10 American Brands Likely to Disappear by 2015

Disappearing American Brands

Company mergers are at an all-time high, causing brands to disappear or become the entity of another. Every year 24/7 Wall St. puts out a list of 10 American brands that they predict will disappear. Companies entailing retail, broadband, photo-sharing, food packaging, social media, independent airlines, and candy makers are just a few named to no longer exist in the United States within the next year. 24/7 Wall St. continues to use a useful methodology in deciding which brands they see disappearing in the next year. They make their predictions based off of some major criteria including:

  1. Declining sales and losses.
  2. Disclosures by the parent of the brand that it might go out of business.
  3. Rising costs that are unlikely to be recouped through higher prices.
  4. Companies that are sold.
  5. Companies that go into bankruptcy.
  6. Companies that have lost the great majority of their customers.
  7. Operations with withering market share.

Based off of 24/7 Wall St.’s criteria I have come up with some questions to explore each disappearing brands possible reasoning for banishment:

  • Why are they going under?
  • What did they do right/wrong?
  • How could this be avoided?
  • What could have been done better?

 

       I. Lululemon

A significantly fast growing retail company specializing in women’s athletic apparel was one the first predicated to disappear by 2015. On March 18, 2013 the company recalled a large amount of yoga pants because they were too sheer, resulting the pants to be too revealing. This sparked the beginning of the end for Lululemon. Management changed, revenue dropped off, and there was a collapse of its share price.

CEO Christine Day lost her job in June 2013, and Founder and Chairman Chip Wilson announced him stepping down in December of last year. The company’s revenue went up only slightly from $346 million to $385 million, net income collapsed from $47 million to $19 million, and stock went down 50% from its peak set early June 2013.

Despite Lululemon’s troubles, Chip Wilson has become the potential leader of a buyout to take the company private; Wilson believes he can find a private equity backer. I believe Lululemon has a chance to re-invent themselves and assure customers that their products will be made of quality materials, regaining the trust of the consumer.

 

     II. DirecTV

A perfect example of a disappearing brand being sold and bought up by another giant. AT&T has already bought up DirecTV, thus extending its reach into American households. Although, AT&T’s U-verse product has only reached 5.7 million customers compared to DirectTV’s 38 million.

AT&T has viciously fought for the merger as the government blocked their buyout of T-mobile. Both companies are winning in the deal with a $49 billion dollar buyout. Customers are both worried and excited as some believe the prices will go up and the new power company will be able to have more control over popular programming. Others believe the merger will lower customer costs.

Only time will tell whether or not this merger will truly benefit customers or if AT&T management will have more control then deemed necessary.

 

    III. Hillshire Brands

Ball Park hot dogs, Jimmy Dean sausages…feeling nostalgic? Well, Hillshire Brands package these top-selling products. Hillshire Brands planned to buy Pinnacle Foods for 4.23 billion but the agreement sparked a bidding war between the largest food packagers in the U.S., Pilgrim’s Pride and Tyson Foods.

On July 2nd Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands announced their definitive agreement where Tyson Foods will acquire all outstanding shares of Hillshire Brands for $63/share.

 

   IV. Zynga

Addicted to Farmville, or annoyed by it? Either way, creator company Zynga turned out to be the single greatest social media failure to date. Facebook cut off the company in 2012, leaving Zynga unable to reach the 1 billion users and making it harder to match its first hit and promote new games.

The company moved into a mobile platform, unable to create its own hits, it acquired popular titles such as Digital, creator of Candy Crush.

Does Zynga have enough demand and users to stay afloat? In their first quarter of 2014 they were down almost 50% to 28 million, compared to the 52 million in the first quarter of 2013. Since early March of this year their stock went down 45% making it a target for buyouts.

 

     V. Alaska Air

Alaska Air Group Inc., an independent airline in the U.S.  is one of the few left that hasn’t been bought up by  larger airlines. There has been some speculation that Delta Airlines might buy Alaska Air for its West Coast routes. This rumor has caused an increase in Alaska Air’s shares.

Despite the rumors of Delta Airlines possible buyout, Alaska Air does well on the West Coast, being busiest in Seattle, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles. Alaska’s revenue has risen steadily over the past five years and often ranks highest in customer satisfaction among carriers. This has begun to challenge carriers on the East Coast to step up their services. Only time will tell how long Alaska Airlines has to remain a top-rate independent airline in the U.S.

 

   VI. Russell Stover

The third largest candy maker in America may be selling for as much as $1 billion. Once publically traded, the company is now private. Stover makes about $600 million in revenue with10% operating margins.

A rumored potential buyer is Hershey, with a market cap of $21.6 billion and revenue of $7.1 billion, Hershey would have no trouble swallowing up Russell Stover. Some other potential buyers include Kraft, Mars and Nestle.

Turns out Lindt & Sprüngli went and bought out Russell Stover July 14 of this year. Now Lindt is the number three chocolate maker in the U.S.

 

  VII. Shutterfly

Shutterfly continues to dominate the online photo printing industry, but falls short on mobile where Instagram, Facebook, and Dropbox are overshadowing Shutterfly. With revenue rising 22% year over year to more than $783 million, Shutterfly still remains a small business.

Shutterfly’s shares fell 18% over the last year, with its shares down it has become a target in the online sharing and storing business with limited exposure to paying customers. Amazon and Apple are possible tech companies suitable for buying up Shutterfly. If Shutterfly was able to reach its paying customers through printed photos, cards, and calendars maybe there would be a bigger chance for success.

 

   VIII. Time Warner Cable

Time Warner Cable had accepted a deal from Comcast for $45.2 billion at the beginning of this year. This deal would create the largest cable company in the U.S. with a total of 30 million subscribers. Many subscribers, wireless carriers, and online video providers such as Netflix, and advocacy groups such as freepress.net look at this merger as a monopoly which will result in higher rates for customers.

The merger’s biggest hurdle has been dealing with the federal government. The Justice Dept. and Federal Trade Commission will be assessing the deal, while several members of Congress have expressed their concern of unfairness to the consumer.

Many experts predict Time Warner Cable to be gone by the end of this year, but there is always a possibility the government won’t let the mega-merger follow through.

 

   IX. BlackBerry

BlackBerry is running on its last leg, having terrible sales on the Z10 and Q10, BlackBerry outsourced its hardware to Foxconn to focus on its software. In 2008, the company was operating as Research In Motion, having 19.5% of the global smartphone market. Now, due to the boom of the Apple iPhone and Google’s Android, the number fell to less than 1% by the end of 2013.

BlackBerry is seen as unable to exist on its own, with revenue dropping to $966 million from $3.1 billion in the same quarter the year before. By the end of 2013, BlackBerry was sold to Fairfax Financial Holdings, a group that already held about a 10% stake in the company.

 

     X. Aeropostale

The retail company that has always competed with Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle Outfitters is last on the chopping block. Seems like the whole casual clothing enterprise for teenagers is beginning to crumble as teens are choosing more inexpensive retailers that are more fashion-forward like Forever 21 and H&M.

Aeropostale is the retailer is the most trouble out of its counterparts, with revenue falling 12% to $396 million from the same period as last year. Aeropostale’s stock price dropped by more than 85% in the past five years. The company announced it had saved $150 million in financing from private equity firm Sycamore Partners, which should keep it afloat until the end of this year.

 

Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/10-brands-disappear-2015-172428388.html

 

 

- Samantha Rijos, Social Media Marketing Coordinator

Harvard Business Review — Leadership & Innovation from Michelle Stacy: Keurig — a true success story!

The Possibility versus Profitability conversation…Opening your mind to new possibilities –  especially thinking from the outside in, really helps shape the innovation conversation. Focusing energy on the right things is so important. When thinking about possibilities – the workplace becomes somewhat magical. We have had the honor to work with Michelle over the last few years, she is one of the real thought leaders in the world of business.

>>> Enjoy Michelle’s HBR blog here <<<

Making S.M.A.R.T.E.R Goals for Your Organization

On a recent meeting with our C-Level Share Group, we talked about the importance of a goal to motivate a team —- okay, we’ve all heard this before. So we did a Google search and how many hits came up on S.M.A.R.T. Goals. 38, 800, 000 resources are available about this topics. While 8,880 search results are available for S.M.A.R.T.er Goals.

Source: http://trackmaven.com/blog/2014/01/smarter-marketing-goals/

S.M.A.R.T.E.R GOALS infographic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As much as possible, your Goals should be:

Specific – target a specific area for improvement.

  • What are you trying to do?
  • Where is it going to happen?

Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress, if the goal is not measurable it cannot be possible to track progress.  Usually, but not limited to numbers or percentages.

3 How’s:

  • How much?
  • How many?
  • How will I know it has been accomplished?

Attainable – goals should be possible to achieve without unrealistic effort.

  • Which goals are the most likely to be achieved?
  • Is there at least a 50% probability of success?

Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.

  • Does your team’s goals align to your key issues?
  • Do your goals make “sense”?
  • Are these goals worth doing?
  • Do they benefit your organization in a significant way?

Timebound – specify when the result(s) can be achieved. Goals need a target date and the team’s commitment to the deadline.

  • Does the deadline allow you to deliver all of the results?
  • What can be done today, in the next few weeks, months?

Evaluate – Constant evaluation of goals are essential in reaching those goals.

  • Be aware of changing factors in plans.

Re-do – After evaluation make sure to re-do goals that need changing

  • Change details necessary to make goals successful.

Source: Meyer, J. Paul, “Attitude Is Everything.” NTEN-The Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network

 

Why are S.M.A.R.T.E.R Goals important for your organization? Setting concrete goals for yourself and your organization make you more likely to attain those the results that the goal promises. Through strategic planning your organization can bring your goals to life.  A large factor in an organization’s lack of execution is in the overall strategy. How can you begin to set goals? Document your strategies over time with a deadline in place. Consistency is key to keep track of success.


 

Samantha Rijos, Social Media Marketing Coordinator & Jack Mastrianni, Practice Leader, Leadership Development

 

The World Cup Has Me Thinking – 3 Lessons For Teams

Watching the World Cup games had me thinking about players who usually play in their “premier” leagues joining a “national team” – a few thoughts that might correlate with your business team:

1. Put them in a new uniform – but the same uniform all the others wear – What is symbolic of a uniform on your team? ONBOARD FAST!

2. Ask them to communicate in their primary language – What common business language is used in your organization? TEACH THEM QUICKLY!

3. They prepare – they identify opponent’s weaknesses? What is your competitive advantage –do you really know how to use it? MAKE SURE EVERYONE KNOWS IT!

Stay tuned for our upcoming webinar series to learn some of these techniques!

GlobalEdg Approaching 8 Year Anniversary!

GlobalEdg is celebrating our anniversary of eight years in business. We have been fortunate to work with some great organizations of all sizes. You have told us we are making a difference in how leaders collaborate, how organizations solve problems, and add value to.

Thank you! We are attaching an updated GlobalEdg overview. Again, thank you for your ongoing support,

Paul Butler

President & Founder of GlobalEdg

Does Your Organization Think Strategically? Sit through any meeting and you will know right away!

Does this sound familiar? While at a recent new product planning session, Jim was leading a cross-functional team meeting. Several people were presenting updates on the team’s progress. Although the meeting started well, it quickly became obvious that the meeting was going to end without addressing the real problem at hand.  Much was discussed, good ideas were shared; but as the conversations dragged on, people became less engaged – (some actually left before the meeting was over) and the meeting ended with … you fill in the blank ____!

How people think, the language they use, how they make decisions and solve problems in any organization will tell us if they have developed and are applying strategic thinking capability.  A 2013 study from the Management Research Group illustrates leaders who are effective strategic thinkers are six times more likely to be seen as effective and four times more likely to be identified as a high performer.  Strategic leaders take a different approach to problem solving. “Leaders who are able to think in multiple time frames, identifying what they’re trying to accomplish over time and what has to happen now, in six months, in a year, in three years to get there” are much more effective … Robert Kabacoff writes in the  Harvard Business Review (2.7.14).

Our research has identified eight critical skill dimensions necessary for success in building strategic leadership & thinking capability through your organization.

  1. Challenging Assumptions: Having an open mind, willing to challenge accepted beliefs and raise new concerns.
  2. Vital Few:  Focusing on the vital few issues versus tackling everything. Analyzing and concluding effectively enhances clarity, directs focus and promotes balance.
  3. Facts v. Opinions: Using facts to make decisions and reaching meaningful, valid conclusions; opinions and conjecture do not provide accurate support.
  4. Scope: Determining the appropriate “scope of analysis” to address the right issues within your control.
  5. Linkage: Connecting ideas both upstream and downstream allows for systematic thinking; what’s up front informs what is to follow.
  6. Process: A structured approach that employs a common language for identifying business issues.
  7. Assessment: Routinely assessing internal and external issues that lead to conclusions and implications for action.
  8. Planning: Creating strategies, measures and developing initiatives that will successfully address overarching  business issues.

Each dimension is important — How does your team, function, organization stack up? To find out more about our research contact us at pbutler@globaledg.com

GlobalEdg Launches New Product & Service on Executing Business Strategies

Southbury, CT, March 31, 2014 - GlobalEdg, a management-consulting firm focused on organizational development announced today the launch of a new product and service. The A.C.E (Alignment, Collaboration and Execution) system is designed to help translate business strategy into action. Its purpose is to build the capability in leaders on how to best execute strategies. The product and service is a follow-up to GlobalEdg’s world-renown, STAR (Strategic, Thinking, Action and Results) methodology which has over 3,000 Alumni. “We are excited to work with our clients as they continue to look for proven solutions on how to build their capabilities in the all-important area of how to best deliver on organizational strategies; and ACE is designed to do just that,” said Paul Butler, President of GlobalEdg.

The product is a result of multi-year effort that combines our research and client work.  What we found is that execution has a lot to do with organizational alignment, cross functional/team collaboration and building a results-based execution plan. These three elements, Alignment, Collaboration and Execution form the basis of ACE,” adds Butler.

The program has been successfully tested in several companies over the last six months.

What your organization gets are leaders who are better able to:

· Focus limited resources (time, money, and people) on the right work.

· Navigate the matrix organization leaders are playing in.

· Improved understanding of stakeholder needs and how to influence effectively.

· Clarity on the right results and the right resources needed to succeed.

About GlobalEdg

GlobalEdg is a company dedicated to helping organizations WIN by building leadership & team capability infocusing and executing on what’s most important, and aligning and engaging people to deliver exceptional results. GlobalEdg’s model is to teach organizations how to integrate these practices into the way they work. GlobalEdg’s methodology is “Leaders Teaching Leaders” and has been used by leaders in many of the world’s most successful companies.

For additional information regarding this press release, please contact Paul Butler at pbutler@globaledg.com orjyoung@globaledg.com or call (203) 304-1820.

GlobalEdg, LLC.       (203) 304-1820 www.GlobalEdg.com

What Will Your Brand Stand For In 2017?

New York Times Business Read.

After 127 years, Is the Coca Cola Brand really becoming irrelevant? What do you think?

Is your company brand a competitive advantage???  Thousands of executives who are alumni of our strategic thinking program identify this as one that is most sustainable competitive advantage for top and bottom-line growth (Sustainable means it can drive growth and profit for any organization for 3+ years). How differently will your brand be received in the marketplace in the year 2017? Read about Coke — click on the link below!

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/01/business/challenges-for-coke-to-stay-on-top.html?rref=business

Learn how to identify and leverage your completive advantage!!!

Join us for our world renown strategic thinking program – STAR (Strategic Thinking – Action – Results) taking place in Boston on May 6-7, 2014.

Information and Registration : http://globaledg.com/workshop2014.php

Strategic Thinking & Leadership Seminar [Video]

Strategic Thinking & Leadership Seminar

President, Paul Butler of GlobalEdg in Newtown, CT, speaking to executives on how to improve leadership skills and strategically think to improve company profitability. Paul has taught and influenced many corporate executives using his STAR program.

For more information on GlobalEdg products and services visit GlobalEdg’s website @ www.globaledg.com.

‘Follow’ GlobalEdg on Twitter @paulatglobaledg, ‘Like’ us on Facebook, and ‘Follow’ our company page on LinkedIn.

Why do organizations often add complexity with Strategy & Execution? — “Stuff” gets in the way!

Does you organization’s approach to strategy and execution becomes bureaucratic and cause people to add complexity? What happens? Stuff gets in the way. By “Stuff” I mean organization structures such as policies /procedures, design elements, behaviors and processes that exist in any organization – no matter the size. We know they exist — even if they or “written or unwritten.”
How do you reduce complexity and simplify your organization? How do you become faster, yet not lose what makes you successful?
Well the important question is how do you simplify and get at that “Stuff”? We have found that a structured and disciplined approach to this dilemma.
Structure must drive simplicity. It is the structure and approach to strategy and execution that makes a difference Here is how we simplify both:
First, focus on strategic thinking not planning. Learning some easy – to – understand principles and an easy- to-remember process —can make a real difference. Principles such as focusing on scope, linking analysis to solutions, being fact-based and using the law of the vital few can serve as a filter for the following process: 1) Determine what is going on; 2) Identify what actions you need to take; and 3) Communicate what will the impact be. This will drive clear thinking and subsequently and a clear set of choices. Think STAR — Strategic Thinking – Action – Results!
Secondly, everything is about execution. However, many organizations create what we call activity cultures. You should focus on Results and not activities. Try this — Work backwards from a due date, with different people committing to deliver results bring. This will bring commitment and clarity, drive a different behavior and makes it easy to understand who is accountable for delivering a plan. It will manage project scope, costs and time in a way that will take unnecessary “Stuff” that slows things down and hurts quality. Here, as with strategy three easy steps make a difference: 1) align those responsible on the initiative; 2) identify and change behaviors that slow implementation; and 3) create a results-based implementation plan with clear accountabilities. Think ACE Align, Collaborate, Execute!