Each year 24/7 Wall St. identifies 10 important American brands that we predict will disappear within 18 months. This year’s list reflects the brutally competitive nature of certain industries and the reason why companies cannot afford to fall behind in efficiency, innovation or financing.
We made many accurate calls in 2011, but the speed with which some of them came true was surprising. MySpace was sold by News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS) less than a week after the list was published. Several other 2011 nominees are also no longer around. Saab filed for bankruptcy only five months after 24/7 published last year’s predictions. In Nov. 2011, Ericsson dumped its half of the Sony Ericsson mobile phone business. Similarly, Yum Brands! (NYSE:YUM) dumped A&W as sales were miniscule compared to flagship brands KFC and Taco Bell. We also made a few bad calls. Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) and Sony Pictures are still operating in essentially the same form they were a year ago. Kellogg’s (NYSE:K) Corn Pops and Soap Opera Digest are doing just fine.
This year we continue to take a methodical approach in deciding which brands to include on the list of brands that will disappear. The major criteria are:
- a rapid fall-off in sales and steep losses;
- disclosures by the parent of the brand that it might go out of business;
- rapidly rising costs that are extremely unlikely to be recouped through higher prices;
- companies that are sold;
- companies that go into bankruptcy;
- companies that have lost the great majority of their customers; or
- operations with rapidly withering market share
Each brand on the list suffers from one or more of these problems. Each of the 10 will be gone, based on the definitions above, within 18 months.
This article originally appeared on 24/7 Wall St. on June 21, 2012.