Corporate Eye

10 Brand Stories that Made Headlines in 2010

2010 was a year dictated by struggling economies and a proliferation of information via the social Web that brands were forced to recognize and respond to.  It was also a year of some brands demise, some brands repositioning, and some brands survival against the odds.  Following are reminders of 10 brand stories that got people talking in 2010.

1. BP

A 2010 brands in the news article wouldn’t seem accurate if it didn’t start with the BP oil spill off the Gulf Coast of the United States that damaged a brand but seemingly, not beyond repair.  Remember what happened to the BP brand in 2010 in these posts:

2. Toyota

The brand that owned the word “reliable” in the automobile market became the target of news as recalls battered the brand’s image and promise early in 2010.  Toyota pursued a variety of initiatives to regain consumers’ trust, including turning to Digg to change negative brand perceptions.

3. World Cup

Brands from around the globe tried to catch some of the buzz from the 2010 World Cup.  Nielsen even charted World Cup perceptions in seven countries!

4. iPad

Who wasn’t talking about Apple’s iPad in 2010?  It was the new product story of the year!

5. Old Spice

Old Spice proved that a brand can be given new life with a new ad campaign, social media marketing, and a bit of creativity!

6. Gap

In a story dubbed “Gap-gate”, the retail clothing store, Gap, released a new logo that caused people to cry foul.  One week later, the new Gap logo was gone and the old Gap logo returned.

7. Hummer

The gas-guzzling, eco-unfriendly Hummer brand met its demise in May 2010 when the last new Hummer rolled off the production line after all attempts to sell the brand by General Motors failed.

8. Mad Men

2010 marked the year that a cable television show called Mad Men delivered $3 million in free exposure to 74 brands, and that number is still growing!

9. Earlybird

It’s not a household brand name yet, but the Earlybird story is one that got people talking in 2010 when with only 3 tweets published in just 5 days the @earlybird Twitter account got over 40,000 followers.  Five months later, nearly a quarter million people follow @earlybird.

10. Facebook

Facebook was literally everywhere in 2010, so I’d be remiss not to include the brand in this list.  Check out some of the branding stories related to Facebook that drove a buzz in 2010:

What brand stories got you talking in 2010?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts about branding in 2010.

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.