As time ticks by, we see the rise and fall of major brands (remember Blockbuster?) and it’s always interesting to predict which will be here in the near future and which will fall to things like competition or simply being outdated. We’ve made a few guesses of our own:
Launched in 2004, Myspace reached five million users in less than a year. By summer 2006, it was considered the most visited website on the Internet and by late 2008, it peaked at almost 76 million U.S. visitors.
The brand started going downhill, however, after the launch of Facebook. It laid off half its employees at the beginning of 2011 and by mid 2011, Myspace was up for sale. In fall 2012, music icon Justin Timberlake bought the website to try to turn it around by focusing on music artists. Yet after a brief rebirth, Myspace seems to be headed back downhill and probably won’t last another 5 years.
J.C. Penny has been on a decline for years, but it was accelerated when former CEO Ron Johnson took over the company in 2012. During the 16 months he was in charge, 19,000 employees lost their jobs and both online and retail sales declined by over 30% in the fourth quarter, costing the company $985 million for the year.
Despite updated advertising efforts and a bigger push for the brand, J.C. Penny’s stocks have continued to slump and the company plans to close 33 of its stores. Many believe it’s all downhill for the retail store.
Nook, Barnes & Noble’s brand of e-reader, launched in fall 2009 while the trend of e-books was on the rise. It increased B&N e-book sales 67% in its first year, but began declining after that. Many attribute the sales descent to the introduction of Apple’s iPad in 2010 and fact that when Nook was first launched, Amazon’s Kindle had already been around for almost two years;
This year, B&N saw Nook sales take an over 50% hit in the fiscal third quarter. The company is working to revive their sales by pulling back the reins on Nook promotions and focusing more on their core business – books. While Barnes & Noble may not be on its way out, Nook very well may.
Beauty brand Avon was founded back in 1886 by a traveling book salesman. Its success was built on its direct, door-to-door sales pitches and it became one of the top beauty brands in the world. In 2004, Avon’s market value topped out at $21 billion under CEO Andrea Jung, however, once the company’s sales began to decline, Jung was replaced by Johnson & Johnson’s vice chairman, Sherilyn McCoy in spring of 2012.
Many say that Avon lost its ratio of brand-to-sales and that it fought too hard to compete with beauty companies like L’Oreal or Estee Lauder instead of focusing on the direct sales that helped fuel its success. In the past several fiscal quarters, the company has seen a decline in sales and while it may not be as doomed as others on this list, we don’t think it will make it another 5 years.
With smartphone companies turning their phones into pixel-packed cameras, there’s not much demand for digital cameras anymore – unless you’re Nikon or Canon. Many people are still interested in SLR cameras (the ones pro photographers use) and Nikon and Canon have been specializing in that department for years.
Olympus SLR cameras, however, account for only about 35% of its imaging business and its compact digital camera segment was recently cut. The company’s worldwide sales peaked in 2010, but since then, it has failed to generate a profit. Even if they step up their SLR game, it may be too late for Olympus.