With Easter upon us one we thought it would be appropriate to discuss…resurrection – in the business sense of course! If a company is struggling it doesn’t necessarily mean that all is lost. Companies can and have re-emerged with different brand messages, logos or simply a following that they didn’t realise was there. So who are these companies that have not only ‘come back to life’ but are all the better for it? Let’s find out.
Perhaps the most iconic brand in the world today but this was not always the case. In the 1990s the company were struggling and playing second fiddle to Microsoft. It needed a figurehead, someone who could symbolise their new direction – step forward the returning Steve Jobs. Apple’s former founder who resigned in 1985 came back in 1996 when Apple bought out Job’s other company NeXT Computer.
The rest as they say is history. Apple is now a global giant – but the company had to take some knocks and do some soul searching before that became a reality.
The Burberry check is unmistakable but in the late 90s up until the early 2000s the label was getting a bad rep for being associated with so called ‘chavs’. The brand was revived by fashion guru Angela Ahrendts who had to make a series of tough decisions to move the company forward. In a Guardian article Rupert Nate details the bold actions she had to take to save the company:
“Within a year she had fired the whole of the company’s Hong Kong design team and closed factories in New Jersey and the Rhondda Valley, south Wales, to centralise manufacturing in Castleford, West Yorkshire.”
The company is now well and truly ‘back’ with actors Eddie Redmayne and Emma Watson now being used as brand ambassadors.
During the 1980s the reputation of top flight football was at an all time low. Tragedies involving Liverpool supporters at Hillsborough and Heysel – which saw many fans die – in addition to the notoriety of hooligans, presented the game in a very nasty way. This was compounded when English teams were banned from competing in European competition for five years. This changed with the formation of the Premier League in 1992 – a result of top flight teams pulling out of the old first division to take advantage of lucrative television deals from Rupert Murdoch’s Sky.
The result? The most exciting and lucrative league in the world which effectively rebranded English football and made it a global sensation. Go to the furthest corners of the globe and you can be sure that the Premier League is being watched.
The mini is synonymous with ‘Britishness’ and its iconic look and feel were particularly strong in films such as The Italian Job. However, the company struggled towards the end of the 20th century and the company went bust in 2000. It was revived a year later when BMW gave the classic car a new modern twist. According to Investopedia:
“These little micro cars became instantly trendy, and offered an old-fashioned kitsch appeal that consumers bought up like crazy”
It just goes to show that sometimes people appreciate something nostalgic with a modern twist.
Old Spice aftershave had traditionally been viewed as something for the older generation. This was certainly the perceived view of the company until 2010 when they decided to go through a rebrand process. The company experimented by creating funny short adverts online featuring former NFL player Isaiah Mustafa. These became hugely successful.
Off the back off this the company produced a fantastic social media campaign. According to Kitty Denn and Matthew Jenkin of the Guardian:
“Sales of the Old Spice Body Wash rose 11% in the 12 months following the rebrand.”
With clever entertaining marketing anything is possible as the rebrand of Old Spice shows.
The examples used in this post may be huge, iconic brands, but the same applies for smaller companies. With a bit of creativity and ingenuity, it’s possible to resurrect any business.
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