What happens to a major brand when its industry is in decline? Does its brand equity diminish and eventually disappear? Many of the most successful and best-loved companies have had to undergo transformations in order to confront industry shifts and adapt to changes in consumer behavior. In today’s world of strong competition and rapid technological growth, more and more companies have to find ways of coping with an endgame in order to maintain the longevity of their brand and sustain their bottom line. One brand that faced this dilemma head-on was the historic Winchester Repeating Arms Company. Their strategy provides a valuable case history on the benefits of brand extension licensing for companies looking to revitalize and grow their brand amidst challenging times.
Winchester, founded in 1866, set out to build the finest guns and ammunition possible, and they did. The company’s products earned a reputation for being highly reliable, prestigious and mechanically superior to its competitors. By the mid-twentieth century Winchester’s brand awareness ranked amongst that of the top brands in the world. The was “The brand that won the west”.