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I think Walkman is a great lesson in not resting on branding laurels. We talk about equities, but sometimes fail to address the rapidly moving context in which they exist.
We should never forget its place in the branding hall of fame. I fondly remember my first Walkman, and I bet even Apple's Jonathan Ive had one as a teenager.
Over the past three decades, there was no more powerful brand in the portable music technology scene than Walkman. But therein lay the problem.
Sony's brand guardians have zealously protected its name and status, but they failed to recognise its Achilles heel - that it is associated only with …