Sometimes, in order to move forward, you need to take a step back first. This is true in all aspects of life, but you see it all the time in marketing. When a company’s brand starts to get a little stale, backtracking to a beloved older version of the brand is a pretty common move.
In some cases, the old look comes back with little or no change (the new old Miller Lite cans), or with a little tweaking (the Charlotte Hornets logo and uniforms), and some can’t decide what to keep and what to change (JC Penney’s logo, about a hundred times). If done properly, however, these “throwbacks” can be very effective.
Perhaps the most common place to see throwback brands is in professional sports. Throwback jerseys, hats, etc. have been somewhat popular for decades. But now that teams in nearly all of the pro leagues have started regularly digging back into their closets for old uniforms (especially for rivalry games), the enthusiasm for throwback gear is through the roof. Don’t believe me? Go to a bar during a Packers game and count the number of throwback Packers jerseys and t-shirts.
Other local teams have chosen to embrace vintage brands, too, and on a more long-term basis:
– The Milwaukee Bucks changed their home court last year to more closely match the 1970s Robert Indiana floor at the MECCA Arena.
– The Brewers wear their 1970s-90s pinstripe uniforms with the iconic “glove” logo on the first Friday of every month during the season (“Retro Fridays”).
Outside of sports teams, you see other companies go to a throwback look on occasion, as well. Pepsi, Doritos, Schlitz, and many others have gone the old school route for a period of time. In many cases, especially in food & beverage, companies using a throwback look will also revert back to an older recipe for their product (temporarily for Pepsi products, permanently for Schlitz).
If you feel like your brand could use a refresh, drop us a line, and we’ll be happy to show you some ways to take an effective step forward – or an effective throwback!