As we ushered in the close of a decade and a seemingly double quick year in the form of 2019, I found myself trawling through a number of articles highlighting various lists such as the top ten albums of the last decade, the top sporting moments, the best moments on TV, the top political moments (this was a short list!) and this list on the BBC here that highlighted ten brands that have completely disappeared over the last ten years.
My first feeling was one of sadness as the likes of Toys R Us, BHS, Blockbuster Videos, and Maplin had been quite influential in terms of my retailing experience growing up. As I read further, it soon dawned on me that the overwhelming reason that many of these brands had disappeared was to a certain extent, inertia and not identifying future threats. When they did realise, it was often too late. However it also got me thinking that although these brands are gone and my children will never grace their retail space, they have simply been replaced by other brands that were more agile or quicker to spot the opportunity. Smyths Toys has seamlessly replaced Toys R Us whilst a range of retailers including many supermarkets have now installed their own cafe/restaurant made famous for meeting up in BHS. Blockbuster has of course been replaced by the countless video streaming subscription services now on offer and Amazon surely killed off Maplin. Interestingly on this point, there is an article on the BBC today highlighting that Asia's richest man is taking on Amazon at their own game in India.
All of the brands on the list are retailers but interestingly many of our clients here at Passle openly talk about the changing nature of the professional services market and sometimes the fear of not changing or even just the perception can be similarly as harmful in the b2b arena. Individual experts can easily showcase their expertise on platforms like Linkedin and Twitter and leveraging social platforms in the right way can very quickly build personal and firm wide brand awareness.
The full list of disappearing brands is as follows:
1. Toys R Us
7. Tie Rack
8. Pound World
10. Phones 4 U
The firm blamed declining sales and a rapidly changing book market, struggling in the face of fierce competition from supermarkets, online sales and digital books.