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What "Brands" Would You Miss?

Brand_autopI love this recent series of posts John Moore has been running on his Brand Autopsy blog.  So far he's picked 4 well-known brands and asked if you'd miss them if they went away: Chili's, Subaru, Sears and Wells Fargo.

Is there any way he could have picked 4 more generic companies?!  Seriously, do any of these names really stand out from their competition as having some unique product or service?  If I were blindfolded and led into a restaurant, I'm not sure I could say whether it's a Chili's or any of 6 or 7 very similar competitors.  Subaru?  If I didn't have to drive past their enormous plant off I-65 every so often I probably would have forgotten they were still in the car business.  Sears?  Don't get me going on Sears...their quality has been awful for far too long.  It's amazing they're still in business.  Wells Fargo...maybe it's a geographic thing, but I rarely hear anything about them.

All 4 of these companies probably had much stronger brand recognition 10, 20 or more years ago.  It's yet another warning to anyone managing a brand that you need to figure out how to keep it current and relevant.


johnmoore (from Brand Autopsy)

Joe ... thanks for the link love. I'm curious, what brand(s) would you miss if they went away?


Interesting, in New England, Subaru is a really big brand. Everyone drives one, it has lots of brand recognition, and it *would* be missed if it vanished.

I agree about the others. I can't remember the last time I even saw a Sears store, and I can't ever remember what the heck Wells Fargo actually *does*.


Joel Fugazzotto

It must be a regional thing. Out here on the West coast all four brands have a fair amount of media exposure, especially Chili's and Subaru. I agree with Reed that Subaru is big enough out here that people would miss it, if it were to disappear. As for Sears, I think differentiates itself by being the only retailer not to update its stores since the 1970s, but I have to admit, I occasionally stop by our local store when they have tool sales.

Joe Wikert

John, thanks for stopping by and commenting on this. I gave your question some thought and the only brand I can come up with is ESPN. I love their TV channels and radio shows as well. I used to like their magazine, but opted for SI instead; now that Rushin has left SI it's time for me to go back to ESPN The Magazine.

Every other name, brand, store, service, etc., just seems to blur together with one or more competitors in my view. If product X went away I'd very easily switch to product Y. I guess I'm just not a very brand loyal consumer, now that I think about it...

Reed and Joel, interesting to hear that Subaru has some equity on both coasts. You'd never know that in the midwest. Joel, you're right about Sears not updating their stores much. You could walk around in one and think you got there through a time travel machine! I think that's part of their problem...they're still trying to compete like it's 1973!

Joel Fugazzotto

Maybe today we are seeing Sears' long term strategy which was created back in 1973. It was decided if they didn't update the stores for thirty years, they could then claim it's part of their current retro strategy. :-)

Michael A. Banks

Wells Fargo ... I have the impression it's a Western thing, too: Wells Fargo there, Brinks here. Sears, alas! They were big through my childhood and up into the 1980s. Subaru: My biggest memory of a Subaru is my friend Dean Lambe's Subaru Brat (a tiny pickup truck with two seats in the bed) whose frame broke in two while he was jinking it across a farm field.
--Michael A. Banks


After I read your post I think I started to notice Subarus all the more. Weird, I think I even count them like the old travel game of counting different color cars. Ah Sears, we grew up with that practically tattooed on us as everything in our house (with the exception of food)was purchased at good old Sears. Now we only purchase Craftsman tools there. And Wells Fargo holds our mortgage and they are a great company with which to deal so I might miss it if they go away, that is, unless they take our mortgage with them.

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