Historic Brands: Goodyear

With this post I’ll be launching a series of articles about historic brands. I’m launching this feature with Goodyear, the tire and rubber company founded in 1898.

So why this series? I’ve blogged before about heritage being a differentiator for a brand. So here are examples of some companies using their heritage to good advantage. Also, in this series I hope to demonstrate how brands evolve. They do. They must keep up with the times.

And though Goodyear (I initiate this series with Goodyear because they were the first example that came up on a Google search for “historic brands”) does not demonstrate much in the way of their brand evolution, the Goodyear website does point out three elements that have served them well over time.

1901 Goodyear logoThe first is the use of the winged foot in their logo. The winged foot has been part of the logo since 1901. Modified, yes, but still recognized after 107 years.

Second is a tagline it adopted in 1916, “More people ride on Goodyear tires than on any other kind”. It’s still used today.

And finally, there are the blimps.

The first was commissioned in 1925, and since then, it has served the company well. Note the recent commercials featuring two pilots.

Goodyear has been flying a blimp since 1925

Additionally, Goodyear is proud of their innovations over time. They tout being the first to…

Earn a patent for a tubeless automobile tire – 1903…
Introduce the first all-weather diamond tread non-skid tire – 1908…
Produce the first pneumatic rubber airplane tire – 1909…
and the list goes on.

All these innovations and other events of which Goodyear is proud can be found on their heritage site.

So the lesson here: plan your initial brand as if it will be serving you for many, many years with only slight modification. That means not adhering to fads and trends while developing brands, but to express the fundamental core of the brand.

Martin Jelsema

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