Stephen Wilson, Category & Insights Manager, Strikeforce, explores reasons why brands sometimes disappear unexpectedly from our shelves.

On a recent extended weekend, I ventured to one of the smaller Australian states and one of my planned activities was a tour of a regional brewery. Memories of this brewery were of hustle and bustle, and noises associated with a high-speed production line.

But much to my dismay and disappointment, what I encountered was dead silence. Upon chatting with the tour guide, I was informed that the once popular national brand no longer existed. During one of several takeovers, numerous brands were retired quietly, and this brewery now only produces brands for the local market.

This got me thinking about the reasons successful and popular brands disappear into the ether. What are the reasons they are missing from bottle shops and bars despite having a loyal following? The answer may lie in one of four buckets:

Failure to adapt. Consumer preferences are constantly evolving and shifts in societal values, and emerging trends can have significant implications for brands that fail to adapt to these changes at the risk of becoming obsolete. Brands that fail to identify and align with these changes risk fading away.

Stagnation. Failure to innovate can result in a brand losing its competitive edge. Consumers are often on the lookout for unique product attributes or experiences. Brands that remain stagnant risk being overrun by more innovative competitors. The absence of fresh ideas and failure to anticipate market trends can swiftly lead to a brand’s disappearance.

Effective marketing and high brand recall are essential for maintaining a strong brand identity. Brands that fail to continually communicate their value proposition, differentiate themselves from competitors, or connect with their target audience are bound to struggle. Ineffective marketing and branding efforts can erode brand recognition and ultimately contribute to a brand’s disappearance.

Strategic Decisions. Poorly conceived strategic decisions can undermine a brand’s position and lead to its demise.

Reputation plays a vital role in the success of a brand. A tarnished reputation can have severe consequences. Social media and the rise of consumer activism have made it easier for negative information to spread rapidly, causing irreparable damage to a brand’s image. Rebuilding trust and regaining consumer confidence is a difficult and time-consuming task, and many brands fail to recover from such reputational setbacks.

The disappearance of a brand can be attributed to a multitude of factors. Regardless of whether one single or a multitude of factors caused the demise of this once sort after national brand, I left the brewery with a heavy heart knowing that the likelihood of this brand ever seeing the light of day again has passed.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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