Brand identification and Retro branding as a market practice.

Essay by sean_2powUniversity, Master's August 2003

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Mkt 601- Marketing Management


Brand extension, is the reintroduction of a brand that was previously marketed, but has been updated. To coin a phrase, "What's old is what's new." We are a culture built on history, and history has a tendency of repeating itself. There are a lot of new products being reintroduced to the market. Today's consumer environment thrives on brand identities, Product differentiation, and competitive imitations. The success of retro branding, be it with music, movies, fashion, automobiles, furniture, etc., has sparked tremendous interest with marketing practitioners and analysts. It is believed that, classic brands not only embodies the moral values of craftsmanship and lasting value but also goes back to a time when the world was safer, more comprehensible, and much less commercial (Thompson, Pollio, and Locander, 1994). As we grow older we tend to identify with certain products that spark nostalgia. Old brands sometimes bind communities with common interests or activities, and or events.

They can sometimes evoke memories of a more carefree, peaceful and happy past, giving the consumer a sense of "love and belonging", that might be shared by a community.

An example of this hypothesis is the historic association Coca-Cola and the Ford thunderbird shares with American culture.

Revitalizing or reinventing a brand sometimes lies on realizing a brands heritage and its societal, personal and cultural associations and using marketing mix variables in repositioning the product. "Familiar slogans and packages", says the author, "can invoke brand heritage and evoke consumer's memories of better days, both personal and commercial." The success of a brand revival can be dependant on whether or not the product is exactly duplicated, or a retro mix that combines an old product with cutting edge innovations to create a synergy of old and new. Take the new Volkswagon...