Design Force, Inc. proudly announces that its president, Ted Mininni, regularly shares his expertise on branding, packaging and licensing issues on POPSOP.com, an international, online branding publication. His latest article, titled: “Can a Great Retro Brand Make a Successful Leap to Entertainment & Licensing?” was published on May 31, 2012 on the e-magazine site.
Mr. Mininni begins his article stating: “Classic brands have an unfair advantage over emerging brands. They are instantly recognizable to many consumers, associated with pleasant memories and specific attributes. They appeal on an emotional level that new brands simply haven’t had the time to establish yet”.
“It’s easy to understand why retro brands have made a big splash recently. Their coolness is undeniable”. Mr. Mininni then goes on to point out why classic toy brands have leapt back into consumer consciousness thanks to entertainment platforms, especially movies. Pointing to the huge success of the “Toy Story” franchise and the impact it has had on toy brands, he observes that there’s plenty of room to leverage retro brands in this manner. Not only that: extending the brand via digital games and licensed consumer products makes perfect sense but only if properly executed.
In a recent interview, Mr. Mininni observed: “The coolness of retro brands and consumer proclivity toward them doesn’t automatically ensure success. Too many brands are vying for consumer mindshare and wallet share these days. It’s crucial to uncover the specific assets that endeared retro properties to consumers in the first place and to leverage them. Visual and verbal brand language must be developed in order to reestablish emotional ties. Realigning these brands to be culturally relevant for a new audience is important, too. Credibility, authenticity and street cred matters to a young audience.”
As the article progresses, Mr. Mininni explains how using insights gained from research help to develop a style guide that leverages the full power of the licensed property for maximum impact. He cites the work his firm executed for Hasbro to bring the Classic Transformers property back to its “old school” cool roots, as an example. “Style guides like these can be easily adapted by licensees in any and every consumer product category. They spur instant recognition among consumers. They help retailers with cohesive, easily to merchandise packaging. That leads to strong acceptance and sales. And a bright future for classic brands.”
“One more tip: “It’s important to let younger consumers make retro brands their own. By tapping into how they’re adapting these properties into their own lives, valuable insights are gained. The secret to a long life for retro brands is flexibility, staying on trend and cultural relevance. Well-designed style guides accommodate all three beautifully”, stated Mr. Mininni.