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Jennifer Moline

5 Important Lessons From the World’s Top Family Brands

Remember when your mother told you that you can learn a lot from your own family? She was right, but in a much larger way than you might have expected. An astonishing 80 percent of businesses in the world are family owned, and you can learn a great deal from those world-famous families that have the largest companies – especially when you consider the fact that the top 100 family businesses earned more than $3.75 trillion last year and employed more than 13.5 million people.

According to Family Business magazine, these are five of the world’s top family brands. Every one can give us a unique lesson on how to run a company, establish a brand and become successful in an uncertain market.

1. Puma-Adidas

Puma
Adidas

Originally Gebruder Dassler Schuhfabrik, German sportswear-maker Adolf Adi Dassler (Adidas) split from the company following a fight with his brother, Rudolph, who later founded Puma. The two companies would be the focus of a 60-year-long feud in the family, which sparked major competition and success for both brands. It was when the anger was let go that the best profits were made.

2. Smuckers

Smuckers

Embracing the humorous last name they were born with, the Smuckers family members used it to establish a brand that revolved around the title itself. Their jellies and jams have become world famous, and they are one of the most well known suppliers on the market. They used something simple that they already had to bring awareness of their product. That was done partially through funny slogans, such as, “With a name like Smucker’s, it has to be good.”

3. Mars

Mars

Frank Mars proved that a mother’s good intentions can do wonders. As a young boy, Mars was diagnosed with polio. In order to keep him entertained despite his inability to play outside with the other boys, his mother taught him to dip chocolate. He later went on to sell butter candies from his home’s kitchen, which expanded over time to become the Mars candy factory in Tacoma, Wash.

Mars has kept everything entirely in the family over the years. Extremely secretive, no one in the Mars clan lets themselves be photographed or speaks to the press. They maintain a tight hold on their recipes, which now include world-famous Snickers bars and M&M’s. The company has become a multibillion-dollar-a-year industry in and of itself.

4. Disney

Disney

Everyone is well acquainted with Walt Disney and his massive empire. While it has changed a lot over the years, it has maintained its rose-colored tint on life that provides the perfect escape for people looking for a little entertainment, whether that is through the latest fully animated feature film, its massive theme parks or its classic cartoons. Disney taught us that cynicism is not necessary for shrewd business success.

5. Ferrari

Ferrari

Just because things don’t work out at first doesn’t mean they won’t in the end. Enzo Ferrari learned that lesson himself, when he was unable to get a job following World War I at Fiat. The Italian future mogul instead went to work for Alfa Romeo as a racer, which was all he had wanted to be since the age of 12. He stayed on for years and later went on to own his own racing team. Eventually, it would lead to the creation of his signature luxury car brand, the Ferrari.

Conclusion

We can learn a lot from family-owned businesses: how to brand, how to get ahead, the important things in life. Each of these stories should give you the inspiration and the comfort of knowing that your own family business could be on that list one day.

20 Funny Famous Logo Parodies/Interpretations

There are some logos that are immediately recognizable. Some of them are unforgettable, as well, and you will remember them for years after they have changed or been rebooted in a new style. That is what they are made to do, sticking with the consumer and potentially bringing their business to the company in the future. It has worked for decades, and it will continue to do so far into the future.

That is what makes logos so ripe for parody. As recognizable references in today’s culture, they are something that can be shared with and enjoyed by everyone. These 20 examples prove it:

1. Ewww

The slogan “I’m lovin’ it” doesn’t always apply. The creator of this logo parody was sending a pretty obvious message when it switched around the classic golden arches to spell out the word “Ewww.” They wouldn’t be the first ones to have that opinion of McDonald’s, and I doubt they will be the last.

2. Rock Stars Forever


This one is more cute than anything else and looks like it would go great on a T-shirt. Since there is a Starbucks on every corner these days, and even in hospitals and places of business, everyone will know the source.

3. MLB

What baseball fan doesn’t hold a certain amount of scorn for the issue of steroids? Many of the greats have already been busted using the enhancers, which is a big no-no put forward by the league. That is why this shirt, with its logo, expresses the issue quite nicely. It may be the secret norm, but that doesn’t make it OK.

4. Ford


Ford is one of the largest vehicle manufacturers in the world. But the company has seen its share of controversy. It is also one of those companies whose products people seem to either love or hate, with nothing in between. However, Ford is still one of the biggest sellers of trucks, and the Focus is a hugely popular sedan, making the “Fail” logo a personal opinion on the maker’s part, but a funny one.

5. LG

Life is tough, especially when you spend a couple hundred dollars on a phone, only to have it break and not be covered under warranty. An enormous maker of electronics of all kinds, LG has a very recognizable label that has been turned into a crying face. That is exactly what I would be doing if I accidentally spilled coffee on my LG Revolution or put a baseball through my flatscreen.

6. Yahoo!

The last time I installed Yahoo! Messenger I had to do it four times to get it to work properly. It still freezes occasionally, signs me out when I am having no connection problems, and refuses to keep my settings from defaulting. It is a good metaphor for the changes the company has undergone lately, which is why the falling letters and the question mark here speak to me on a personal level.

7. Best Buy


Best Buy has been facing a lot of economic problems in the past few years. Buying from a store at the retail prices it asks just isn’t worth it to most people. Consumers have turned instead to buying online, which allows for better cost comparison and special deals and promotions not available through their local store. So the pleading tone is realistic, especially if you have seen Best Buy’s commercials.

8. Cisco Systems


Accusations of intimidation, antitrust lawsuits, tax fraud investigations, economic hits, criticism over censorship – Cisco is not a stranger to scandal. That is why the “Fiasco Systems” label, using the bar graph image of the official logo, is so amusing. Especially with the downward sizing of the bars – similar to the lessening of profits in the past few years.

9. Chrysler


One of the “big three” automakers, Chrysler was right beside both Ford and GM when the economic crisis nearly shut down the auto industry. It was also among the first to receive bailout funds from the government to keep it afloat and ward of creditors. Last year, Chrysler posted profits for the first time since 1999, with a 17 percent increase. But not everyone is happy, namely taxpayers who fronted the cash.

10. Toy Story


Who doesn’t love “Toy Story”? This T-shirt put Rex the dinosaur from the Pixar films on the logo for “Jurassic Park,”another big-screen classic that still terrifies audiences everywhere. That is perfect, because we all know what a scary dino Rex is – or, tries to be.

11. Taco Bell


I know people who try to stay away from Taco Bell. It isn’t that it is a bad fast-food joint; it’s pretty much like any other. They have just had a couple of bad experiences that I won’t share that put them off the food. So “Taco Hell” about sums it up for anyone who has spent a night in agony following too many chalupas.

12. Pepsi


You know what they say: If you want to lose weight, cut out soft drinks. That is easier said than done for some people who have an apparent addiction to fuzzy, caffeinated beverages. But seeing this makes it a little easier to slow down on the can guzzling.

13. Google


Google is, in many ways, a terrifying company. It shares out data, shows our houses on Street View and monitors our comings and goings online. It is also controversial because of censorship issues all over the world. While the Goolag comparison might be a little strong, it isn’t hard to see why the maker came to the conclusion.

14. Nascar


Not a fan of racing? Show your (lack of) fanaticism with this baby-doll T-shirt. You will notice the similarity of the logo to Nascar racing, but it says what so many of us feel deep in our hearts: that even with occasional explosions and car crashes, it can’t be redeemed.

15. American Express


I recently read a spoof article on The Onion about a credit card company that was found to be responsible for the largest fraud scheme in history. Isn’t that the truth? American Express (and others) gouge users with interest to the point that they can’t even pay down principle amounts because they are too busy keeping up with the extras tacked on.

16. NFL


It is incredible how often football players get in trouble with the law. From DUIs to assault, there seems to be a story every other day about someone facing jail time and fees from the league for a transgression of some kind. That makes this logo, with the bars and the gripping hands, all the more poignant.

17. ADHD


Every generation has a new disease that meets a trend. For the ’90s and into today, that disease is ADHD. It seems that every child who has trouble sitting still is suffering from it. I am not saying that there aren’t real cases, I am just saying – oh, look! A kitty! I am going to chase it!

18. UPS


I have had more than one package ruined by UPS. I have even filed official complaints, had something resent and then had it broken again. I can only assume that UPS fits parcels into its trucks by stomping on them to fit them into tight corners. Or maybe it is like the spoof logo implies, and it really is an accident.

19. Jeep


I have always been terrified to ride in Jeeps. They don’t look like real cars – more like those plastic ones that kids drive around in. Some of them even have doors that zip shut. I am sure a heavy wind would send it flying over the edge of a cliff, so calling it “cheap” is an understatement.

20. Wells Fargo


I have never used Wells Fargo, so I can’t comment on the effectiveness of its service. But I am almost completely certain it is not run by the Grim Reaper and a set of skeleton steeds – about 97 percent sure.

Do you have any logo parodies you would like to share? Let us know!