I like the concept of a brand. With a brand, you kind of know where you are and what to expect. I know what a Starbucks coffee will taste like before I order it and I know roughly how any apple product will perform before I start it up.
A brand is usually started by an individual or a group of people that have a clearly mapped out plan on what their brand will be known for. Of course these values can alter over time but they usually stay fairly close the original premise. Make a small change to any part of a brand and often it can go unnoticed but change everything at the same time and does it continue to still be the same brand?
In the racket industry, a few of the current brands are still under the ownership of the original founders or founder. Most though have changed hands many times in their history and have no ties whatsoever to the past. Some have changed elements slowly over many years and effectively kept the brand on track. In my view, there is legitimacy to claiming historic success over the last few decades.
For others, the changes have been more dramatic and fast paced, changing owners, designers, product lines, manufacturing suppliers and geographical location all at once. There is even the resurrection of a totally dead racket brand recently. Without any continuity to the past, other than a name, there is very little left of what was once a great brand.
If I were to win several lotteries and buy an Italian car company, redesign the cars, move production to the UK and only paint them blue, is it right that I should be branding them with a prancing horse logo and telling the world that my cars have won every historic race in the history of Motorsport?