification CenterThe Betty Crocker brand released its first cookbook in 1942, targeting its tips, tricks and recipes toward the American homemaker — i.e. stay-at-home wives and mothers. Jump ahead to 2014, and the traditional idea of what an American family looks like and how a household is run no longer applies in the majority of cases, so rather than being left in the dust with its old-fashioned sentiments, Betty Crocker is not only transforming itself to embrace the diversity of the modern American family, but is actively pushing for recognition, understanding, and support for families of all kinds.

In its latest ad (after the jump), the brand states that “Marraige and family have changed more in the last 35 years than in the last 350.” For instance, “less than half of all American households contain a husband and wife; the number of same-sex couples living together in the US has increased by 80 percent since 2000; since 1965, the time dads spend with their kids has tripled; 40% of women are the primary providers for their families; and the percentage of new interracial marriages is six times what it was in 1960.”

The commercial goes on to point out, however, that every family, no matter the demographic differences, has something in common: where there is love, there is a family, where there is a family, there is a home, and “at the heart of every home is a homemaker.” The brand even acknowledges that term itself may seem outdated, but the concept actually isn’t; you don’t need to identify yourself as a homemaker to be one — if you are a loving member of a family who actively works to make your house a home, guess what? You’re a homemaker, and Betty Crocker is here to support you.

This is some seriously compelling re-definition and branding. Read more

‘T’ Magazine’s Assessment of Beyoncé’s Brand: Aspirational With a Touch of Reality

bey instagramT Magazine, The New York Times’ fashion/culture/travel supplement, published a lengthy essay this weekend trying to identify how exactly Beyoncé went from regular old pop star to pop culture supernova of the universe.

The moment on December 13, 2013 when Beyoncé released her visual album with no advanced notice and took over the Internet shows just how bright her star shines, but it’s more evidence of what makes her so wildly popular than the moment that she became the phenomena that we recognize now.

In fact, it’s her blend of untouchable and totally recognizable that makes her so interesting to so many.

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Budweiser, Miller Reveal the Secret Sauce in Their Alcoholic Water

Old Bud ad

I see hops. And yeast. And water.

We all know that customers care about ingredients thanks to the GMO debate and the “is it really pomegranate” false advertising case that received a big thumbs up from the U.S. Supreme Court this week.

Seems shoppers don’t trust big-name clients to be honest about what’s in their products–and given the fact that Minute Maid’s “pomegranate blueberry” juice is actually “0.3 percent pomegranate juice, 0.2 percent blueberry juice and 0.1 percent raspberry juice”, we can’t say that we blame them.

It never really occurred to us to apply this principle to beer, but someone did–and two of the world’s biggest brands just responded.

Their findings are refreshingly dull!

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Brands Turning Fashion Bloggers Into Millionaires

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Today we learned that certain fashion bloggers are making a lot more money than…well, pretty much anyone in the “real” journalism game. In fact, they’re becoming millionaires thanks, in large part, to brands and their media outreach teams.

Speaking of real fashion journalism: the original WWD piece is wearing that paywall well, but the good people at StyleCaster have blogsplained it to us

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