In the 1970’s the piano company tried to diversify its music business holdings into financial services by purchasing over 200 savings and loan firms. While doing so, the company took on significant debt to finance its expansion into this new business line. In 1983, the company filed for bankruptcy. Gibson Guitar purchased many of the assets in 2001 and somehow Bank of America ended up owning the rights to the Baldwin trademark during the process.
This is a perfect example of a big headed CEO (Morley Thompson) trying to diversify a company outside their core competency (music) and, in the process of using the company’s core assets as collateral, sinks a well established company into oblivion. The original founders of Baldwin, a 100 year old company, would be ashamed of what the tone deaf Morley had done.
The Quaker trademark was registered on March 19, 1895 by The American Cereal Company. The current owner of the trademark is Quaker Oats Company of Chicago, IL. The trademark is for Goods & Services such as oats, grits, cornmeal, and flour. The Quaker Oats brand has been a staple in American households for over 100 years.
The Heinz trademark was registered on March 5, 1907 by H.J. Heinz Company. The current owner of the trademark remains the H.J. Heinz Company of Pittsburgh, PA. The trademark is for a variety of food items such as pickles, sauerkraut, baked beans, sauces, relishes, and variety of food condiments. The Heinz Company has been a well stable, consistently grown, and well managed company for over 100 years. The Heinz brand of food has been a well recognized item in most American refrigerators, even prior to electric refrigerators.
AQUA VELVA (1918)
The Aqua Velva trademark was registered on March 19, 1918 by J.B. Williams Company. The current owner of the trademark is Combe Inc of White Plains, NY. The trademark is for face lotions and after-shave. The Aqua Velva brand of after-shave lotions has been made famous by a variety of 1970’s advertising. The need for lotion to avoid razor burn hasn’t changed in years and a well branded, quality product has survived 5 generations of 1st time shavers.
The Listerine trademark was registered on March 20, 1928 by Lambert Pharmacal Company. The current owner of the trademark is Johnson & Johnson Corporation of New Brunswick, NJ. The trademark is for medicinal and medicated tablets for indigestion and throat ailments. Also including in the list of goods is toothpaste and deodorant. I’m aware of Listerine as a mouth wash, but couldn’t imagine brushing my teeth with something that takes your breath away. Also, I couldn’t imagine adding something to my arm pits so that I could smell like a Doctor’s office all day long. Anyways, the Listerine brand of mouth wash has been extremely successful. They also recently made a new formula they titled “Zero” which is not alcohol based. This is terrific news for anyone with asthma as the product does not sting after use and does not leave you gasping for air after you rinse. I have tried the new “Zero” product and highly recommend it.
TOOTSIE POPS (1932)
The Tootsie Pops trademark was registered on March 29, 1932 by Sweets Company of America, Inc. The current owner of the trademark is Tootsie Roll Industries, LLS of Chicago, IL. The trademark is one thing, candy. The Tootsie Pops brand is a great example of the brand becoming the company. Tootsie Rolls and Tootsie pops are world known. Tootsie Rolls were well liked by soldiers in the Army as they seemed to last months without losing their taste and didn’t seem to have a shelf life. The chocolate mix always seemed tasty and chewy, except in desert conditions when they got a bit soft.
UNCLE BEN'S (1948)
The Uncle Ben’s trademark was registered on March 9, 1948 by Converted Rice, Inc. The current owner of the trademark is Mars, Inc of McLean, VA. The trademark is for food products, namely rice. Mars, the candy company, diversified their product lines over several decades and initially formed a partnership with the rice company in the 1940’s. In 1959 Mars acquired the remaining interest in the company as American eating habits evolved to quicker/easier to prepare meal choices. The Uncle Ben’s brand of rice has been a leader in the dehydrated food industry for several decades.