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Converse, Old Spice & More: 6 Famous Brands That Made Inspiring Comebacks

March 18, 2016
Aaron Polmeer

By (Erik Devaney)

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Consumer sentiment for a brand is like a fire. During the good times, it’s a roaring campfire, emanating heat and light and making everybody around it happy. During the bad times, it’s the flickering flame of a candle, barely shining through the darkness. And during the really bad times, the fire is roaring once again … but only because everything is burning to the ground.

The strongest brands are run by marketers who know how to manage the fire. In some cases, that means dousing the flames, and in other cases, it means rekindling them.

Unfortunately for some brands, one major scandal or financial setback, and that’s the end — they’re just never able to recover. For others, like Chipotle, we don’t know how the story’s going to end. It seemed as though the fast food icon was on the upswing following that multi-state E. coli outbreak. They issued public apologies, updated their food safety protocols, and launched a new ad campaign focusing on how darn safe their food is (now). And thennn norovirus struck.

But hey, I’m not here to depress you. I’m here to highlight the good stories, the stories about brands that made successful comebacks after nearly burning out.

6 Examples of Flawless Comeback Campaigns

1) Converse


Source: Zoe Waritz

In 1917, Converse launched the first mass-produced basketball sneaker: the All Star. It was lightweight, had a protective toe cap on the front, and sported a pretty nifty ankle patch. In 1932, Converse signed basketball star Charles Hollis (“Chuck”) Taylor to help market the All Star, which is how the sneaker earned its iconic nickname, the Chuck Taylor.

Following the founding of the NBA in 1946, Chuck Taylors quickly became the most popular sneakers in the league. But by the 1980s, the competition — namely, Nike, Adidas, Reebok, and Puma — had gotten fiercer. Flash forward to 1998, and Converse was claiming just 2.3% of the market share.

Ultimately, one of Converse’s competitors (Nike) stepped in and bought the company in 2003. But that was by no means the end of the Converse brand. Under new leadership, Converse went in a new direction by embracing their “old-school” style, which had appealed to generations of rebellious rockers over the years. As part of their brand overhaul, Converse produced special Kurt Cobain and Ramones editions of their Chuck Taylors. They also had fashion designer John Varvatos create a high-end line of Chucks.

This new, fashion-focused direction for Converse culminated in 2007’s “Chuck It” campaign, which featured black and white photographs of model Daisy Lowe (daughter of rocker Gavin Rossdale). The campaign evoked the rich, cultural history of the Chuck Taylor, and helped reinvent Converse as a lifestyle band.

2) Lego


Source: 9GAG

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