The Secrets of Long-Standing Brands

The Secrets of Long-Standing Brands


How is it that some brands have stood the test of time despite a market where visual trends change by the minute, technology is always advancing and culture is constantly shifting? Brands have two options: they can either ignore these obstacles and become irrelevant, or they can adapt and remain a strong presence in their respective markets.


There are three things that all long-standing brands have in common: they are consistent, true to themselves and they adapt when necessary. A brand achieves consistency when they remain aligned with their values and mission over time. This is executed through actions and can also be communicated visually. Let’s take a look at a few brands that have successfully achieved consistency in their lifetime:

Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany & Co. is a great example of a brand that has remained persistent over their lifespan. Tiffany has been around since 1847, and in their 175 years, their logo has remained the same.



This isn’t something that would work for every company, but in the case of Tiffany, it only strengthens their brand. They have a clear vision to be the arbiters of taste and style. Every choice they make must fall in line with that vision. The longer they exist in the world of luxury, the more desirable they become and they have a strong understanding of this. Tiffany is most famous for their signature Tiffany Blue, which has been an unwavering element in their branding. Even Tiffany must still make an effort to remain relevant in their industry. They implemented very subtle rebranding in recent years, which focused on scaling of their logo on bags, boxes and other materials, to achieve a modern high-end feel. They also made small changes that focused on giving customers a more luxurious experience through material choices.



The Ritz-Carlton

The Ritz-Carlton has a rich history, originally founded by Caesar Ritz, the King of hoteliers and hotelier of kings. The first US Hotel was founded in 1911, but The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC was not formed until 1983. Through many acquisitions, the Ritz has still maintained its original purpose of creating a luxurious, elevated hotel experience. The logo reinforces the brands historic relevance by showcasing the British Royal Seal and a lion, which represents a financial backer.Changes were made to the branding in 2015 that may not have been recognized by the average consumer, but the brand cited that with the change in the hotel industry, they needed to keep up with the modern luxury consumer that prioritizes unique experiences when choosing their destination. They created new brand standards with the overall goal of achieving consistency in experience while also allowing every location to have a unique sense of identity. Visual changes were made to modernize the type, the balance of their logo and they changed their signature blue, amongst other changes. Over-all, The Ritz recognized where they needed to pivot and it paid off, allowing them to remain a staple in the luxury hotel market.




Undoubtedly one of the most recognizable brands in the Coffee industry is Starbucks. Founded a little over 50 years ago, they have come a long way from a Seattle roaster to a household name. Starbucks has remained popular through many culture shifts. They have seen a major evolution in their branding; once an ornate emblem of a siren paired with their name, they have now simplified to a modern icon of their famous siren and dropped the name from their logo, joining the likes of Apple and Nike.



In the past decade, the coffee market has become saturated with copycats and also highly unique roasters. While Starbucks has remained true to their brand, they have also adapted. In the early years, their coffee was sold in brown paper packaging, but in the 90’s they started printing interesting designs on their bags implementing visual storytelling, helping them stick out amongst competitors.



Most famously, they popularized the famous holiday cups, a design choice that generated consumer excitement season after season with its Instagram worthy design.


Recognizing that the modern customer was looking for unique experiences when visiting coffee shops, Starbucks introduced their Reserve Roastery, highly unique locations that showcase innovation. Other design choices were made to appeal to those who were socially- and climate-conscious: Starbucks changed to a recycled material for their cups and have continued to focus on sustainable choices, reinforcing their presence at the top of the market.


Any brand that takes the time to understand their customer, their voice and the market they exist in, can avoid following fleeting trends and become an industry staple.


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