Tesla revolutionized the automotive industry. Nike inspired us for “Just do it”. Lululemon has made yoga pants worn just about anywhere. Whether it’s their product, their marketing or this factor, some brands stand the test of time.
But which brand is the greatest of all time? We are about to find out. Over the next two weeks, Morning Brew readers will have the opportunity to select the Greatest Brand of All Time (GBOAT).
How it works
The competition mirrors the format of the NCAA’s March Madness Tournament. We’ll start with 64 brands, separated into four different “regions” of 16 brands. During the tournament, brands will “play” each other in head-to-head matchups until we crown the GBOAT.
- You might be wondering… what makes a brand “great”? Well, that’s up to you. To create the initial field of 64, Brew’s Selection Committee chose brands that have a) had a significant impact on our daily lives or culture b) left a lasting impact through their marketing campaign or products or c) significantly disrupted their industries.
How does a brand progress through the slice? We will be running a series of polls on the Brew’s Twitter and instagram accounts. The brand with the most votes at the close of the two polls will advance to the next round.
When all the rounds are over, only the GBOAT remains. It will earn a shoutout in our newsletter, a special item to display, and bragging rights until capitalism ends.
You can, of course, play the game by voting on Twitter and Instagram, or fill in your own bracket and try to predict our champion. Let the office pools begin!
- First round: Monday March 7 and Tuesday March 8
- Second round: Wednesday March 9 and Thursday March 10
- Sweet Sixteen: Friday, March 11
- Elite Eight: Monday, March 14
- Final Four: Wednesday, March 16
- Championship: Friday March 18
For each round, polls will be open between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET.
We interact with brands in different ways. And the four regions of the GBOAT Tournament – Titans, Upgrades, Disruptors and Workaholics – reflect the diversity of how we perceive, use and interact with brands every day.
Here’s a quick overview of each region to help you fill your fork and dominate your office pool.
The Titans region
These brands are cultural behemoths woven into the fabric of American life.
Iconic. There is no other word for Nike. It is a globally dominant brand. The biggest names in sport are or have been Nike athletes, including Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Cristiano Ronaldo and Alex Morgan. Athletes aside, you train in Nike sneakers, commute in Nike sneakers, save for limited-edition Nike sneakers, and even your mom owns Nike sneakers.
Could make a run: 8. Dunkin’
In these dark days, people are looking for comfort. Consistency. The familiar. And there’s no brand that exemplifies that like Dunkin’. That iced coffee you drink when it’s 100 degrees or -4 still tastes the same.
Upset Pick: 13. Nickelodeon
When you talk about the shows you watched as a kid, you’re talking about Nickelodeon. It was the creative minds that brought us Spongebob, Dora the Explorer, Blue’s clues, Hi Arnold!, Rugrats, Ren and Stimpy, and so many others. They even discovered Kenan Thompson and Ariana Grande.
Key Match: 5. Disney vs. 12. Hershey’s
Sure, you love Disney World and The Lion King, but maybe you love s’mores a little more? This perfectly toasted marshmallow nestled between graham crackers, with Hershey’s chocolate melting just right. Mmmm… that feeling after you overeat and you are slightly sick, but oh-so-happy… nothing like it.
The region of improvements
These are the luxury brands that we all aspire to own, and if we had them, we would flaunt them.
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When you think of “luxury”, the first name that pops up is Gucci. The Italian luxury house has been producing enviable accessories for the global A-list since 1921, and given its popularity among millennials, we see no reason why it can’t continue its dominance for another hundred years.
Could make a run: 5. Tesla
Cars are the ultimate status symbol, and right now Tesla is the car you buy to show off your newfound wealth through your company’s IPO or whatever. Teslas are all-electric, so you’re not contributing to climate change, and their high-tech interiors reflect a forward-thinking lifestyle. How do you know you have a good brand? When all the other companies in your industry are trying to copy you.
The brand exudes class and performance, even if you’re not quite sure how to pronounce it. From the 911 to the Cayman, Porsche models turn heads wherever they’re driven (but they’re best on roads without speed limits).
Key Match: 2. Chanel vs. 15. BMW
Both of these brands are bound to turn heads and are classics in every sense of the word. From Chanel we have bags, suits and perfumes. From BMW, the “ultimate driving machine”. Ideally we would take both, but there can only be one who advances in the tournament.
The Disruptor Region
These brands have changed life as we know it by uprooting their industry or transforming the way we think, buy or behave.
Over the past 25 years, Netflix has evolved from discreetly shipping DVDs to being our primary entertainment hub. As technology has changed, Netflix has not only followed, but dominated, and in many ways pushed those changes faster. There’s a reason we’ve all watched tiger king, squid gameand stranger thingsand that’s because Netflix is the streaming platform we all can’t live without.
Could make a run: 3. Chipotle
Chipotle basically invented burrito bowls. Need we say more? Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan or omnivorous, we all have our own lunch order at Chipotle. And the best part is that the brick you just ate will keep you full long after dinnertime. The burrito chain could go all the way.
Hear us out: what other city has done better than Las Vegas? “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas” = legendary.
Key Match: 5. HBO vs. 12. Lululemon
Tony Soprano and Carrie Bradshaw tackle the brand that made athleisure a thing? It’s a must-see game.
The region of workaholics
Where would we be without these brands? They are the behind-the-scenes players who make sure our lives run on time.
Everyone’s favorite Saturday afternoon hangout offers free samples, clothing, TVs and just about anything else you could want in volumes you never thought possible. Not to mention the ridiculously cheap food…
Could make a run: 4. Trader Joe’s
Trader Joe’s is for people. Delicious, ethically sourced local dishes, snacks galore, and they ring a bell when they’re ready to be checked out. It’s funny. Low prices, of course, because who needs brand name validation on their pretzels?
When you and your roommate needed to furnish that first apartment for under $800, Ikea had you covered. When you needed a futon at present, Ikea was there for you. When you were grumpy and hungry after shopping at Ikea all day, Ikea’s Swedish Meatballs were there for you.
Key Match: 7. UPS vs. 10. Patagonia
Patagonia is the gear you want for every adventure, but UPS is the delivery service that delivers that gear to your front door on time. Either way, this camping/hiking/whitewater rafting trip doesn’t happen without these two brands.