The 1970’s and early 80’s was an incredibly culturally significant period of time in the United States. This era marked the popularization of sci-fi films such as Star Wars and Tron, video games such Mario and Pacman, as well as musical genres such as hip-hop and disco.
While some of these brands, franchises, and genres managed to hold on to their popularity and remain relevant, others failed to re-invent themselves as the years went on and ended up becoming “deader than disco.”
While all of these examples spawned from the same era and are pretty similar to one another, we’d like to explore two ways that the revitalization of certain brands such as AMS can be more successful than others.
Brands Which Struggle To Update
Some brands are flexible enough that they manage to easily allow themselves to be informed by the current popular trends and visual designs of their current era.
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Other brands with more rigid or inherently dated designs and subject matter have a harder time keeping up. This often means that in attempt to remain relevant, these brands end up forcing a look or a style which doesn’t suit them and does nothing to advance the brand, such as 2006’s “edgy” Bomberman video game re-imagining or 2017’s CHiPs feature film adaptation.
If you aren’t aware of these examples then that only goes to further demonstrate how forgettable and uninspiring such attempts at brand revitalization are.
Brands may actually benefit more from embracing their roots and intentionally dating themselves a bit.
Case and point, Parker Brothers board games. While almost everyone is aware of such classics as Monopoly and Clue when was the last time you can remember playing one of these games? Board games have struggled to compete with the influx of cheap, easy, and instantaneous entertainment provided by digital media sources such as online streaming or video games.
An attempt to combat how “old fashioned” board games had become was by highlighting that fact and using it as a selling point in a series of repackaged classic Parker Brothers board games. The packaging on these new editions of the games was made to resemble the original packaging of the games, with even the boards and game pieces being made to look older. Because these games all of a sudden looked like they were from a different era, they stood out on store shelves and found a market with people who think old and analog is hip.
Brands Which Have Returned After Some Time Away
Sometimes a brand falls out of relevance not due to a sudden lack of quality or shift in style, but rather due to an extended period of time out of the public eye for one reason or another.
American Mine Services is a great example of this. While once a prominent and well-known player in the mining industry with plenty of success to their name, operations were halted for a little over a decade as the AMS personnel worked as a part of a larger civil contractor. Having returned to their original form as AMS back in 2016, the company was faced with the challenge of having to re-obtain their old momentum.
To this end, American Mine Services decided to focus on promoting their brand through the internet instead of simply going back to their old methods of brand-building before their operations stopped in 2005. They sought out an updated website and a stronger online presence in order to let the world know that they were back, had re-invented themselves with a fresh look, and were ready to take on new contracts.
It can be exceptionally difficult to rebrand and update a company which is still in business as there are many moving parts which must be taken into consideration and worked around.
In this case, their absence gave AMS a strong advantage over many of their competitors currently in operation. New businesses, or those that have experienced an extended hiatus such as AMS, have a fresh and clean groundwork to be built off of. Being thrust into the internet age head first instead of having to gradually “catch up” is partially what has allowed AMS to modernize and revitalize the brand as much as it has.