Describing 2018 as unpredictable for brands is one heck of an understatement. If anyone had told you, back in January, that Kanye West would emerge as a political strategist or that Colin Kaepernick would star in the year’s most successful ad campaign, you’d probably think they’d been toking it up with Elon Musk.

So, settling on the year’s best and worst brands wasn’t easy. My 400-plus colleagues at Prophet gave me plenty of nominations. “Crazy Rich Asians” got many votes. (“Venom” sure didn’t.) In sports, we had a three-way tie between England’s surprising run at the World Cup, Tiger Wood’s incredible comeback and snowboarder Chloe Kim capturing the hearts and minds of many around the world.

Samsung is seen as a sure thing for next year as it continues to go through its “smart” transformation. While LEGO continues to dominate, parents on our staff are also feeling the love for Scruff-a-Luvs and TikTok. Online retailers crushed it with Amazon and Alibaba getting multiple nods. Don’t even get us started on the emergence of a legal, multi-billion industry led by brands such as MedMen. And Sears…ah, RIP, Sears.

Still, I managed to whittle it down to eight brands. See the list.

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