September '15

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rv-pro.com September 2015 • RV PRo • 77 "If you think the audience remembers the brand, misses the brand, and has an emotional bond to what the brand stood for, then that would be a really positive reason to bring a brand back to life," says Kerri Konik, CEO of Philadelphia-area based Brandscape Atelier, a boutique agency specializing in branding. Mike Pile, creative director with San Francisco area-based Uppercase Branding, concurs with that assessment. "The upside is there is definitely some legacy awareness. If the brand, as a company, went away for reasons outside of their con- trol … and is a very powerful brand with powerful awareness – then it may be time to bring it back," he says. "And there may be some cost savings in doing that, because there is a pre-awareness with the brand." Still, branding pros also warn that there are plenty of risks associated with reviving legacy brands. "If the brand has broken a relation- ship with an important distributor, or has attracted negative attention from Google, you may or may not be able to ever recover," warns Matthew Sommer, chief operating officer of Brolik, a Philadelphia-based mar- keting firm focused on digital strategy and branding. "Don't think that just because a brand was successful at one point you can make it successful now. There's always some reason that it shut down in the first place. Make sure that reason won't get in the way of your progress." "If (the business) did go out on a ter- ribly bad note, the brand has likely run its course. Then it's time to come up with a new launch with a new name," advises Gregory Wagner, a University of Denver professor of advertising and a 30-year branding pro. Representatives for RV manufacturers that have revived legacy brands acknowl- edge those risks, but say they feel the rewards outweigh any potential negatives. "If you don't do your homework and select a brand that was a poor quality product, your customer could equate your company and its products with the original brand," Pacific Coachworks' Daily acknowledges. "We've had no issues with customers coming back to us. None of those old products are under any warran- ties and we do not assume any liability." Reviving a legacy RV brand also likely means that the new manufacturer will receive plenty of calls from customers of the legacy brand seeking parts for their old motorhome or towable, assuming that the manufacturer has a connection with the previous RV maker. Shea says he has had many people call up his business looking for parts for the thousands of Weekend Warrior products still in use. "Customers with old units sometimes contact us for parts. Through our contacts in the industry, we try to help when we can," he says. "When Weekend Warrior went out of business, the customers had no one to contact for service. We have connections with RV service centers, especially in Cali- fornia, (where) there are independent service centers that we can connect customers up to. "Customers appreciate that," he adds. "It gives us favorable word of mouth. Cus- tomers will say, 'The RV Factory took care of me.' We hope they will consider us when they decide to buy a new one." "Some customers have contacted us for parts," Daily says. "If we can help, we will, but there's not many old parts around." Representatives for all three manufac- turers agree that the value in the names they chose outweighed the risks. They believe that the familiarity of legacy brands drives customers to their products, their websites, and their businesses. "Positive name recognition is an impor- tant part of being successful. All the prod- ucts were good quality products and their owners still enjoy them. The Blue Book and other appraisal guides show high resale value for the former products," Daily says. "We want to establish ourselves as a quality manufacturer and associate ourselves with quality brands." "Reusing a well-known brand gives us a head start on recognition," Shea says. "The Weekend Warrior name helped us to drive business without dealers. Customers searching for toy haulers will recognize the Weekend Warrior name when it pops up. It is a familiar name and they will be more likely to click on it." Reliable, affordable, and scalable software that handles sensitive data and enhances productivity for any size dealership. Geared To Suit Your Dealership 407.358.2000 www.sys2k.com Sys2��s ����ity D�S �ro�ides� Unlimited Forms At No Charge Unlimited Updates At No Charge Unlimited Phone Support 24/7 �n�nite Data Storage Capabilities Mobile and Cloud Options Take a Demo! Stop by booth #523 at RVDA!

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