The Death of Brands

Something is killing off brands in America.

Perkins.
Uno’s.
Marie Calendar’s.
Fresh Mex.
Bennigan’s.
Steak and Ale.

Who killed these brands?

Private equity. Over the past decade, private equity funds have bought up popular brands and essentially stripped them of assets by issuing debt, borrowing heavily against them, then keeping the proceeds.

Imagine dating someone, maxing out all their credit cards, keeping the cash or goods, and then dumping them.

That’s the corporate equivalent of what’s happening to a lot of brands that we know and love in America. As the bills for the debt come due, the brands and their associated companies go under.

The lesson for new media folks and social media folks is this – be VERY careful who you work with, who you allow to leverage your personal and media brand. As the economy trends ever downward, the need for our community to police itself grows ever greater. Rough times bring out rough characters. Just as there are large corporate raiders who strip companies and leave the husks of their brands on the side of the road to rot, there are equally predatory companies and individuals in every space. Do your due diligence, know what you’re getting into, read and understand EVERYTHING before you sign, and watch your back and the backs of your friends.

Watch your back.

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