Great Brands Don’t Have To Die

New Polaroid CubeThink your brand is past its prime? If it was built properly, maybe it can actually stand the test of time — and of bankruptcy, obsolescence, and even having its iconic headquarters obliterated! Take a look at today’s Polaroid…

Polaroid is not the company that many of us remember. What was started by Edwin Land in 1937 (a fascinating story if you care to read about it) is now, after their bankruptcy filing, merely a holding company that merely applies the iconic Polaroid name and rainbow graphic to products manufactured by others. Merely?

The new Polaroid’s products look cool, like they always used to, and the retro/analog side of me (having lived through the 60s, I come by it honestly) really gets a kick out of seeing that name and graphic on a clever new piece of technology. Witness the new Polaroid CUBE™ Lifestyle Action Video Camera. Designed to compete with the very popular GoPro devices, the CUBE is priced at $99, is very small at 35mm square (is 35mm an homage to analog film?) and is quite simply, pretty darned cute.

YouTube reviews generally seem to like the device, and if millennial fascination with all things retro (such as the current surge in vinyl record sales) is any indication, it may be that Polaroid has a winner here… again. Heck, Taylor Swift is giving away a set of Polaroids with each of her latest CDs (which features a Polaroid of her on the cover of the album), so hipness is virtually assured!

According to CEO Scott Hardy, the Polaroid brand still stands for innovation and fun. But what I find most interesting, is the way Mr. Hardy talks about “our brand”, going so far as to include all of the products that Polaroid developed back when they really were the company that invented, designed, and manufactured brilliant things, and treating that past as prologue to the present and future. That attitude shows respect for the past, respect for THE BRAND, as well as a pretty smart marketing strategy. It’s clear that they intend to (and likely will) be as relevant in this century as they were in the last.

Now THAT’S a well-built BRAND!

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