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Reviving Legacy Brands

Jamie Allebach
Jamie Allebach Chief Executive & Creative Officer

Feelin’ tired and old? The kids aren’t making time for you. Nobody cares about you anymore. All that’s left to talk about are your “old” glory days?

You may have been “all that” back in the day, but now you’re a legacy brand that seems to have lost its luster with consumers.

You’re not alone. There are lots of time-honored, trusted brands that are in the same position—selling less, and less units with sales continuing to decline.

Some companies just write them off and ride the brand out—letting it die a long and painful death. But the smart companies realize the value in these brands and make the changes needed to revive them.

I’ve worked with many legacy brands over the years, and here are a few of my thoughts on how to return them to the profitable giants they once were:

Clearly distinguish between your BRAND and product. You may have a great brand with decades of equity, consumer awareness, and pockets of loyalty, but your product(s) may not have kept up with consumer trends and demand.

If this is the case, it could potentially lead in any number of directions:

  • Do you need to clean-up your ingredient list?
  • Maybe freshen-up/modernize your flavor profiles?
  • Launch a sub-brand, possibly a premium or better-for-you line?

Innovation is key here. Look at what’s exciting for both buyers and consumers; plant-based, functional foods, real ingredients, etc. and figure out how you can adapt your legacy brand.

Remind consumers why they love(d) you. So often, marketers forget what short memories consumers have. Who knows why, but along the way, some consumers stopped purchasing your brand and they simply need to be reminded to buy.

Sometimes this can mean just getting back to investing in advertising or switch-up your media mix to give your brand a shot in the arm.

Other times, you need to make some real noise, relaunching to build excitement—reigniting your brand.

Consumers over 40 most likely are aware of your brand, they just aren’t buying. Reminding them through media outreach gets you back to top-of-mind, and if done correctly and consistently, can get you back into their weekly grocery routine. 

Tell your story. Many legacy brands have an authentic brand or creation story. This story needs to be told. Everyone loves a great story, but especially consumers under 40.

Two things are key here; relevancy and awareness. Older consumers know your brand and simply need to get back in the habit of purchasing you, but newer, younger consumers not only don’t know who you are, but they also don’t have a reason to buy.

Figure out how to craft your story in a way that positions your brand to be relevant to younger consumers. Give them a reason to buy and become loyal to your brand.

Don’t give up on your legacy brand! You can revive and thrive in this new market.

Would love to hear your thoughts and comments, or feel free to email me at

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