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Brand Legacy

Brand Value And Brand Legacy

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Playboy Brand Strategy

Brands retain value from their legacy providing they are still seen as relevant and interesting, providing they are still competitive and providing they retain goodwill. Or if people have had enough time to forget why they failed in the first place.

In other words they can recover if they have enough momentum, or they can be reborn on the back of nostalgia, but once they’ve flatlined, and particularly if they have been in that state for some time, they can be very difficult to resuscitate.

Take the case of the Playboy brand. It’s powerful, sure. And it does have significant heritage. It’s logo is recognizable anywhere and there is huge history there. But can it just continue to trade on the value it had? Doubtful. It is, as Adam Gordon rightfully points out, “a classic failure of industry foresight” and even though Gordon observes that “Brand is value stored up in the past to be reaped in the future”, I don’t share his apparent optimism about the brand. Maybe you do?

Playboy cannot realistically expect to carry on as before and succeed under changed management. Declining sales would suggest to me that Playboy is no longer relevant, no longer competitive and its goodwill is running out fast. In fact, it has probably already traded on its past for too long.

That’s why I also don’t understand the company’s stated strategy to transform itself into a brand management company. Who would pay hefty license fees to associate themselves with the name? And – the same question I ask about Starbucks – what sectors is the name going to add value in that aren’t already brimming with powerful, relevant and competitive performers?

Every Rome has its day.

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