Recently, one of my children was suffering from a stomachache. Without a second thought, I went to the medicine cabinet and reached for the Pepto-Bismol. As part of the usual kid-versus-parent battle that ensued, I told that her that I had been taking this medicine since I was a little kid. That got me wondering: just how long has Pepto Bismol been around?
Turns out, much longer than I realized. This product was introduced in 1901 and branded Pepto-Bismol in 1919. The basic formula is sold under other names, but it’s the Pepto-Bismol brand that is firmly ingrained in consumers’ minds.
That made me curious. What other brands have been around so long that we don’t remember a time without them? Here is a short list:
Ford – Founded in 1903 and still the most successful American auto company. Ford has survived increased international competition and domestic economic recessions.
Coca-Cola – Started in 1886 and positioned as a medical elixir, this product is still hugely popular and sold in over 200 countries.
Hershey – Came into existence in 1894 and is the oldest and largest chocolate manufacturer in the U.S. While the company has introduced new products, the Hershey bar is still the most popular choice and has stayed basically the same over the years.
Kellogg’s – Began in 1906 and is the largest provider of cereals in the world.
Heineken – Introduced in the Netherlands in 1873, the company owns 119 different breweries and sells product in 65 countries. In spite of the brand’s age, it is often thought of as a “hip beer choice” here in the U.S.
Think about all the change the world has seen since these brands were developed – political, social, and economic. It is mind-boggling. And yet, not only have these brands survived, they’ve thrived. There is much conversation about which characteristics contribute to a brand’s success and longevity, but three that emerge frequently are passion, consistency, and company leadership.
What brands will our children take for granted as having been around forever – Apple, Nike, McDonalds? Time will tell.
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