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A brand is forever! A framework for revitalizing declining and dead brands


  • Thomas, Sunil
  • Kohli, Chiranjeev


Over the years, numerous brands--such as Oldsmobile, Pan Am, and Woolworth--have met untimely deaths. Many more have steadily declined into oblivion, while others have been revived. When a brand dies, significant investments that were made to build the brand are also lost. Unfortunately, even the strongest brands with high net worth are not immune from brand decline and subsequent death. In today's market, where new product introductions are both expensive and risky, it may be worthwhile to evaluate brands that are declining and invest in revitalizing them. However, there is a dearth of studies that focus on declining brands. In this article, we use findings from academic literature, detailed case studies, and interviews with marketing executives to provide guidelines in dealing with declining brands. We analyze the conditions that lead to brand decline and brand death, highlight signs that may suggest an impending decline, offer insights into assessing the viability of reviving a brand, and suggest various approaches that can be used to strengthen the brand and give it a second life.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas, Sunil & Kohli, Chiranjeev, 2009. "A brand is forever! A framework for revitalizing declining and dead brands," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 377-386, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:bushor:v:52:y:2009:i:4:p:377-386

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