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August 22, 2006

Brand Names That Never Say Die

London FogLondon Fog is a brand name that means a lot to consumers. Problem is, it's the wrong generation of consumers that identify with it.

London Fog has been by Iconix, a clothing brand management company. Iconix intends to make the London Fog product name popular once again, along the lines of Burberry and Coach, two other brand names that have found a second life after languishing through the nineties.

What I find interesting about this news, and the rebranding strategy behind it, is that a name with a long pedigree can come back from the dead, be repackaged, and resold to a new generation. Burberry is obviously the model to look at: once deemed the trench coat maker of choice for your grandfather, it is now one of the hottest brand names out there, worn out by everyone from to .

BurberryCan London Fog do the same thing? Why not? The Burberry lesson has been heard across Madison Avenue. I think the London Fog brand name could be tweaked a little and take up where Burberry left off - as a respectable clothing line for men who do not want to be thrown out of pubs for being soccer hooligans.

What is interesting, of course, is the fact that the word “London” is in the name of this American company. One has to ask if a loaded brand name like “London Fog” is easy to turn around and sell to Americans with an expanded line. You know, Häagen-Dazs was , not overseas. Hush Puppies wants to do just , and re-packaging that brand name seems to be an even greater challenge to me.

Another brand that has , officially, as of today, is Tower Records, a super brand name from a decade ago that now, in the , is simply no longer relevant. If it wants to survive it has to mean something totally new to a new kind of consumer.

Tower RecordsAs today in Techdirt, the most likely scenario is that somebody buys the brand name, ditches the bricks and mortar, and uses it to sell downloads.

I’d say that’s about right: there are some brand names that just refuse to die - they just change hands. Watch this space.

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Posted by William Lozito at August 22, 2006 9:28 AM
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