With mergers, rescues and collapses having been a major part of business life over the past year it’s worth reflecting on some of those brands which have disappeared or will disappear soon. This week Lloyds Banking Group has announced that Cheltenham and Gloucester branches will be leaving the high street. Along with them go Abbey, Alliance + Leicester and Bradford & Bingley as their brands become absorbed into Santander. None of the banks brands have been around too long in their current form, they were already merged or contracted names of local building societies, and whilst no-one predicted the banking crisis, takeovers were mooted for all of them long before the credit crunch.
Walking along my high street I notice that Woolworths isn’t there any more, or Zavvi. Whilst I may have had no emotional connection to Zavvi it was a useful place to pick up a CD on a whim, and I’m sure each time I need a piñata or child’s dressing up outfit I’ll rue the passing of Woolies, but that’s not a weekly occurrence. It’s not inconceivable that Vauxhall will disappear, along with any number of GM brands which merge into an Oldsmobile blur, and I’m sure not in a hurry to learn how to say Setanta properly if they won’t be around next season.
These disappearing brands have been teetering for years and whilst it’s sad to see some go, it’s not a surprise. With each of them the question seems to be “What were they about? What did they stand for?” Customers and employees find it difficult to express what their unique purpose is/was. Whilst they may have had mission statements, they all seemed to share a lack of clear, differentiated purpose. Without a clear, well articulated Purpose Framework businesses struggle to motivate and mobilise both employees and customers. IS your Purpose Framework strong enough to carry you through tough times? To find out more contact us.