5 Brands On The Rise—And 5 On The Run

See which companies are winning the hearts of the public, and which have sent customers running.

5 Brands On The Rise—And 5 On The Run
Slack [Photo: Michael Grimm, courtesy of Slack]

For the September 2017 issue of Fast Company, we identified 25 brands that matter most in today’s world, including Google, Amazon, Apple, and Tesla. That got us thinking: Which up-and-coming brands might make our list next year—and which formerly top brands have lost their luster? See our lists below to learn who is on the way up, and who’s on the way out.


Brands On The Rise

1. Lyft: The other Ride-hailing app. Once considered something of an also-ran, Lyft has surged as disgruntled Uber users have come to think of it as a warm-and-friendly alternative. In the week after #DeleteUber trended in early 2017, Lyft saw an increase in new users of more than 60%, and numbers have continued to be strong.
2. Slack: Chat-centric workplace tool. This increasingly vital platform is bringing social media’s unending digital connectivity to the office environment (and is another company that’s now a verb). Workers love it. Is it a productivity helper, or just another addiction?
3. Everlane: Cult clothing retailer. As consumers shun malls and embrace socially aware products, Everlane’s high-quality wardrobe basics—manufactured responsibly using minimal water and energy—represent a stylish alternative.
4. Sweetgreen: Fast-casual salad spot. Casual dining meets the locavore movement. Workers are getting in line to upgrade their sad desk lunches with inventive, seasonal salads from this rapidly growing chain.
5. DJI: High-flying drone maker. DJI has brought the personal-drone industry out of its awkward, crash-prone early years, thanks to its streamlined quadcopters that are simple enough for anyone to fly and safer than their predecessors.

Related: 25 Brands That Matter Now

Brands On The Run

1. Uber: Troubled transit pioneer. Execs are fleeing, founding CEO Travis Kalanick is out, and some users are souring on the company due to allegations of sexual harassment and worker mistreatment. Customers want decency along with disruption.
2. Wells Fargo: Bank on the brink. After a scandal involving fake customer accounts (with real fees) destroyed public confidence in the brand, the company ousted its CEO. Luring back customers will require a major goodwill deposit.
3. United Airlines: Major carrier, big headache. No one loves airlines, but when a video went viral of a passenger being dragged off a plane earlier this year, and United’s response was notably tone-deaf, the company came to represent everything people hate about modern air travel.
4. NFL: A league under pressure. Concussions and bad player behavior have been denting the NFL’s reputation for years. In 2016–2017, ratings took a hit as well, due in part to cord-cutting and endlessly proliferating entertainment alternatives.
5. J.Crew: The preppy retailer unravels. Falling sales, closing stores, and designs that missed the mark: A brand that once helped define affordable luxury no longer has a place in tastemakers’ closets.


About the author

Rose Pastore is an associate editor at Fast Company. Email her at


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