on brand fluidity

22Sep05

does you remember back in the 90’s when it was all about evian water? Now you can’t watch a tv show or movie without seeing a fiji bottle. i admit, i think fiji tastes alot cleaner than evian, but i was shocked at the nationwide scale of this sea-change (pun intended).

when you travel about san francisco (or any other bike friendly city in the US, i’m sure) there’s nary a kryptonite lock in sight. after the bic pen incident and krypto’s weak and slow response, everyone switched to on guard. in fact many shops don’t even carry krypto locks anymore.

even mega-giants like xerox and ibm have pretty much disappeared. ibm sold their pc business to a chinese company called lenovo and i can’t remember the last time i actually saw a xerox copier.

so what caused these brands to go away? how did they blow it? i mean ibm still makes great high-tech (albeit incredibly boring) laptops. evian still has expensive clean water. other high-tech laptops don’t cost less than ibms. but yet these two brands lost it.

i can see ibm’s demise. as other manufacturers were finally building some style and design into their laptops, ibm was sticking with the plain black rectangle. eventually if something is good looking and works great, it will win out of just “works great.”

which then raises the question, why isn’t GM sinking like ibm and siemens and all these other manufacturers who build ugly crap. i mean gm literally has one good looking car – and you can’t even buy it yet! (the sky / solstice coupe thingy). even fords are better looking, and that’s not saying much. yet i never hear news about gm tanking, and well-designed brands don’t seem to be crushing gm like they should be. are they in trouble? if not, what is keeping them afloat? are they surviving on GMC? it sure isn’t the cars they’re selling. is it?

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