5 Successful Brands Founded During the 2008 Financial Crisis

In the height of the 2008 economic downturn, while many industries crippled and mitigated all risk, other entrepreneurs uncovered opportunities and therefore entered a market many feared. During the gloom of a global financial crisis, some of the world’s leading brands were born.


  • Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique 

    Petrepreneur Dan J Barton opened his first pet store in Palm Desert, California in 2008 amid the turn of the U.S. economy. Barton quickly realized that he was fortunate to have found a niche that had little to no impact from such a global crisis. After noticing the influx of pet-parents cutting costs elsewhere to maintain a certain quality of life for their dogs, he launched the Splash and Dash Membership Model, a first for the pet service industry. From there he allowed other boutique pet groomers to license his predictable business model. Today, the Splash and Dash concept has been franchised in communities across the nation.


  • Groupon 

    Entrepreneur Andrew Mason founded Groupon in the middle of the 2008 recession. Groupon is a web-based service that promotes companies by offering exclusive discounts on their products and services. During a difficult time, Groupon was able to deliver value to both financially conscious consumers but also brands that struggled to generate new customers.  Groupon strategically allowed consumers to softy ease back into discretionary spending in a time of great financial uncertainty. Groupons efficient use of technology and transparency gave them great stability far after the recession passed.


  • Uber 

    Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp founded Uber in 2009 after they couldn’t hail a cab on a cold evening. Today, Uber is valued at $47 billion. The ride share giant has expanded internationally and across various platforms, including food delivery, bike and scooter rental, and temporary professional staffing. Despite the decline of nonessential spending, Uber’s great know-how, logistical brilliance, and overall convenience of the service trumped any doubts of cautionary spending from its user base. Uber continues to earn rank as a leading brand far after 2009.


  • SmashBurger
    Smashburger was founded in 2007 by restaurant industry veterans Rick Schaden and Tom Ryan. The chain was founded in Denver, Colorado and serves “smashed” burgers and a specialized process of cooking them. The restaurant saw rapid growth and almost immediately. They added several hundred locations during the financial recession, 370 of them to be exact. Customers invited and enjoyed the premium offering and with little push back about higher pricing than popular burger chains. This high market hamburger franchise continues to gain market share today and they are the most notable disruptor of the traditional fast-food model.
  • WeddingWire
    Founded in 2007 by Timothy Chi, WeddingWire is a web-based platform that connects engaged couples and wedding-industry professionals and vendors. The database spans 15 countries across North America, Latin America, Asia and Europe. Today WeddingWire is the leading name in wedding planning. From the humble beginning during a financial recession, WeddingWire carved out an entire segment to simply empower engaged couples to discover business and essentially spend more. The technological ease and convenient usability has cemented this service as a staple within the billion dollar industry.