How Amoco, a Once Great Brand, Died

March/14/2012 16:51PM
8 interesting comments, join the discussion
Please follow and like us:

Reading Steve Jobs biography brought back for me the Amoco brand. Steve was passionate to his dying breath about the Apple brand and what it meant. He believed, and, he proved, if you make great products people will buy them and profits will happen. When he was fired from Apple, and the suits took over, they put profit ahead of product. The products suffered and the profits disappeared. When he came back he fixed that first.


Amoco, like Apple, once had a great brand supported by great products. The company outsold all competitors in premium products, a true measure of consumer product perspective,  for what many considered to be a commodity product. Dealers and jobbers benefited from this and Amoco could get better people to sell their products. Amoco spent extra money to keep unique products through the years. Everything supported the brand.


I was on a team that worked on a potential merger between Amoco and another major US oil company. (not BP) When we evaluated the advantage of the Amoco brand to this competitor’s brand and quantified it, it was well over $200 million the competitor would have to throw in the pot to get access to that brand advantage.


But, that merger failed and another one came along. I’m glad I left before that happened. I had spent many years protecting the brand in various jobs. I felt a little like Steve Jobs, passionate toward what Amoco had created with the brand, and proud of my many jobs that worked to build that brand. Amoco merged with BP and the rest is history.


BP had one of the worst brands in the United States. But, soon the suits in London decided the BP brand should replace the Amoco brand in the US. Like the British leaders who declared the sun will never set on the British flag, the brand was changed. From the best brand in the US to the worst. In Steve Jobs’ language, the BP brand was sh**.

BP lost millions when they made this decision. The customers did not see the little sign that said Amoco gasoline when the BP logo replaced the Amoco logo. Sales of premium products plummeted. Jobbers changed brands. BP profits went down.

When BP encountered several publicity issues here,  a refinery fire, a pipeline leak, and the drilling platform explosion in the Gulf, it just got worse. They have sold most of their marketing assets in the US and may be prepared to leave marketing here and take the sh** brand home to the UK  with them.


Just shows what the wrong suits can do to a valuable brand.

Please follow and like us:

Other Articles You Might Enjoy:

Leave a Reply