Legacy Brands Use (Our) Personal History to Connect with New Audiences

Relatively speaking, old might not be cool—but in their day, grandma and grandpa sure were. That legacy and history have brands looking to reach back in time to connect new audiences with their vibrant past.

It Worked Then …

Old Spice has been aggressive in going after new audiences, staying current with trends in everything related to male grooming and even taking an irreverent tone. But at the same time, they’ve never forgotten that they are a brand with history and a classic scent. They embrace that where possible, without continuously dwelling on it.

Take their Old Spice Classic solid deodorant for example. While trends in scents come and go and are likely necessary for category growth, this one has remained the same. And why not?

Why I wear Old Spice.

As the container says, “If your grandfather hadn’t worn it, you wouldn’t exist.” While a young man might not want to smell like their grandpa now, being more like him when he was in his prime provides a connection through the brand that new competitors can’t match. Explicitly revealed in what could very well be true.

Jeep brand legacy carries on the adventure.

Source: screenshot – https://www.ispot.tv/ad/w32Z/2018-jeep-wrangler-freedom-and-adventure#

Follow Your Dreams, Not the Road

According to the lore, what became the modern Jeep was rushed to prototype with a ridiculous deadline of 49 days to meet U.S. Army needs going into WWII. There, it helped to keep the world free and then sparked the imagination of drivers whose dreams didn’t include highways and city streets. Their audience where the ones that wanted to go and do whatever they wanted, wherever they wanted. Or at the very least, have that capability.

Jeep has taken that idea to represent both freedom and adventure, and how Jeep has always enabled both. In this spot, they cleverly combine the marriage into a more personal and human story that transcends the vehicle as a product into a life and history of its own. It’s an authentic and gripping in its portrayal of the 4X4 as an enabler and companion of the lifestyle of its owners.

The brand that was right then is right now.

Source: https://www.ispot.tv/ad/w0pC/diet-pepsi-the-right-one

The Drink of Changemakers Stays True

In the running cola wars, Pepsi has continued to position its brand as the choice of those that crave new things and the edges compared to Coca-Cola consumers. When you’re a company that’s more than a century old, that might seem like a challenge. Calling back images from history that reference changemakers in time–including your family history–Pepsi is saying that while times might change, their beverage will be the bridge between every generation. And of course, in the long-running Pepsi Stuff loyalty program, you can even find throwback clothing to dress like your parents used to.

It Was Good Then-And Still Is Today

Being authentic is key to brand success. That’s where legacy or mature brands have an advantage. They’re established. People know who they are. They have history, which means they have a story. And everyone loves a good story, especially if it relates to them and their history. These brands know that. Instead of running away from their past, they embrace it and shine a light forward in order to connect with new audiences. And thinking about it now, yeah, grandma and grandpa are actually cool.

Learn more about how legacy brands can connect with new audiences in our ebook, Five Gates of Branding.

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