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How do you know when it’s time to retire a brand? CMO magazine asked the key questions.

March 5, 2020

How do you know when it’s time to retire a brand? CMO magazine asked the key questions.

CMO  magazine published this piece on February 27th 2020 and asked some brand experts (us included) their thoughts about how and when a brand should retire.

When news of General Motors’ decision to ‘retire’ the iconic Australian Holden brand broke in early February, public outcry and a wave of nostalgia washed through the digital and print channels.

Media commentators and consumers alike promptly rummaged into the very many reasons for the brand’s demise, shared memories of riding in the Holden vehicles of their childhood, waxed lyrical about the first Holden car they owned, and generally mourned the loss of a brand that once symbolised the Australian dream and the nation’s unique landscape.

But as has been made clear, none of the emotion connected with Holden was enough to save the brand from the axe, a fact attributed to rapidly declining sales, the demise of the sedan in favour of the SUV, and the high cost of production for one of the world’s few right-hand drive markets.

With news of such a significant brand ‘retirement’, and the outpouring it generated, the team at CMO wanted to ask a bigger question: Just how do you know when it’s time to retire a brand? What are the warning signs? Have the reasons changed in a digitally and socially connected world? Which companies have done brand retirement well, versus those that did it badly?

And importantly: Would anyone have wanted to keep the Holden brand alive?

Click this link to continue reading the CMO magazine piece

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