December 15, 2000

The "Ten Brands to Watch in 2001" have been named by Brand Marketing magazine and are published in its current (January) issue. The list includes Nokia, AOL, Napster, Extreme Football League, Amazon.com, AT&T, Firestone, Onstar, Revlon, and Hillary Clinton. Brand Marketing's annual list of "Ten Brands to Watch" "isn't meant to commend or condemn but, rather, to recognize impact---in this case projected impact," the magazine states.

Following is a list of Brand Marketing's "Ten Brands to Watch in 2001":

Nokia has lately zoomed past Motorola to become the category leader, and though once thought to be a quirky foreign is now hot property, according to the article.

America Online has already established itself as one of the icons of the Internet, now by acquiring Time Warner in a merger that was approved by the Federal Trade Commission before Christmas, AOL is trying to leap ahead into what it sees as a new, multimedia world in which it can assume a top position.

Napster is an outlaw brand, an envelope pusher even in the no-boundaries world of the Internet, by offering free software Napster has reached 38 million people and has nearly one million consistent users.

Extreme Football League might be the upstart brand that finally challenges the long dominance of the National Football League over professional football.

Amazon.com has solidified its status as the leading online retail brand by diversifying into many retail categories beyond just books and CDs, by continuing to personalize the on-line experience it offers and by paying strong attention to overall customer service.

AT&T is breaking up again this year, and it is not certain that the brand will fare quite so well as during the last big corporate restructuring, because the company intends to try to make it stretch over each of the four newly independent businesses, says Brand Marketing.

Firestone brand is facing a do-or-die situation this year, at least 148 deaths on U.S. roads over the last few years were linked to alleged failures of its tires--- and the brands owners did not immediately step up and take full responsibility last summer. Some experts believe that the brand won't survive 2001, despite a new ad campaign being launched on its behalf.

Onstar brand of telematics service that guarantees services such as automatic notification of emergency authorities if an accident sets off an airbag, and offer premium amenities such as live-operator navigational assistance. This year Onstar will be bringing voice-activated wire-less Web access nationwide to Onstar subscribers.

Revlon was the embodiment of achievable glamour but a decade-long decline will continue in 2001.

Hillary Clinton is now known simply as "Hillary", and will doubtless be one of the most intriguing people in the world to watch this year, in part to see what she does with her new position--and in part to see what else Hillary Clinton does with her brand. "She's one of the brands with the greatest growth potential in the country," says Michael Markowitz, a branding consultant in Santa Fe, N.M.

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