247 Wall Street recently did a piece on disappearing iconic brands, chalking up most of the loss in value to brand mismanagement/miscalculation. The report sends a chill down the spines of valuators assessing risk. At the top of the list is Compaq, at one time a brand with a PC sales market share of nearly 20%. Interbrand rated Compaq’s brand as the 24th most valuable in the world, and in September of 2001, Hewlett-Packard Co. helped shareholders realize that value, acquiring it for $25B in stock.
No one has to belabor what has happened to the PC market once Apple introduced its tablet and the concept of cloud computing became accepted. HP had its own management issues (Carly out, Mark in, Mark out, etc.) and lost sight of the marketplace. In May of 2012, HP, without fanfare nor red faces, hinted it would phase out Compaq … that, almost unbelievably, in the future, the Compaq brand would be used only for a few, low-end products. Currently, HP no longer sells Compaq computers.