Annually, brand-building expert Denise Lee Yohn compiles a list of brands to watch in 2019 for Forbes. Denise is a leading authority on building and positioning exceptional brands having worked more than 25 years with big names such as Sony and Frito-Lay.
In 2019, she estimates that many brands will undergo significant changes from category disruption to stiff competition and navigating an economy that will likely slow down at the end of the year.
She than lists one brand for each of letter of the alphabet that she’ll be watching over the course of the new year. Below is a handful of brands, read the whole piece here.
A Amazon. No surprise, Amazon will dominate the headlines. Increased competition for its voice-activated services and devices and its unfolding retail strategy (Go, 4-Star Stores and Whole Foods Market) will be newsworthy items. Plus, we’ll likely see the company make some bold moves in light of slowing Prime membership growth. And although the decision about the location of its new headquarters has been made (NYC and D.C.), the fallout–including reduction in its business with FedEx, NIMBY resistance from the selected local communities and increasing criticisms about tax breaks it receives–will continue.
D Disney. The Disney and Fox merger creates a lot of upside and opportunities, including the creation of a new powerhouse entertainment property portfolio (from Star Wars to The Simpsons) and the advancement of Disney’s planned direct-to-consumer digital and streaming plays. But the new organization will have to overcome some challenges, including minimizing distractions from executive shakeups and layoffs and integrating two very different corporate cultures.
G Google. There are several story lines that make Google one of the Brands to Watch in 2019. First, corporate culture: Last month 20,000 employees walked off the job over the company’s handling of sexual misconduct accusations, and earlier in 2018, employees protested the company’s involvement in an Air Force artificial intelligence project. This employee activism and its test of CEO Sundar Pichai’s leadership is likely to continue. Also, Google hired its first health strategy leader, presumably to synthesize the company’s fragmented health initiatives into a well-funded push to become a formidable health care player. Plus, there’s all the Google hardware developments (Home, Pixel, Slate) to watch.
M #MeToo. The #MeToo movement has been in full force for over a year now, with widespread and transformational impact. Now, though, the movement is meeting some backlash. Case in point: The New York Times recently reported that Hollywood has been stricken by a “profound malaise” due to the fear and tension #MeToo has caused. Given this, it’s unclear if #MeToo will grow beyond prompting the public shaming and employment termination of offenders to affect more systemic change in organizations and culture at large — or if it will encounter a glass cliff, like the many women who managed to shatter the glass ceiling only to get pushed or fall into failure.
N Netflix. Customers’ love for Netflix may soon be tested. The direct-to-consumer streaming video segment is getting awfully crowded with Amazon, Apple, and other tech giants growing their content businesses while traditional media players including Disney and Warner Media plan to launch in 2019. And since Netflix has been burning cash at an annual rate of $3 billion, it has limited ability to fight a costly content or pricing war. As a business, Netflix may still have a lot of growth potential, but as a brand, it may find itself competing against more attractive suitors.
Denise Lee Yohn inspires, informs, and instructs organizations and leaders to develop a completely different way of thinking about their business. A sought-after speakers, she provides her audiences with provocative insights, powerful case studies, and practical tools and approaches to implement right away.
From national conferences to CEO peer groups to corporate meetings, Denise’s audiences learn how to transform their organizations and their brands. Interested in learning more about Denise and what she can bring to your next event? Email us at [email protected].