Skip to main content
Trends & Insights

4 Brands that Have Found Success in Their Core Formulas

Kate Silver

Last month at the Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago, the Hershey team was thrilled to win gold for Gold, when the Expo’s Most Innovative New Product Award honored the Hershey’s Gold Standard Bar in the “Chocolate” category. Throughout The Hershey Company's 100-plus year history, it’s been creating exciting new recipes, like Gold, as well as Cookie Layer Crunch, Popped Snack Mix and more. But behind the buzz of all of the innovation and experimentation, Hershey has remained true to its core. Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, Kisses, Reese’s, Kit Kat and Ice Breakers—these are the classic brands that have built Hershey. They’re the iconic confections that fathers have shared with sons and grandmothers have shared with great, great granddaughters.

While Hershey will always be on the lookout for new and exciting products, the snack powerhouse also knows not to mess with a good thing. And it’s not the only company embracing its cornerstone brands. When it comes to cars, toys and even technology, here are three more companies that are paying homage to their roots by sticking with (or, in some cases, returning to) the formula that's made them great.


Ford has sold enough F-series pick-up trucks to circle the globe more than three times. For more than 30 years, the F-series truck has been the best-selling vehicle in America — and it’s been the country’s best-selling truck for more than 40 years.

The truck, which made its debut in 1948, isn’t just a workhorse of a vehicle, it’s a workhorse of a brand. With that in mind, it didn’t come as a huge surprise when, in April, Ford announced that it was going to phase out the sales of cars and sedans in North America, with the exception of the Mustang and Focus Active, to focus on trucks, SUVs and crossover vehicles.  

While the Taurus, Lincoln Continental and Crown Victoria will always have their place in Ford history, the company is looking at what customers want, and right now drivers are buying hefty, hardworking machines—something Ford has built its name on and is well positioned to deliver more of down the line.  



Odds are, you grew up building castles and cabins using LEGO. Your kids probably did, too, and so will their kids. The timeless toy, which may be the most beloved export from Denmark, dates back to 1958, when it was created by the LEGO Group. Over the years, the company has created many trinkets, from the wooden toys created in the early 1930s when the company began, to motorized vehicles, trains, dollhouses and clothing. But it’s those building blocks that remain a blockbuster. The colorful bricks encourage imagination and appeal to kids regardless of gender or heritage, and, judging by its status as one of the most popular toys of all time, that’s proven a formula for success.



“Kate is…. curious about what it all means.” Remember the early days of Facebook, when status updates, which were written in the third person (and often vaguely, at that), went out to friends and family and seemed so lighthearted, innocent, and well, connective? Then the algorithm changed and advertisers’ and publishers’ voices became louder than loved ones. Following the Cambridge Analytic debacle, feelings of betrayal (justifiably) ensued and scores of Facebook users headed for the hills. Whether they come back to the social media platform is still TBD. But should they choose to, Facebook has promised a return to a place like those early days, where the newsfeed contains more meaningful interactions. In other words, its embracing the core that built the social media giant and transformed connections to friends near and far. Now, it’s up to users to respond.


Innovation is and always will be the driving force behind a successful business. But it’s also important for company leaders to listen to customers and, when those customers find something they like, keep delivering. In time, those products might just become timeless.