2010’s Most Improved Brands

By Mash Bonigala

2010 was a disastrous year for many companies, but a stellar one for a select few. What did these brands do that was so different? What sets them apart from the pack? By looking at what these brands did right and applying it to your own business, you can make sure 2010 is just as successful for you.

The first and perhaps most dramatic brand turnaround was seen in Ford Motors. Entering 2010, the company seemed to offer nothing new for an increasingly savvy audience. However, this year saw the release of several new models with unique and innovative features. More and more, Ford is showing their forward thinking side, which is incredibly relevant to tech savvy consumers. They also won serious points for refusing the government handouts that other companies eagerly accepted. Even with American car companies watching profits fall through the floor, Ford was voted the most improved brand of 2010, with sales increasing by 33% in December alone. The takeaway message? If there is a ‘hole’ in your brand, it is never too late to patch it.

Facebook was another brand that saw vast improvement this year. With the website now a major part of popular culture, few people remember that 2010 began with controversy over changes in privacy settings. However, the site has worked throughout the year to become easier to use and to convince consumers that their personal image is safe. In the wave of their mass popularity, a few privacy issues no longer seem like such a big deal, especially not to modern computer savvy consumers. What we all can learn from Facebook is that small problems are likely to be swept away in the tidal wave of a winning brand and logo design. In other words, don’t sweat the small stuff.

Clorox is a good example of using the challenges and headlines of our times to present your brand as ever more relevant. What could be more fuddy-duddy than bleach? However, bleach’s disinfectant power is well known, and well appreciated in a year when epidemics seem to cover the front of every day’s newspaper. Clorox released several new products this year that make it easier and safer to use their product around the house, and publicized these products’ ability to keep American homes free of swine flu and other unpleasant illnesses. Clorox was successful because they have begun to focus on the product benefit—a germ-free home—rather than simply pushing their product. That’s a lesson we all can learn from.

What do a car company, a cleaning product, and a social networking website have in common? In this case, they are all good examples of how to turn around a business in a year or less, leading your brand to the success you so desire. By learning from these business’s successes and adopting a few policies as your own, you can reach your goals and build a brand that customers can truly believe in.