Friday, September 6, 2013

A Worthless Brand

Many brands have very long lives. Coca-Cola, Guinness, Shell, to name just three. But there are also just as many brands that died. Atari, DeLorean, Polaroid. And one brand drew my attention because it became virtually worthless. 

I am referring to Billabong. This 40-year old surf brand has taken a devastating beating in the marketplace after the company’s losses tripled amid distressing store closures, deleterious employee terminations and a destructive breach of debt terms. What’s more, Billabong International Limited’s net tangible assets dived 86% during the year to eleven Australian cents per share. Founded in 1973 by Gordon Merchant, this brand helped sell Australian surfing culture worldwide and rose to a market value of A$3.84 billion ($3.45 billion) at its peak in 2007. Today, the brand is written down to a zero valuation.

Life is iffy - you never really quite know when a brand’s existence can be extinguished.

On Wednesday, I was at AFC House for the AFC Toastmasters meeting. An okay meeting overall but I was still disappointed because we were plagued by poor time management. We started ten minutes late and finished twenty-five minutes behind schedule! This looks like being a regular affair that it has become a permanent feature of this club! I suppose I should not really marvel at this feat because Malaysians are synonymous with rubber time. We seem to be unable to keep to time. It is a bad national habit that even Malaysian Toastmasters are blighted by it. The meeting scored a 2 out of 10!

Maybe I should suggest that we do away with the Timekeeper at Toastmasters meetings. What’s the point if we don’t respect time? 

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