The Fall of Blockbuster


Unfortunately, I see companies all the time that do not understand what true branding is. They fail to realize that you have to be fully utilizing the brand to achieve those desired objectives and goals. When there is this disconnect, companies are not making the most out of their branding and marketing investment. A large number of business leaders either don’t understand the power of their brand or utilize the brand to achieve all the things they have been working so hard to accomplish. What I mean by this is that these business leaders fail to look at their brand holistically. It is more than just a simple logo or clever brand name, it is fully harnessing your brand through marketing, sales, and internal operations. You are truly wasting away one of your most valuable assets if you do not look at your brand in this light. Yes, branding in the past has been fuzzy and difficult to really understand and quantify, but branding today has to be an effort that each and every Brand Champion uses to position themselves and their company for success.  Not doing so would be one of the 7 Deadly Sins that a Brand Champion has to avoid.

Let’s take a look at an example of not utilizing your brand to achieve your goals and objectives:


Blockbuster started in the mid 80’s and quickly became the 800 pound gorilla of the video rental industry, evolving to over 60,000 employees, with 9,000 stores, earning $5.9 billion in revenue at its peak in 2004; they were the place we all used to go to rent our videos. In fact, in the 1980’s Blockbuster was opening a new store location every 24 hours! Even in the movie “Notting Hill” Hugh Grant tried to pass off his Blockbuster card as his press credentials. Yes, Blockbuster was everywhere!

Blockbuster was the major player in the video rental market; they had the brand, the money,  and the market share to to do anything they wanted to do, including investing in technology and new ways to deliver their product to market. Blockbuster built and used their brand very effectively to grow into a major business power for the first 20 years of their existence. The branding sin Blockbuster committed was not utilizing their brand to continue to achieve their goals and objectives like they should have.

When Blockbuster was at it’s height, they had the brand and the power to be the best in their space. In 2000, before Netflix was the king of video streaming, they had offered themselves to be acquired by Blockbuster for only $50 million. Blockbuster declined the offer, which may have been the biggest branding sin and business blunder of all time! Today, Blockbuster is bankrupt and had to close all of its stores, whereas Netflix has just surpassed 50 million subscribers. You see, companies that don’t utilize their brand to position themselves to achieve their goals and objectives are committing one of the biggest branding sins!

Are you utilizing your company’s brand to achieve your business and personal goals and objectives? If not, it is definitely time to start thinking differently! We work way too hard to not be setting ourselves and our businesses up to accomplish the bigger picture goals and objectives we want to achieve beyond the standard nine to five workday. Instead we should be thinking about crushing our goals and objectives to set ourselves, stakeholders, family, and employees up for the rest of our lives.

Don’t become like Blockbuster and miss out on utilizing your brand to set yourself up to achieve your goals and objectives. Instead, start thinking about how you can be the best brand and use the brand that you have worked so hard to create to get to where you want to be for the rest of your life. Take the reigns Brand Champion, and start harnessing the power of your brand to get to where you want to be!

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