Wednesday, 5 October 2011

We're going through changes.

After enjoying the last few days of a belated Indian summer here in the UK, the reality of shorter days and longer nights has hit me and I'm ready to adjust to a lack of melatonin, premature Christmas marketing and Autumn fashion.  I know this probably sounds like a dreary start to a blog post but on a more positive note I'm grateful that here in UK we have 4 seasons and that on 4 occasions during the year we adjust and adapt without really thinking about it, a kind of organic adjustment we've learnt over time.  

Change isn't for everyone though and I think quite a few people would opt against it if they had the choice.  I've come to realise this more as I've recently started working for world-famous chocolate brand Cadbury who, as most of you will be aware, got bought out by Kraft Foods over a year ago.  I'm fortunate to be surrounded by incredible heritage dating back to 1824 of one of the most revolutionary businesses built on Quaker roots (a Christian movement devoted to peaceful principles).  Having been bought out by Kraft Foods it's quite straightforward to appreciate the advantage from a business point of view but, of course, there's a deeper fundamental issue of 2 companies built from different viewpoints, cultures, morals and objectives combining their skills and working together.  

Apart from the obvious perks of being surrounded by chocolate all day (which eventually puts you off eating it by the way) I'm really enjoying being involved in the transition of one of my favourite brands and once again working with some bright and ambitious people.  

Brands are built on ideas, thoughts and beliefs and it's interesting how many have maintained these over the years, take a look at some famous brand evolution below:

Starting off as a mail order boutique famed for selling celebrity style dresses in the 1960's 

Maintaining the brands art deco logo Biba was revived when House of Fraser successfully bought the company which is now regarded as high end boutique

A subsidiary of Mars, Opal Fruits first came onto the market in 1959, the brand name was phased out due to the sweets being introduced in the U.S. as Starburst and the former name slowly being phased out over time.  Personally I don't think they ever tasted the same after the name change.  

Trained as a tailor in Germany, Levi Strauss started off selling tents to minors and then moved onto making hard-wearing workwear which had copper rivets to strengthen stress points on work trousers.  

Levi's are still known for their hard-wearing jeans but the brand has evolved from workwear to the denim of choice for young fashionistas and also has a large vintage following

Founded in 1858, Rowland Hussy Macy opened his first store specialising in dry goods and on his first day his sales reached $280, from then on Macy's enjoyed steady success.

Today Macy's is the world's largest department store and has held an annual Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in NYC since 1924 adding to it's contribution of American heritage.  An interesting fact about the logo is that the store's logo has always had a star in it which comes from a tattoo that Rowland Macy had as a teenager.

Even though I think change makes people ambitious and visionary I am a true believer that you need to maintain the same beliefs you had initially for a brand, business or idea to grow, evolve and be increasingly successful.  

I'll leave you with a great quote I found:

"We did not change as we grew older; we just became more clearly ourselves."


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