In today’s ever-evolving society, trends come and go very quickly. What was popular twenty years ago fails to hold relevance in present-day. Our values, ideals, morals, and ethics have rapidly expanded, leading to self-growth and a new idea of what makes us happy. Because of this, some products, services, and concepts we once used to hold so dear are now a thing of the past.
When it comes to the brands we buy and the services we count on, there are few that have stuck around to weather the storm. Take, for example the ever-popular and ever-addictive Coca Cola Company. The soft drink was invented in 1886 by pharmacist John Stith Pemberton. Since its inception, the Coca Cola Company has expanded to yielding over 500 brands in over 200 countries. The rapid-fire success that came with the soft drink has managed for hundreds of years to top the sales charts. But, in the past couple years, there has been a substantial decline in the soft drink industry. Within the last year alone, revenue for Coca Cola has gone down ten percent.
From Coca Cola to Pepsi co, there has been a decline in interest in North America, surely causing all leading soft drink companies to reconsider their marketing and branding strategies. So what makes some brands long-lasting and sustainable, versus a dying breed? What companies have staying power and what will inevitable disappear off the map due to flagging interest? We take for granted these brand names that trip off our tongues and are household names; these seven companies have become our go-to places for late-night cravings and unpredictable emergencies. What makes them so long-lasting?
Market Cap: $94.17 Billion
Since its establishment in 1948, McDonalds has become the massively popularized fast food chain that has dominated the industry far and wide. It sells to millions of customers per day, and despite the fact that there have been health concerns attached to the products, and brutally graphic documentaries (think Supersize Me), McDonalds has yet to wane in popularity.
So why does McDonalds have such staying-power? For one, it has expanded its food products outside of its burgers-and-fries trademark meal. Now there are breakfast options, sandwiches, salads, desserts, wraps, smoothies, and coffee. McDonalds has tapped into other markets to gain popularity, trying to affect healthier options to appease the critics. Alongside healthier products, McDonalds has taken to posting its nutritional information on the product wrappers to promote awareness. Because of all these strategies, McDonalds is both a guilty pleasure and a filling meal on-the-go.
Market Cap: $410.83 Billion
This search engine has taken off, far more popular than competitors like Yahoo! and Bing. The multi-national corporation was incorporated in 1998, and its immediate success has now evolved to the point of verbing, with “Google” an everyday word in modern vernacular.
It is wildly popular, but what makes Google a force to be reckoned with isn’t just its super-speed search engine — it’s the global expansion of products and services. It now offers Google Translate, Google Chrome, Gmail, Google Drive, Google+, and now Google Glass (software technology in the form of glasses). Google’s success lies in the constant evolution of its products—it keeps on taking its products, services, and technology to the next level. Even though it has stumbled a couple of times, with its ability to gather information and its forays into new technologies, Google has found a way to be an apparently infallible business.
Market Cap: $242.95 Billion
Founded by Sam Walton in 1969, it rose into national acclaim by the 90s and dominated the US. Though it started out as being US-specific, it soon spread outward, hitting South America and Europe, and gathering 1.6 million associates worldwide.
By 1988, the first Walmart Superstore was established, thus sweeping both grocery and toy markets. Its success lies in expansion, with thousands of stores worldwide. Walmart houses Discount Stores, Supercenters, Walmart Markets (grocery-specific stores) and a Walmart Express.
Each store targets different needs, and offers such a widespread variety of products at next-to-nothing costs, making it an irresistible convenience for consumers. It guarantees sales with its price-match promotion, ensuring that they will match any competitor’s price for the same product. Because of this, Walmart has long-lasting staying power.
4 Johnson & Johnson
Market Cap: $262.11 Billion
Best-known for its baby products, Band-Aids, Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, Aveeno, and Neutrogena, the packaged goods company was first founded in 1886. Renowned worldwide for its respectful reputation and international educational programs, Johnson & Johnson has swept the globe with its pharmaceutical products.
In late 2012, the Food and Drug Administration approved Sirturo, a Johnson and Johnson drug that fights and treats tuberculosis. When Johnson & Johnson first was established, it was known for its surgical products, but through the steady diversification of its products, Johnson & Johnson houses many separate consumer products that make it an invaluable brand that flies off the shelves. Because of its prevalence in the pharmaceutical and consumer industries, it has ensured its brand has sure-fire staying-power.
Total Equity: $39.95 Billion
Founded in 1943 by 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad in Sweden, the company is the world’s largest furniture retailer. The company is known for its clean-lines and modern pieces, as well as its read-to-assemble furniture that take the guesswork out of furniture assembly. Since its inception, it has swept across the world, with 267 stores in 25 countries.
What makes Ikea so signature is its basic image: Large blue and yellow stores, with a one-way layout, forcing customers on a purposeful clock-wise journey to see all the products. It combines a showroom, a self-serve warehouse, and an as-is section. Adding to its appeal is the cafeteria inside, which offers traditional Swedish food.
Being such a unique brand, Ikea has never changed its brand image— it prefers to stay classic. Ikea has relied on its simplicity and natural expansion throughout the years to keep it on everyone’s minds. And to give credit where credit is due, it is the first comprehensive furniture retailer that comes to mind when people are looking to move.
Market Cap: $474.27 Billion
Probably the leading technological brand name out there, Apple has been at the forefront of ‘cool’ and innovative product lines out there since its establishment in 1976.
Apple boasts 408 retail stores in fourteen countries. Its expansive products include Mac computers, the iPod, iPhone, and iPad; iTunes, the iOS operating system, and the Safari web browser.
Its success lies in its ability to be reinvented. In the 90s, Apple struggled with many consumer products that failed to take off, and Microsoft gaining in popularity at the same time. Through a lot of innovation and reinvention, Apple came back as a commercial success in 2001 with Mac OS X. Now Apple products can be seen everywhere. Apple has staying power solely based on the quality of its products; this long-lasting business regularly releases new versions of its products and software in order to ensure speed, efficiency, and customer satisfaction.
Market Cap: $242.98 Billion
Primarily known for its chocolate products, this Swiss company is the largest food company in the world. It was officially formed when the Anglo-Swiss Milk Company merged with Henri Nestlé in 1905.
Nestlé has many products, including ice cream, chocolate, coffee, chocolate syrup, cookies, pet food, cereal, and bottled water. Nestlé is also a company that engages in world issues like poverty, hunger, climate change, and water usage. The company also prides itself on health and nutrition initiatives. Nestlé’s staying power also owes much to its practice of strategically buying out companies; the company uses mergers and acquisitions to dig its stakes a little deeper into the ground. It is one company whose shares are growing by the day.