What’s old is now new. Things from the past are now current. Things nostalgic are hip again. Maturity is a positive thing. It carries all kinds of positive attributes, like trust, experience, familiarity and know-how. And all of these are good brand traits.
Bob Garfield recently wrote an article for Ad Age and discussed the value of older brands. Products and brands go through a life cycle: introduction, growth, maturity and decline. Although this is true, there remains great equity in mature or even declining brands that can be used to resurrect a brand and make it relevant again.
It is a time when those things that are old or mature are new again. They have new life. It’s certainly easier to take older brands and give them new life than to try to start a whole new brand. Garfield cites these examples of brands that have matured and declined: Studebaker, Alberto VO5, Frigidaire, Schlitz, Bufferin and Jiffy-Pop. Recognize any of them? You probably are somewhat familiar with all of them. How is that true? They are old and have basically gone away. But yet all still have brand equity.
Brand equity is extremely valuable. It lingers for years and years. Garfield alludes to Slip and Slide and Spic N Span. When was the last time you saw any branding advertising from either? But you remember them, don’t you?
The point is, even though we may have a brand that is mature, that’s been around a long time… a hospital or healthcare organization that is a long way from being hip anymore, that’s okay. Because there may be valuable and meaningful brand equity that can be used to resurrect the brand and make it relevant again.
Hard to believe? Have you noticed the astonishing sales growth for Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer over the past 5 years? What about the resurgence of Converse All-Stars and P.F.Flyers? And who doesn’t know how hip and cool my father’s cheap aftershave, Old Spice, is now. And what about Harley Davidson? The ultimate iconic American brand that has not only been rejuvenated but propelled to new heights.
Retro, nostalgia, old things are cool again. And if you have a mature brand that’s been around for a long time, there is a strong likelihood it still has great brand equity. Brand equity that can be used to make the brand relevant again, or more relevant. Brands, hospitals and heathcare organizations with great brand equity can be rejuvenated. And it may be a lot easier than investing and building an entirely new brand.
Yes, even though it may be old, your brand can be cool again.