Westinghouse: Reigniting a Powerhouse Brand
A pioneer in power generation. A forefather in developing the first electrical infrastructure in the United States. A dominant 20th century American brand.
It didn’t take long for Westinghouse to emerge as a chief industry leader in the United States. Founded in 1886, the company grew to be one of the premiere power companies the country had ever seen and by the latter half of the 20th century, Westinghouse had expanded its business success into radio broadcasting, elevators and consumer products, bringing in tremendous growth and skyrocketing sales for its shareholders.
Despite this tremendous long-term success, Westinghouse operations ceased during the late 1980s and early 1990s due to a few ill-timed business moves and a challenging economic climate. At the same time, Westinghouse had purchased CBS broadcasting as a means to diversify its portfolio and enter the still relatively new and very lucrative media business, as Westinghouse Broadcasting.
In 1997, with little remaining of the company aside from its broadcasting division, Westinghouse renamed itself to the CBS Corporation. In 2001, CBS came to LMCA looking, not just to bring back the iconic Westinghouse brand to the millions of Americans that grew up with it, but to introduce Westinghouse to an entirely new and younger audience as well.
Identifying licensees from the US and abroad, LMCA orchestrated deals that took Westinghouse into new and also familiar categories including Solar Energy, LCD TV’s, Monitors, Digital Media, Security Systems, and Mobile Accessories. Fast forward to today and the Westinghouse brand has over 28 licensees generating more than $3.9 Billion in annual sales for the company… without having to manufacture a single product on its own.
There are plenty of valuable benefits to brand licensing including increasing a company’s revenue, awareness and competitive strength, all of which can make a difference to a brand’s bottom line. It is estimated that roughly 70% of leading US-based brands employ licensing in one form or another, with corporate brand licensing being the fastest-growing segment of this lucrative and important strategic tool. Westinghouse is one such case of a success in licensing.
Through brand extension licensing, Westinghouse and LMCA created an extensive global program that reinvigorated and enhanced the company’s equity and brought the Westinghouse name back to life without any of the typical overhead costs of a traditional business. It is a vibrant 16-year partnership and an inspiring success story that LMCA is very proud to be a part of.