How to Reinvigorate an Old Brand

Narragansett Beer is just one product from the seventies that is making a comeback. Learn the trick to reintroducing a nostalgic item to the market.
Author, Profit First
March 22, 2013

Baby boomers are growing nostalgic for brands they grew up with, so is now the perfect time to reintroduce an old brand? It may be. But manufacturers are finding that while baby boomers may be attracted to the items of their youth, it’s actually younger buyers who are more willing to experiment and try old brands that have become reinvigorated. So to make a relaunch successful, it's key to keep the old flavor, quality and connections of the brand, while also putting a new spin on it.

This is something Mark Hellendrung, a man with fond memories of Narragansett Beer, learned. Narragansett, the official beer sponsor of the Boston Red Sox, has been out of production for two decades. But Hellendrung is bringing it back. 

There are a lot of products that haven’t changed in 20 years. From the customer’s perspective, it doesn't matter if what you have is still functional; if it loses its newness, it loses its appeal. So spiff up your product, show it in a new light and give it a new purpose. Make it cool again. Remember the Old Spice ads? Same product, new image.

With a fresh product, customers will come and they will buy. You might have to shift your niche, or stop competing in the major markets and find a niche—or not. Research the background and be prepared to retool factories, acquire copyrights and even do some public relations if the brand left a bad taste in consumers' memories as it left the market. 

Could you imagine if the mainstream automakers never updated their car models? No one would buy a car again, unless they absolutely had to because the old one just didn't run anymore. By refreshing the car model every year, automakers create new demand. And sure enough, people buy new cars even when they don't really need a new car. Refresh your brand and spark demand. 


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Photo: Getty Images 

Author, Profit First