Some of the world’s biggest brands haven’t always been at the top of their game. In fact, some have pretty much disappeared before being rescued from the brink of going under. Here are 15 brands that managed to claw their way back up to the top.
Yep, believe it or not Apple was almost ready to file for bankruptcy back in 1997. The company saw poor computer sales, which led to them taking back on Steve Jobs – one of the original co-founders. He had been forced out back in 1985 (oops). After they moved onto mobile devices, this brand became one of the most profitable in the world. Turns out that Steve Jobs really did know what he was doing when it came to staying one step ahead of the crowd. Apple is now worth an estimated $119 billion.
Back in the 1960s the original Mini was deemed to be one of the most iconic British vehicles. Founded in 1959 it was doing pretty well until the mid-90s. Sales were floundering and nobody really wanted to be seen in a Mini anymore. However, car giant BMW decided to throw caution to the wind and buy out the brand. They modernised the vehicles, bolstered marketing efforts, and soon the Mini was riding high again. Back in 2013 Mini sold more vehicles than ever before, even more than when it was popular in the 60s!
Let’s be honest, who isn’t a fan of Domino’s pizza? They’re easily one of the most recognisable brands when it comes to takeaway food, but it hasn’t always been that way. Back in the 1980s this brand rose to fame with their 30 minute guaranteed delivery time, however things took a turn for the terrible when a delivery driver ran a red light and hit a woman. The guarantee was stopped and the company’s sales suffered. However, by 2009 Domino’s decided to spruce up their recipe and give themselves a huge boost in online marketing, which bought them back to the forefront of pizza delivery companies.
Back in 1989 Nintendo released what was to become one of the most important consoles of all time – the gameboy. Throughout the whole of the 90s this brand was one of the biggest video game sellers of all time; games like Pokemon definitely helped! Then both Sony and Microsoft released the next generation of computer consoles and it seemed as though Nintendo’s days were numbered. Luckily, a forward-thinking product team created products such as the touchscreen DS and the innovative Wii. Without these products Nintendo surely would have been dead in the water.
Another vehicle company to make it onto the list, and one that has suffered some very public fallbacks. This car company is one of the oldest around, originally founded back in 1908. However, in the late 2000s GM had to file for bankruptcy due to failing sales and profits. They had to lay off tens of thousands of workers from the US and around the rest of the world, before the Federal Government put together a bailout plan. GM came back bigger and better than ever, going public once again and getting rid of several divisions that were failing them. Their comeback saved a whopping 1.2 million jobs.
Like the Mini, Burberry is pretty iconic for the Brits – especially during the 1960s. The luxury clothing brand was flying high until the pattern began cropping up in market stalls around the country. Burberry then began being associated with chavs and hooligans, which led to a rapid decrease in sales. The brand was quick to act, buying back many of its licenses to stop the pattern being used. They then focused on bringing the luxury back in, while creating an innovative marketing plan. Burberry are now back at the top of their game once again.
2003 was the year that LEGO began to see some serious issues. We don’t know if it’s because kids were more interested in playing with games consoles than toys, but this company was about to hit the pan. Their biggest market hit was in the US with a 35% sales decrease, and 29% overall worldwide. Enter new CEO Jorgen Vig Knudstorp who had some big plans up his sleeve. He signed deals with Toy Story, Star Wars, and many others, in order to help revamp the brand. LEGO are now back at the top, with themed sets, games, films, and even advent calendars.
Burberry wasn’t the only British fashion brand to suffer some serious hits over the years. Mulberry started off in 1971 as an affordable luxury brand; known for their handbags. However, back in 2012 they tried pushing their luck by aiming for a more exclusive feel (and price tag). Within two years the share price of Mulberry had fallen a whopping 67% and people simply weren’t buying anymore. The genius behind making the brand more exclusive, Bruno Guillon, was fired and Mulberry took it back to basics with their affordable luxury once more.
This is one of our favourite comebacks of all time! The Old Spice brand has been around since 1934, specialising in male grooming products. Back in the 1970s you could bet that practically every man had some kind of Old Spice product in his cupboard… But then things plummeted. Proctor & Gamble decided to buy the company in 2000, before resuming production in 2008. It was the hilarious TV and online video adverts that catapulted Old Spice back into the limelight. Look them up if you don’t believe us!
It seems as though classic, British brands don’t have the best luck in the world. Founded in 1922 this motor vehicle company was known for being prestigious and luxurious, until Ford bought them out in 1990. For some reason they managed to turn Jaguar into a flop, not once making a profit in the 18 years they owned it (despite investing billions). Tata Motors bought the brand off Ford in 2008, and managed to double their sales by 2013. It’s good to be bad, as they say.
Hands up, you’ve heard of Converse right?! You probably have even owned a pair, considering as most people do. However, things haven’t always been rosy for the company. Back in 2001 they had to shockingly file for bankruptcy, despite being one of the biggest athletic brands of the 20th century. It was Nike who bought out the business in 2003, changing them from sports shoes into more of a style statement. Their annual revenue was $1.7 billion in 2014.. Now that is a comeback!
Shake it like a polaroid picture! These guys were at the top of their game in the 1970s and 80s, being one of the only affordable, handheld cameras – and don’t forget they were instant! However, when digital cameras came in the company suffered some serious setbacks. They stopped production in 2007 before filing for bankruptcy in 2008. However, a sheer turn of luck ensured Polaroid managed to revive the brand in 2010; you can thank the Hipsters for that.
Did you know that Marvel Comics was founded way back in 1939? And while comics may have been popular up until the 80s, there were some real struggles for the brand when the 90s arrived. The simple fact is, people didn’t want to buy comic books anymore. There were boardroom fights and big debts that were about to see Marvel sink… That is until a Wall Street firm struck up an investment deal with them in 2005, to let them focus on movies. Disney then bought the company in 2009 for a huge $4.3 billion, and it’s now a huge money maker for the firm.
Turns out that Converse isn’t the only shoe brand to have taken a hit in the early 2000s. Dr Martens were a hugely popular brand with the punks in the 70s and the grunge movement in the 90s. However, when this scene died out so did the popular boots. In a clever ploy, DMs decided to release a ‘vintage’ line which saw some huge successes at fashion weeks back in 2007. They’ve now put their stamp firmly back into the footwear world.
What’s that, another car brand? We can’t say we’re surprised to see so many of them on the list! This brand was founded in 1909 and things were going pretty well for Maybach until 1997. The car they released in this year was such a flop that they only sold 157 by 2010. Ouch! By 2013 the company went for a complete revival and released the S600 which has already outdone any of their previous cars; they sold more in one month than global yearly sales of the past!