Throughout its history, the Segway PT was directly responsible for notable accidents with various celebrities
For example, the brand caused falls (without further damage) to both President George W. Bush and athlete Usain Bolt.
Ironically it also caused the death of billionaire Jim Halsenden, 10 months after buying the company.
Within the minds of consumers there are some products and models that have become part of popular culture. More than one brand, Kleenex-style, became synonymous with an entire industry. There are also companies that with a campaign, such as Budweiser’s Whassup or Coca-Cola’s Christmas activations, transcended the commercial market. And there are other cases that will live in the memory of consumers for the wrong reasons.
This seems to be the case with the iconic Segway PT transport platform. According to AP, the brand responsible for this equipment (particularly popular in the tourism and security industries) will stop producing the vehicle on July 15. Through a statement, the company’s president, Judy Cai, announced this decision. He reaffirmed that, even though sales of the model were affected by the pandemic, it was not the reason behind this action.
However, the death of this brand is unlikely to represent a particular blow to the economy of the company as a whole. In 2019, the Segway PT is estimated to have been just 1.5 percent of global revenue. But this decision will have repercussions for dozens of employees involved in its manufacturing. 12 people will be fired in a couple of weeks, while another 21 will only keep their place between two months and a year.
The impact of the death of a brand
Even if the Segway PT was not such an important product for your company, it does reflect the death of other units and products in recent months. The most relevant brand in this regard has been the Beetle de Volskwagen (VW), which said goodbye to the world last year. Last May, Walmart wiped out Jet.com because it was no longer serving its business model. And at this point last year, Nike said it would ditch the iconic Hurley for its low sales.
Even when it comes to products as unsuccessful and economically impractical as the Segway PT, the death of a brand can be a difficult process. Especially if the product in question has become such a significant part of popular culture. The company would be losing perhaps not such an important asset in sales, but rather one of its biggest promoters of the business. So, in terms of marketing, the decision could be disastrous.
But at the same time, the brand can do Segway one last favor before it vanishes. VW, for example, exploited to exhaustion the exit of its Beetle from the market. So this iconic vehicle managed to give its owner one last big boost of reputation. Perhaps this company could do the same with this personal vehicle. While as a product, you may not have been as loved as the beetle, you can still create an impact project to fire him.
Popular culture and advertising
It must also be recognized that, along with Segway, more than one brand has earned a crucial place in the idiosyncrasy of many cultures and communities. For example, P&G has made great efforts to ensure that its conglomerate maintains a close relationship with the LGBT + community. Bachoco has also become an example without equal in the advertising sector in Mexico. And Barbie is so popular that other businesses help her with her marketing.
This relationship between a brand and popular culture is very valuable for companies, in commercial terms. According to Highs Nobiety, only a few companies like Benetton and MTV have really managed to elevate all of their companies to a higher level in this regard. In Digital Reflections data, what is popular can also be used to drive a good or service. And according to Minutes, today it can easily be done with memes and trends.
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