Brands in the News

Looking Back on my 2017 Brands to Watch

27 Dec 2017  

Each year I highlight a few brands to watch. Let’s take a look at how things worked out for some of my 2017 selections.


My question about Amazon: could the company keep the momentum going despite the lack of significant profits?

The answer is pretty clear—absolutely. When I wrote my post last year the stock was trading at about $770 per share; it now is at almost $1,200.

Amazon still isn’t making any money to speak of, but the revenue growth continues, and its dominance of the e-commerce space seems more secure than ever. Investors clearly believe in the brand’s future.

Wells Fargo

2016 was a rough year for Wells Fargo. The once pristine brand was battered by reports of fake accounts and fraudulent behavior. My question for 2017: would the brand rebound?

The results here are mixed. Wells Fargo largely stayed out of the headlines, but the banking giant still has lingering negative brand perceptions. The stock didn’t move much this year, significantly underperforming the S&P 500. Fixing the brand problems will take more time and investment.

Go Pro

Go Pro needed to reposition and broaden its brand in 2017. My question: could the company pull it off?

It seems not. Go Pro continues to struggle. The stock, which once traded as high as $90 per share, started the year at about $9 and—despite the remarkable rally in technology stocks—is now down to about $8.


Did Tesla keep the magic growth story going in 2017?

Results are mixed. The big issue for Tesla is that the Model 3 launch has not gone well. This is a key initiative for the company, so the slow start is a concern. Competition is increasing, too, as established players move to defend their turf.

Still, investors believe—the stock rose significantly in 2017.


My question: is Emirates for real? Or is this just a government supported operation?

While questions emerged in 2017, overall the Emirates story continued. One notable indicator—the airline placed a massive order for new planes in November.

Donald Trump

Did Trump soften and strengthen his brand in 2017?

No. Trump remains a highly polarizing figure. I anticipated he would broaden his support in 2017. This did not happen. If anything, Trump is more polarizing than ever.


I’ll post my Brands to Watch for 2018 next week, along with my predictions.

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