Lessons To Learn From the Oldest Brands

There are some brands that have been around for ages, whose products you’ve consumed from childhood right into adulthood. It could be your favorite soft drink or your default fast food joint. You may have reached a point where you can’t imagine yourself wearing sneakers from any other brand.

Some of these brands have been through World Wars, economic recessions and global pandemics yet still thrive, outlasting generations of startups seeking to dethrone them. What makes these businesses continue to sell and make profits even when the world is in undergoing upheaval?

The average lifespan of a normal business is around 15 years, ending up either in bankruptcy or being acquired by a stronger player in the market. How have those timeless brands managed to stay the course over centuries, maintaining the same standards that have kept their customers loyal? Here are some of their secrets.

Brand Purpose

The best brands came up with a unique way to position their brand and have consistently stuck to it through the years. Their competitors and new pretenders to the throne may have gone through several rebranding campaigns, but some of those old brands have stuck to their winning formula. They recognize that there is value in sticking to the colors and values that their loyal customers have become accustomed to.

Family-owned businesses are a good chunk of those old brands that have been with us for centuries. Each generation of entrepreneurs passes the same values and mission to the next, ensuring the original brand purpose is not lost.

Attaching their brand to traditions or rituals that certain communities have upheld has seen some brands become entrenched into a common culture. This is how Zildjian cymbals have become an integral part of rock ‘n’ roll and America’s culture as a whole. 

Their focus has remained on producing the best quality cymbals despite venturing into the production of different parts of drums and, more recently, apparel.   

Marketing Efforts

Some of the older brands have used the same logo for hundreds of years. Is it that they are too lazy or stingy to update their branding? No, it’s because a lot of thought went into creating a symbol that communicated all the positive values they wanted to project to current and future customers.

If you have a logo that communicates trust, sophistication, confidence and beauty, you don’t have to change it just because your competitors are updating theirs. In addition to creating visual brands that are associated with all the right things, the bigger brands have the expertise to know the channels through which to send their brand messaging for maximum impact.

Whether they’re using traditional or digital channels, successful brands keep their image and messaging consistent, engendering a sense of trust. This is why folks of all ages have come to associate Coca-Cola with fun and refreshment and Nike with high athletic performance.

Do you run a small business in the Big Apple and have no idea how to replicate the success of the more established brands have had with their marketing efforts? Link up with a top advertising agency in New York. You can leverage their expertise to come up with effective campaigns to help you begin to gain traction.

User Experience

If you want to stand out from the sea of competitors in your niche, you need to offer buyers of your products a memorable experience. Over and above your product meeting the user’s need, it should offer them a sense that the manufacturer cared more about them experiencing real value than making a quick sale.

You should also demonstrate to your target audience that you care about the things they hold dear. This is why established clothing brands like Adidas are turning to sustainable materials and letting their customers know about it.  


The big brands are usually the first to come up with innovative solutions to problems. They are more willing to take risks when it comes to rolling out new product lines to appeal to a different segment. Or adding features to existing products that they feel will give users more value.

You could argue that established firms have the money to put into research and development, hence their ability to take chances on the unknown. But you have to have the foresight and the appetite for risk to take risks and reap the rewards.  

Staying Power

How can you give your brand the kind of staying power you see in big brands? Decide what your brand will look like and stand for and stick with your decision through thick and thin. Ensure there is consistency in how you present your brand across all platforms. Lastly, focus on your customers and create an experience that will keep them coming back.