very rise is followed by decline – either a gradual or steep slope – especially when it comes to business. From consumer electronics to magazines, many industries have become so competitive that brands are disappearing and being rendered into obscurity.

The number of start ups continually growing and rising over the past years are overtaking the position of brands who used to be #1 in their respective markets. Unfortunately, some companies are falling behind in terms of innovation, branding and financing.

1. Nook

Nook was a young and promising brand which was only launched in 2009 by Barnes & Noble Inc. This brand apparently could never compete with Amazon’s Kindle, which remains the market leader in the e-reader business. Despite Microsoft throwing a lifeline of a $300 million investment into the brand, sales still declined by 26% this year. It’s only a matter of time before Nook becomes a forgotten brand.

2. Martha Stewart Living Magazine

Not only is Martha Stewart Living Magazine’s sales dropping, the advertising pages are also decreasing. According to the Media Industry Newsletter, the flagship magazine had 1,306 advertising pages in 2008 but dropped significantly to 766 in 2012. From an impressive publishing revenue (most which comes from Martha Stewart Living Magazine) of $179.1 million in 2007, it dropped to a whopping $122.5 million in 2012.

3. LivingSocial

LivingSocial, an e-commerce company featuring discount gift certificates, has been deemed unprofitable after a downward spiral on stock and sales. As it tries to turn a profit in 2012, the company laid off 10% of its workforce (400 employees to be exact). With hard-hitting competitors like eBay, American Express and Amazon, LivingSocial’s future is bleak.

4. Volvo

It turns out Volvo’s future is in question since the consumer demand for their products isn’t there at all. How can it compete with General Motors, Toyota and BMW? Competition is killing Volvo’s sales this year. Part of the blame also goes to Volvo’s limited model line compared to other car companies who have an offering of sedans and SUVs.

5. Olympus

When someone mentions “digital camera”, Canon, Sony or Nikon are the first brands that come into mind – not Olympus. It cannot compete with sales down to 18% last year and without generating profit. Apart from direct competition, Olympus has to also compete with smartphones which have become an alternative to digital cameras.

6. Mitsubishi Motors

Mitsubishi Motors better get their act together and they better do it fast. The car company experienced the biggest decline in sales the market has ever seen and they only sold less than 60,000 vehicles in the U.S. Like Volvo, it’s growth is stunted with its constrained model line up.

7. JC Penny

For the last three years, J.C. Penney, one of the leading department stores in the U.S., has been experiencing a major sales slump (around 25%  drop in sales in 2012) after a recent chain of business strategy fails. J.C. Penney exited the catalogue business and closed dozens of its outlet stores and facilities. The company was also involved in a “spamdexing” issue with Google resulting to reduced visibility in search results pages. While J.C. Penney shares and sales are plummeting, it’s competitors, Walmart, Target and Macy’s, are rising.

8. Blackberry

Blackberry has been reported to reach the $1 billion mark of unsold units this year. Instead of sales rising, Blackberry’s inventory has been valued at $887 million so far. Its new phone models cannot compete with what Apple, Google’s Android and Microsoft are launching into the market. Blackberry might as well close shop before it loses more money.

9. Avon

Avon suffered declining sales plus a bribery investigation over the recent years. The cosmetics company’s revenue dropped 48% in the second quarter of 2013 compared to 2012′s net income of $61.6 million. Avon is also cutting 1,500 jobs as a part of its plan to save $400 million in the next 3 years.

10. Kodak

Kodak was the #1 brand in imaging solutions and services and in 2005, it even ranked #1 in digital camera sales in the U.S. But with the surge of innovation and marketing from the like of Sony and Canon, Kodak soon declined and even sold its digital imaging patents to end bankruptcy.

By 21s

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