Starbucks from Coffee to Wine to Food to Focus ?

Starbucks is the miracle story of a US-based company becoming the expert globally in selling quality coffee. The company gave us the concept of an extra living room, or as Starbucks says,’ the third place between work and home.’ The coffee is not cheap, but the perception (supported by the price) is that you get a quality cup. The company has tried several times to break out of the Coffee category but time after time realises that Focus on the Core remains the best strategy.

Back in 1971, the company was all about Coffee, Tea, and Spices. In 1987 the founders sold the company to Howard Schultz. Under Schultz, the company focused on coffee. It created a new logo, and gone were the Tea and Spices. The new logo linked the brand and category. Starbucks = Coffee. As a result, the company went through massive growth. Between 2005 and 2011, revenues increased from 494M to 1,246M, a staggering 152%.

By the end of 2010, the company was ready for more growth. The company took the thinking of a ‘third place between work and home’ to a new level. Their customer-led research revealed that ‘Starbucks customers are also wine enthusiasts’ and ‘Starbucks customers love beer too’. There was a demand for a casual meeting environment in the evening hours. Starbucks was going to fulfill that role and serve the customers what they enjoy: wine and craft beer. Starbucks became so much more than coffee alone. The logo was updated to reflect that. ‘Starbucks Coffee’ was removed.

The Starbucks website introduced the Evenings program :

‘Starbucks customers are already enjoying coffee at our stores in the evening, and now, they have more menu options including wine, craft beer, and small plates.’

‘Rachel Antalek, Starbucks in-house sommelier, led the Evenings team as they explored the world of wine, looking for the most interesting assortment that’s not only delicious, but a great value as well. The team evaluated different varietals of wine to offer the complex and unique flavors that customers expect from Starbucks.’

The menu consisted of ‘Savory small plates’ and ‘Perfectly paired wines’. Some tasty examples from the menu :

Truffle Mac & Cheese
Chicken Sausage & Mushroom Flatbread
Meatballs with Tomato Basil Sauce
Truffle Popcorn
Wines – Sparkling, White, Sparkling Rosé and Red
Craft Beer

The program grew eventually to 400 stores in the U.S. and locations outside the U.S. The 2015 annual stakeholders meeting listed the Evening Program as one of the seven strategies for growth :

‘By the end of 2019, we will double food sales in the Americas through breakfast, lunch, snacks and the Evenings program. We will grow our food business in the U.S. from 18% to 25% of revenues by the end of 2019 adding an additional $2 Billion to our base business.’

In 2016 Starbucks stopped the program. It failed. The official reason was a ‘counter service format’ issue:

‘It appears that this strategy did not work, especially since table service in the evenings conflicted with the counter service format in the mornings.’

Of course the Evenings program did not fail because of the counter service format. The Starbucks company forgot that the position of the brand in the minds of people is just Coffee. It was never about Evening food, wines, and craft beer. Just imagine people saying, ‘Let’s get a glass of wine at Starbuck’. Starbucks is not going to replace wine establishments or bars.

Once companies have put their minds to something, they do not give up. So Starbucks decided to take all the learnings from the Evening Program to create high-end Roastery stores. In 2019 Starbucks introduced six Reserve Roasteries around the world, in Seattle, Chicago, New York, Shanghai, Milan, and Tokyo. The Starbucks Reserve Roasteries serve ‘unique food and beverage experiences’. Once again everything is directly connected with Starbucks the coffee brand.

Starbucks keeps trying because food is a huge growth area. The mistake the company makes is to enter the food category with a coffee brand. Starbucks could have done a couple of things. First, it could have reinforced its leadership position in coffee by bringing the unique Reserve and Barrel-Aged Coffee from the Roasteries to some of its locations. Additionally, Starbucks should have expanded outside the box with the Conquer Strategy. Launch a new brand to grow in the evening food and drinks category. The new brand should operate in new locations, closer to where the bars and restaurants are.



This article is from the book Win With What – the first category-led growth book for anyone who wants their business to thrive and survive.

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Bugatti and TIDAL Audio – the brand partnership done right

Bugatti’s expansion beyond automobiles requires preserving its core values. Successful partnerships, like the one with TIDAL Audio, set new benchmarks in luxury and performance, offering customers unprecedented quality and exclusivity.

 

Founded in 1909 by the renowned Italian-born French automobile designer Ettore Bugatti, the Bugatti brand has a famous history of crafting the world’s most exclusive and sought-after performance automobiles.

Over a century later, Bugatti is embarking on an exciting journey to expand beyond automobiles and venture into new product categories, including residences, watches, and audio. Diversifying a brand into new territories is never easy. Typically, brand owners may assume that the reputation they’ve built in one domain will naturally translate into success in others. However, this assumption couldn’t be further from the truth.

Every product category has its own established leaders, benchmark products, and unique customer bases. To make a mark in multiple categories, a brand’s core essence must be deeply understood by a broad range of consumers. Apple serves as a prime example, where innovation and style of their products consistently redefine categories, from the original iPod in music players to the iPhone as first touch smartphone and now into spatial computing with VisionPro.

 

Preserving Bugatti’s core essence in brand expansion

The Bugatti brand is synonymous with its core values of unparalleled luxury, performance, and exclusivity. These are not just principles but are deeply embedded in each Bugatti automobile. When venturing into new categories, this same core essence must be seamlessly carried forward. Any deviation risks compromising the brand’s image, as customers of incomparable products or experiences expect nothing less of everything carrying the brand name. Growing the Bugatti brand equity will be the result of reinforcing the brand’s core in behavior, communication, and products. This disciplined approach will also help determine which categories are suitable for Bugatti’s expansion. It becomes evident why products like water bottles, eyewear, or clothing that could possibly marked as merchandising accessories should be excluded from consideration, while timeless products and experiences in domains such as residences and audio can naturally align with Bugatti’s essence.

Expanding Bugatti into a new category and maintaining alignment with the brand-core from the outset is a major challenge. Crafting luxury and performance objects of this level usually takes decades of perfection. Therefore, extending the Bugatti brand beyond automobiles calls for strategic partners upholding the same rigorous standards and values in everything the partner does, as anything less could adversely affect the image of Bugatti and that of the partner.

The mindset of delivering the incomparable brand experience must be embodied in everyone working at Bugatti and its partners. Just adding the Bugatti logo on a product and charging more does not authentically make it a Bugatti product. In fact, the strategy of “logo plastering” is likely to have a negatively impact the reputation of the brands involved. The long-term effects of off-brand experiences don’t outweigh the short-term speed in go to market and financial gains.

An illustrative example is a recent case where a(nother famous audio) manufacturer thought to justify a 65% price hike by simply adding red paint and a little black horse to an existing product, without delivering any real benefit for the buyer. Speaking of pricing, the brand Bugatti would never associate itself with “our offers” and “best prices”- that is why you will not find this on e.g. their automobile pages. Bugatti should therefore insist that its partners never feature “offers” and “best prices” on pages associated with the Bugatti brand. The value of incomparable cannot be summed up with a simple price tag.

 

Entering the world of audio with TIDAL for Bugatti

The collaboration with TIDAL Audio is an exemplary illustration of how to execute a brand partnership successfully. TIDAL Audio is renowned for its loudspeakers and electronics, recognized as “the best-looking, best-built, best-sounding” in the industry. Founded in 1999 by Jörn Janczak, the company was driven by the unwavering ambition to redefine sound quality. The essence of Bugatti, as articulated by Ettore Bugatti himself – “if comparable, it is no longer Bugatti” – mirrors the core philosophy of TIDAL Audio. Both brands share a dedication to setting benchmarks in luxury and performance, and they succeeded in achieving this ambitious goal.

The “TIDAL for Bugatti” range has elevated audio performance and luxury to unprecedented heights. The ROYALE loudspeakers embody the spirit and idea of offering second to none technologies, execution and performance not done before and according to the experts in the audio industry setting the new benchmark.

This brand partnership is truly the blueprint for successful collaborations. And when a partnership is done right the benefits are mutual. Bugatti makes its mark in the world of ultra-high-end audio, redefining the category according to industry press and reviews, while TIDAL Audio enters the world of ultra-luxury lifestyle.

Ultimately, customers seeking incomparable luxury, performance, and exclusivity emerge as the ultimate winners in this extraordinary collaboration, reaffirming both brands’ commitment to being truly unmatched.

 

Virgin – The Extension Empire

Virgin has extended to more categories than any other company. Does it do any good for the company?

The Entrepreneur Magazine did in June 2012 a special on Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin. The article opened up with the following:

‘Fueled by frustration with the status quo, Richard Branson built his Virgin Group empire attacking verticals that had long been dominated by lumbering legacy companies. Now he’s extending his entrepreneurial philosophies to a new market that’s out of this world.’

The extension referred to is Virgin Galactic, which aims to take people and satellites into space at ‘a fraction of the price it currently costs’.

The Virgin brand started as the label for a record shop founded in the 1970s. Currently, it operates in an extreme amount of categories. Virgin uses the simple Brand + Descriptor naming structure. The below list of extensions is directly from the Virgin Group website.

Entertainment: Virgin Racing, Virgin Bet, Virgin Books, Virgin Casino, Virgin Fest, Virgin Games, Virgin Megastore, Virgin Radio, Virgin Records

Health & Wellness: Virgin Active in Australia, Italy, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and UK, Virgin Care, Virgin Pulse, Virgin Pure

Money: Virgin Money

Technology: Virgin Connect Virgin Media & Media Business, Virgin Media Ireland, Virgin Mobile Canada, Chile, Colombia, Poland, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, Virgin telco

Travel & Leisure: Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, Virgin Balloon Flights, Virgin Experience Days, Virgin Holidays, Virgin Hotels, Virgin Hyperloop, Virgin Limited Edition, Virgin Voyages, Virgin Wines UK, Australia, and the USA.

Space: Virgin Galactic, Virgin Orbit

People & Planet: Virgin Money Giving, Virgin Startup

With this enormous list of companies and categories, most people think the Virgin Empire must be doing exceptionally well. The reality is that the group reported a profit in 2019 of £60 million, up from £53 million in 2018.

Virgin proves that a healthy business with a narrowly focused brand and a dominant market share is much better than having 30+ extensions with very low market shares.

Categories come and go… and with AI faster and more impactful than before

Like everything else, nothing remains the same forever. New categories are born, evolve, and eventually fade away. Every change in a category has an impact on the brands within it. In today’s AI-driven world, category changes are happening at a rapid pace. Are you prepared for a brand repositioning?

When categories split, the mindshare is distributed among subcategories. For instance, when the family car category split into hatchbacks, sedans, family SUVs, and family 4×4, the mindshare of brands spread across these new subcategories. Some subcategories may only appeal to car enthusiasts.

At times, categories become irrelevant. The phone category transitioned from analog cabled phones to mobile phones and finally to today’s smartphones. In each step, we witnessed a new leader emerge. Motorola, renowned for its analog cordless phones, introduced the StarTAC clamshell mobile phone in 1996. The StarTAC achieved massive success in the USA and featured in numerous Hollywood movies. However, it was Nokia that became globally synonymous with mobile phones. Nokia evolved the category by incorporating computer-like functions such as an address book, calendar, notes, and simple games.

New categories, new leaders

Nokia was the first to launch smartphones, although they still had keys and resembled traditional mobile phones. In 2007, Apple revolutionized the category with the launch of the iPhone, featuring a touch interface that marked a clear break from the mobile phone category. The iPhone kickstarted the modern smartphone category we know today, causing Nokia’s global dominance to fade away. Presently, the smartphone category hosts numerous brands like Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi, and Nokia, but it remains primarily dominated by Apple and Samsung.

Evolution of the phone category

 

In the phone category, the leading brand was able to evolve into the next category but never retained its leadership position. This pattern is not unique to phones but applies to nearly any evolving category.

AI accelerates category changes

Today, any category that can be AI-powered will undergo transformation. The keyword to watch out for is Smart: smart cars, smart watches, smart photo editing, smart ordering systems, and more.

When the leap from the current product or services to the smart counterparts is perceived as significant, it opens the door for a complete category shakeup, often accompanied by the emergence of new brands. We have witnessed this in the phone industry (Nokia to Apple) and the automotive industry, where underlying technological changes have been emphasized (leading to Tesla/Polestar). Similar “smart” shakeups will occur in many categories we currently take for granted, ranging from healthcare devices to photo editing software and customer support solutions.

For brands to survive within categories heavily affected by AI (which includes almost every category!), it is crucial to manage the category and brand association effectively and navigate the perceptual change of the brand in relation to the category’s evolution.

In my book Win With What I provide numerous methods and tools to help brands stay on the growth path or regain their position in a changing landscape.


This article is from the book Win With What – the first category-led growth book for anyone who wants their business to thrive and survive.

Get your preview at WinWithWhat.com

 

Start With Why to Win With What

When publishing a book with the title “Win With What – How Smart Companies Thrive and Survive” it is only natural to compare to the well-known book “Start With Why – how great leaders inspire anyone to take action” by Simon Sinek. In this post I explain why both approaches are needed in any successful business: you start with why to win with what.  

Start With Why

Sinek’s core idea is that by taking an inside-out approach, a company is much more effective in reaching its goals because employees are rallied around a shared belief. To inspire people to take action starts by giving a reason, the Why, and this is the reason the Why is at the core of the Golden Circle.

The Golden Circle (Simon Sinek)

 

A purposeful Why helps flow energy in the same direction – from How a company works, behaves, communicates and decides, to What is sold in terms of products and services.

Win With What

Without knowing the What, people will never experience the How or understand the Why. That is why the What is the outside layer of Sinek’s Golden Circle. Before getting interested, building desire, or making a purchase we must first know What the company, brand or product is.

When purchasing products or services, buyers take an outside-in or category-led approach.

Win With What advocates category-led growth because with a clearly defined What anyone can find, buy and promote a brand.

 



This article is from the book Win With What – the first category-led growth book for anyone who wants their business to thrive and survive.

Get your preview at WinWithWhat.com

 

How to start a movement and build brands in the marketplace?

The category comes first and the brand second. Once buyers understand the category and desire the products or services, they will look for credible brands. In this blogpost, four important aspects of brand building in the market are discussed. 

1. Get a follower

In the TED talk How to start a movement Derek Sivers shows how to create demand for a category in real life. He features a video of a guy dancing in a park full of people. At some point, the dancing guy gets a follower, and a movement starts to form. Sivers says:

‘It is the first follower that transforms a lone nut into a leader. The second follower is a turning point: it’s proof the first has done well. Now it’s not a lone nut, and it’s not two nuts. Three is a crowd, and a crowd is news. Everyone needs to see the followers because new followers emulate followers — not the leader.’

Brands need to go through the same process, growing desire for their category and connecting their brand to it. The dancing guy was not promoting himself. He did not do any advertisements. He just performed the act of dancing and got people interested. Successful brands promote their exciting category (the What of the brand) to get followers. Once people realize how it benefits and affect them positively the brand becomes an easier purchase.

2. Get people interested using the Stadium Pitch

An effective way to build a brand is by educating people about the category and using the brand as a prime example. The late Chet Holmes called this the Stadium Pitch. The idea is that a brand can take the stage with an audience that can leave at any moment. The purpose is to grab anyone’s attention and keep them as long as possible inside the stadium.

An ineffective Stadium Pitch would be something like ‘The top five reasons why you should buy my organic juice’. Probably only a few people are at the moment of pitching really interested in organic juice with an empty stadium as a result.

A much more effective Stadium Pitch starts by building the overall category and then slowly narrowing down to the category (the What) and finally the brand. An effective opening would be ‘The top five effective ways to improve your health right now’. The first way to improve health will have nothing to do with the organic juices the brand is selling. Towards the last step, the audience can relate the concept of Health with Organic juices, and the brand can start promoting the category. All the critical criteria for healthy organic juices can be reviewed. Of course, the brand fulfills all of them and many more! The presenter was a category educator and became a salesperson only in the very last step.

3. Get other people to talk about your brand

One of the best ways to promote the category and the brand is to have other people write or talk about it. When people read, hear, or see about categories and brands on trusted blogs, video channels, or review sites, they are more inclined to explore further. Credible voices in the Earned channel are required in building the category and attaching the brand to it. Established brands require a continuous stream of substantially new products, features, or stories to keep the Earned media interested. Without anything new, a brand becomes old news fast.

The brands’ Own channels are essential. Think of the brands’ social media accounts, website, and blogs. In the Own channels, it is also about creating a desire for the category/ the What. Research firm Nielsen published for years the report ‘Global Trust in Advertising’16. Every year, the most trusted type of ‘advertising’ is recommendations from friends and family. The second place is the brands’ website underlining that people do not expect a company or brand to lie on their own site.

Advertisements lack the credible voices of the Earned channel. The brand speaks in the Bought channel. People have learned how to read, watch or listen to advertisements. Contrary to what companies think, advertisements are not ranked high in trust. In the Gallup annual figures of the image of professions ranked by honesty and ethics, Advertising practitioners are at the bottom together with members of Congress and car salespeople.

Gallup Honesty and Ethics ranking – January 2020

The role of the Bought advertising channel should be to maintain or defend an already established position inside a category. Advertising should reinforce the unique What, the product, and benefits. Refrain from the fluffy ‘feel good’ commercials as these do not reinforce the position of the brand in de minds of people.

4. Keep excitement and interest high

Every brand has the task of keeping the excitement and interest in the category high. The excitement in the category will benefit every brand inside the category, relative to the market and mind share each brand has. The more the category remains on the radar of potential buyers, the more people will eventually convert and make a purchase.

 



This article is from the book Win With What – the first category-led growth book for anyone who wants their business to thrive and survive.

Get your preview at WinWithWhat.com

 

ORGANICS by Red Bull – Great range wrong endorsement

Red Bull is the best-known energy drink globally. In 2019 Red Bull sold a stunning 7.9 billion cans. In a search for growth markets, the Red Bull company found the market for all-natural organic sodas. ‘ORGANICS by Red Bull’ stands for everything Red Bull is not: all-natural.

The Red Bull slogan ‘Red Bull gives you wings’ summarizes the brand very well. To get the drinker energized, Red Bull contains four key ingredients: caffeine, taurine, B-group vitamins, and sugars.

The brand has organized itself around the Energy Drinks category by connecting itself with high-energy sports, like Formula 1 and Football clubs. The brand is engaged in events like the Red Bull Stratos, where the Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner performed a free fall from approximately 39 kilometers / 24 miles above the Earth. Red Bull gives you wings.

In a search for growth markets, the Red Bull company found the market for natural products. In 2008 Red Bull introduced to several countries an all-natural Cola containing just natural flavoring and caffeine. The issue is not the category or product but the name. Red Bull Cola is Red Bull and Red Bull = Energy Drinks that are anything but all-natural. Red Bull Cola did not go well. In late 2011 Red Bull decided to only sell Cola in Austria and Germany with limited availability outside these core markets.

Once a company has identified a growth market, it will try to find a way to take the opportunity, even more, when the current business is going well. Red Bull decided to take another chance by introducing the new label ‘ORGANICS by Red Bull’ and expanding the all-natural range of sodas.

ORGANICS by Red Bull stands for everything Red Bull is not:

ORGANICS by Red Bull are made with ingredients from natural sources and are certified organic in accordance with the USDA National Organic Program.

Four Distinctive Varieties. Organic Sodas, Not Energy Drinks.

ORGANICS by Red Bull do not contain artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, GMOs, or other artificial ingredients. The end result is four distinct, great-tasting, and refreshing organic sodas made for your enjoyment.

It is clear that the perception problem remains:

Q: Are the new ORGANICS by Red Bull products energy drinks?

A: The new ORGANICS by Red Bull products are not energy drinks; they are lightly carbonated, organic soft drinks with a distinctive taste.

Unfortunately, the faith of ORGANICS by Red Bull will be similar to the fate of Red Bull Cola. In the mind of consumers, Red Bull = Energy Drinks. Nothing else. It is clear that Red Bull GmbH wants to succeed in the all-natural organic soda category. Success and growth are possible, but the What (Organic sodas) requires association with a different brand name and company name – removing all connections to Red Bull or Red Bull GmbH.



This article is from the book Win With What – the first category-led growth book for anyone who wants their business to thrive and survive.

Get your preview at WinWithWhat.com

 

 

Mercedes-Benz may drop its “EQ” branding

Mercedes-Benz is starting to solve its confusing portfolio.  Reuters reports that Mercedes is to drop the EQ product brand.

The Mercedes-Benz portfolio is confusing as I detailed in a previous post in Oct 2021. One of the most striking examples of bad portfolio branding and execution is the Mercedes-EQ product branding for all-electric cars.

“EQS by Mercedes-EQ”

There is so much wrong with that sentence. The car EQS is a model by Mercedes-Benz, not by the Mercedes-EQ model family. And of course, in the Mercedes-Benz context, there is no need to repeat the company brand at all.

A much better solution would have been “New era: the EQ line for all-electric”.

Mercedes-Benz took (I guess) the internal organizational division between Gasoline and EV very seriously and launched an entirely new line of cars, even though in terms of actual car type/categories (SUV, limousine etc) the electric cars are the same as the combustion engine car brothers and sisters.

The combustion engine B on the left, the electric on the right. Same category, same design but a  different name.

A much better solution would have been to just use the EQ moniker to indicate the EV variant, similar to the fully descriptive “Plug-in Hybrid” to indicate the hybrid variant.

 

All Electric

The removal of EQ as a complete product line might take some time:

“The decision is based on Chief Executive Ola Kaellenius’ focus on electric-only cars, making the EQ brand redundant as Mercedes turns away from the combustion engine, Handelsblatt cited the sources as saying.”

In other words: Mercedes-Benz is not really intending to provide portfolio clarity or remove the EQ as a separate line. The company is simply replacing all combustion engine cars with fully electric cars.

The executed Switch Strategy does not come without risk. It is all about the ‘old’ gasoline car brands versus the ‘new’ electric car brands in a category shift. To compete in electric,  Mercedes-Benz will need to be more convincing in the buyer’s mind than the perceived leader in electric.  This means that when a consumer is in the market for an electric luxury SUV, the Tesla Model X has the leadership perception in terms of technology over the Mercedes-Benz GLC EQ.

Mercedes-Benz could have followed the Conquer Strategy, usually the safest and cleanest route to execute the company’s transition into a new category.



Read more about the Conquer and Switch Strategy in the book Win With What – the first category-led growth book for anyone who wants their business to thrive and survive.

Get your preview at WinWithWhat.com

 

Do you want to wake up with a nice cup of Mars, Twix, or Milky Way coffee?

The golden rule of branding is simple: extend your business, not your brand. Say hello to brand extensions gone crazy, and meet the Mars, Twix, and Milky Way coffee capsules.

Recently I walked into an XXL version of the Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn. It is always interesting to see what products are sold in these bigger supermarkets.

In the coffee section, I noticed immediately the candy bar coffee cups. They were hard to miss, conveniently positioned at eye height.

 

When expanding the business there is a natural tension between brand owners and brands. Brand owners love their brands and find it natural to extend them into new and different categories. Brands, on the other hand, want to stay focused and become the leader of their category. Brands are right. Think about football players for a moment. Have you ever seen a premium league football player and gymnastic athlete in the same person? Of course not. Sports managers would not even consider their athletes to focus on many sports at the same time. They do not even remotely believe ‘their’ athlete might become leading in both fields.

The same goes for brands people buy. When a know or leading candy bar brand sells coffee cups, does that make them a leader in coffee? Not for those who care about coffee! In their minds, the quality of the focused brand is always better. The thinking goes, ‘if they only do that, the brand must be good’.

Mars and many other candy bar brands love to explore line extensions, probably from the believe that it is good to have consumers to engage with the brand at many different points of sale, functioning as a reminder for the real deal (the candy bar). It seems to me though that while that might be working it cannot be that buyers take a known Candy bar brands serious in coffee. In the same way chocolate bars of the “Hawaii Premium Kona Coffee Company” would not be taken serious by candy bar lovers either.

My advice is simple: keep your brand focused within the category it is known for. Any side steps will cost money, which needs to be balanced carefully against the value of the brand reminder. In other words: what is the loss in revenue for Mars candy bars if there are no Mars coffee cups at all.

Now I do have a question: who has purchased “Candy Bar” Coffee? Or other products like chocolade drinks, ice creams? Please leave your thoughts in the comments.

The End of Facebook

Meta is running the last leg of its once so-popular social media platform Facebook: Facebook is on its way out.

In 2013 the Facebook CFO already warned of upcoming problems in the Q3 2013 earnings call “We did see a decrease in daily users partly among younger teens. … This is of questionable significance.”

In 2015 I concluded that Facebook, the brand leader of the extensive category social network, will eventually face issues with focused brands taking small bites out of the big pie and capturing users from the leader (link).

The combination of brand decline with the youth (= looking for another brand than Facebook) and new brands coming in (Snapchat, Insta, TikTok, and many more) eventually will lead to the end of Facebook. Facebook is not attracting the youth and grows along with the old.

In 2018 while teaching second-year students, I learned that the Facebook issues were more significant than I had thought: a few of the100 students used Facebook very specifically to browse posts. They did not post anything themselves.

Recently I decided to recheck the Facebook status with a large group of students. The trend has only gotten worse: Facebook is hardly in use with the group <25 years – not even to browse posts.

The generalist category “social network” is disappearing; with it, the brand Facebook will eventually disappear.

The company’s rebranding from Facebook to Meta was a vital move. Under Meta, each product brand can flourish without a link to the fading Facebook brand.  

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