Young Franken-Brand


The New York Times Magazine published an interesting article about branding. “Can a Dead Brand Live Again” looked at efforts to revive so-called ghost brands that are no longer available (except, perhaps, on eBay) like Brim, Nuprin and Underalls.

Companies by the names and sometimes the formulas for the products and try reviving them. Sometimes the new version shares only a few things with the previous iteration…For the newly relaunched Salon Selectives hair products, the products shared the same color pink (but differently shaped) bottles from the original and contained a similar aroma as the original.

This remaking or updating of a ghost brand is actually standard procedure. That’s why I called it Franken-Brand. (it has nothing to do with Al Franken.)

The idea is that people will have faulty memories but will recall the brand image established by million-dollar ad campaigns that are decades old and will buy the new products. And it seems to work. That’s why I did not describe the product categories for Brim, Nuprin or Underalls — I think most people reading this will be familiar with them.

The article, written by Rob Walker, is worth reading. Walker writes the Consumed column for the New York Times Magazine, and wrote, “Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are.”

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