4 Zombie Businesses That Came Back To Life
What is a zombie business, you might ask? It is the undead of the business world; a business that was just teetering on the brink of death and somehow managed to survive. Here is a list of 4 companies that came back to life after almost dying.
You may be surprised to learn that the first business to make this list is Apple. In 1985, Apple was in its death throes after firing Steve Jobs. The company was making products that simply did not work, which caused the business to go into a period of stagnation. PCs and Windows took full advantage of this.
In 1997, Apple was resurrected when they were wise enough to rehire Steve Jobs. Immediately, Jobs streamlined the company and cut Apple’s product line down from 15 to just 4. Additionally, he unified sales under an exclusive national dealer, rehired an old ad agency that got Mac a 1984 TV spot with which to launch. The ad agency changed the marketing campaign to Think Different.
Jobs then terminated licensing deals that were letting Apple knock offs slip through the cracks. Essentially, he went on an innovative rampage. Apple’s income went from $816 million in 1996 to $25,922 billion in 2011.
Lego is the second company on this list. It started out strong: from 1932 into the late 90s, Lego was one of the top toy manufacturers. However, in the early 2000s, sales dropped a whopping 40 per cent, causing the company to push the brink of bankruptcy.
Lego was doing badly because it lost its core values. It unsuccessfully attempted to combat video games with a multi-media approach, it wanted to branch out into a lifestyle brand and the sets became too complicated. Average pieces in the set went from 7,000 to 12,400.
Lego sold off each portion of the business that was not integral to its core product in March 2004. Selling off its theme parks and video games, it worked its way back up into top ranks. Today, Lego is the fastest growing and most profitable toy company in the industry.
Ford is the third company on this list. In 2005, Ford’s corporate bonds were made worthless. This was due to high costs of health care for its older workforce, astronomical gas prices and depending too heavily on the plummeting sales of SUVs.
2008 marked the worst new vehicle market in history. Surprisingly, Ford was the only car company in the country to survive the recession because of their bet-the-company decision in 2006. They wound up refocusing their branding and started selling Jaguar, Ashton Martin, Volvo and Land Rovers.
Old Spice is last on this list. They were dying because their brand loyalty was from 73 years ago, their marketing was old and stale and their target audience was literally dying off. The company got it back together when they updated their ad campaign to appeal to a younger generation.
This has been a list of 4 zombie businesses that came back to life after almost dying. Hopefully someone can learn from the mistakes of others.