Building a Brand For The Long-Term

What do businesses like Macy’s, Colgate and Dr. Pepper have in common? To start, they all began in the 1800’s. In an article from 2016 on the site Leadership Review the author Steve Olenski of Forbes writes that brands like Macy’s, Colgate and Dr Pepper share similar traits in their longevity.

In short, he believes, these are the ways they have stood the test of time.

  1. They make promises and keep them. Customers can trust that their experience with the brand will be consistent.
  2. They connect with customers emotionally.
  3. They evolve with the times but their values and promises stay the same.
  4. They continue to stand out.
  5. They ignore negatives.
  6. They know the right places to reach their customers.


According to the site Storebrands, Macy’s is known for a “Broad selection of private brand products…in apparel and home and housewares.” Based on this description we can guess that their promise is to offer customers a wide selection and that they’ve kept that promise throughout the centuries. According to recent articles, Macy’s is currently “evolving with the times” by creating a private brand strategy to capture more millennial shoppers. In what ways do you think they connect emotionally to their consumers? How are they standing out from the competition?


According to an article on the site IIDE, Colgate is known for “high quality oral hygiene…at fair and affordable prices.” The brand makes toothbrushes, toothpaste and oral hygiene products. They focus primarily on their toothpaste product and watch pricing of competitors closely. They are “evolving with the times” by continually expanding their product line. Colgate stands out in the minds of consumers for their red packaging. They have used celebrities in their advertising to create a connection. Are these brand habits keeping with the longevity traits mentioned above?


An online article on shared some of Dr. Pepper’s Brand Strategy. The story hints at their promise to customers in their mention that the soft drink has a “Primary Need (Job To Be Done) to get a soft drink that breaks away from standard flavor profiles.” The brands “evolving with the times” is shown through an article on MBA Skool, which states that “they keep coming up with new taste and utility product(s) according to the needs and demands of customers.” They have reached out to consumers through motion pictures and football and have a heavy presence on social media. That sounds like they know where their customers are at.

So, which of these six traits does your brand or business share with these long-term products? Why not incorporate some of these strategies into your campaign? Will your brand still be around in a hundred years?