Blog Post

The Brand Attic

Author: Lisa Morales Cook

Zendaya was recently applauded for wearing a vintage Valentino to the Euphoria season 2 premiere. It’s the same dress Linda Evangelista wore in the early 1990’s. The style pendulum has swung back in favor of the bold statement the designer intended, but the dress spent three decades in the “attic” before the world returned to the 1990’s supermodel esthetic.

I have seen many brands relegated to the attic, too. Happily, they can be retrieved and refreshed, often with less risk than establishing a new brand from scratch. The primary reason is this: a brand is an asset. To its investors, markets, and owners, a brand’s value should accumulate over time. When dormant, a brand might lose its relevance but rarely its value.

While any brand, dusty or not, requires some investment to grow, it’s typically less expensive to reassert brand equity than start from scratch. For example:

Utilize the footprint of an active brand.

An Aspen Finn client is using a forgotten specialty brand to refresh and build equity in its mainstream master brand to respond to shifting consumer values. Although today’s footprint is far larger than that of the forgotten brand, the company has determined that the brand in the attic already possesses the equity it seeks. It’s an example of turning a potential headwind (believability of the master brand in a new brand attribute) into a tailwind (dormant brand fully believable in this attribute and readily associated with the master brand).

Use existing IP.

Consider Polaroid, a brand that has not only survived despite a radical shift in photography and film markets, but has also protected and licensed its visual assets and design language.

Accelerate time to market.

Did you know that the brand “Moderna” is more than 10 years old? The brand slept as its partnerships with AstraZeneca and Merck grew, finally emerging as its own master brand and a frontrunner in the fight against COVID-19. While technically never in the attic, its shift in brand strategy is massive and will likely continue as it matures into a brand with its own point of view on biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and innovation.

Nerd out with us and the dusty brands in your world by saying Aspen Finn’s strategists include a crowd of quantitative experts who measure and track brand value, and qualitative consultants who navigate the depths of human behavior to convert opportunity to action. When combined with a very tall stack of research technologies, we bring an unmatched set of resources to address the brand in the attic.