9 Brands we love that failed

These companies were once popular brands that we all love and used at one time in our lives, but they have now either gone bankrupt or merged. As the internet continues to grow a lot of companies are a risk of bankruptcy.

  1. Nokia


Nokia was founded in Finland and was the first to create a cellular network in the world.in the early 2000s, nokia was the global leader in mobile phones.
Nokia’s big mistake was they did not want to make in drastic change in their user experience, as the future of communication was now going towards data not voice, they did not want to alienate their current users, thereby loosing new potential customers.
in 2007 Steve jobs launched the iPhone a phone without a keyboard, which was innovative at the time, in 2008 nokia decided to compete, but it was too late.

2. Blockbuster


The video rental company was at its business peak in 2004, the did moved with the changing times from VHS to DVD but did not innovate in the streaming market or the delivery market.

Blockbuster later figured out that physical stores was not enough to please their customers, but since they had been the leader in the movie rental market for years they did not see the reason to change their strategy.

in the forbes article “the internet didn’t kill Blockbuster, the company did it to itself” they explain back in 2000 the founder of Netflix Reed Hastings proposed a partnership with CEO of Blockbuster John Antioco. Netflix proposed blockbuster should advertise their brand in the stores whilst Netflix would run Blockbuster online. Antico turned down the idea because he felt Netflix business model was not Niche business. in 2010 blockbuster filed for bankruptcy and Netflix is now a $28 billion-dollar company.

3. HMV


CDs, DVD and video game retailer HMV were popular in the 1990s, but the company began to struggle with the rise of the digital world, such as streaming and online sales, HMV refused to believe that people would start downloading music or buy from online retailers. the company felt confident about their brand and people would not stop coming into the shop for the experience.
In 2013 Hilco Capital bought HMV, taking the company into administration and saving 141 stores.

4. Toys R Us


Toys R Us was once one of the largest toy store chains in the UK, but the brand made a deal that killed the business, they signed a 10-year contract with Amazon to be their exclusive toy vendor, but amazon still allowed other toy vendors to sell on its site too. this killed the prospect for toys r us to create their own online presence,
In 2017 the company filed for bankruptcy due to its huge debts, but some physical stores remain open

5. Clinton Cards


Clinton cards owned 25% share of the greeting card market with their physical stores on all major high streets in the UK. once things started to shift online, such as e-cards and online retailers such as moon pig. their stores started losing appeal and it ultimately became a dying business.

harry wallop gives his opinion of what happened to Clinton cards in his article       “Clinton cards what went wrong” 

6. Blackberry


Blackberry tablets and smartphones were once a game changer in the mobile industry, with their qwerty keyboard.

The mobile phone industry started to innovate with the rise of bigger touchscreen displays, but blackberry did not want to adapt trying to protect what it already had. Failure to adapt led to the announcement in 2017 they would be pulling out of the smartphone manufacturing business and focusing more on software development.

Vlad Savov explains why “Blackberry success led to its failure “

7. My Space


Myspace was a website that dominated the social networking until Facebook, ironically CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg met with the CEO of Myspace Chris DeWolff to discuss business, Mark offered to sell Facebook to Myspace for $75 million which Chris said no to.

Due to the growth of Facebook, my space inevitable started seeing a decline of their users. in 2011 the company changed focus from social networking to entertainment and music only.

Amy Lee describes how the social network fell apart 

8. Tie Rack


This very British brand was founded in 1981, selling good quality ties, scarves and cufflinks. but it failed to do its market research and see that men like to buy their ties when shopping for shirts. The good quality ties were not enough to keep the brand alive therefore the brand was bought in 1999.

9. Juicy Couture


Juicy couture used to be one of the most sought out casual wear brand, celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Aniston were seen wearing the tracksuit.
juicy demise was simple the fashion hadn’t changed since its inception about 8 years ago. Today people do not want to wear such garish logo, they are looking for more understated logos.


The consistent things that most of these brands failed to do was to innovate, when times were changing they stayed put hoping they would win, they also did not listen to their customers or watch for the new emerging trends in their respective businesses.

Lesson Learnt– businesses must listen to their customers and learn to adapt to changing trends.





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