When was the last time you walked down a CVS aisle and said, “Wow, I really need to replenish my Pert Plus?” If you’re anything like me, you can’t remember the last time because it has never happened. A product-junkie, I like to think of myself as the unofficial tester of all things shampoo and conditioner. From $5 to $35 per bottle, I’ve tried them all and here is what I’ve learned: as long as the product doesn’t completely weigh down all four of my super fine strands of hair, the decision comes down to packaging and smell. Judge me, its fine.
Does anyone use Pert Plus anymore? Well that is what Idelle, a subdivision of Helen of Troy, Ltd., wants to find out. An estimated $15 million later, hopefully it will have the answer. In my millennial eyes, this is a huge gamble. However, I can acknowledge that I am not Pert Plus’ target audience.
According to The New York Times, “The economic woes of the last three years have encouraged some marketers to take another look at faded brands to see if they can be revived or renewed. The idea is that it can be less expensive to stimulate consumer memories of once-famous products, which had been backed with considerable ad budgets, than to spend enormous sums to introduce all-new products.”
The interview with Rick Cutler, director of marketing at Idelle, is interesting. At what point do you take a leap of faith that your “non-hair-involved” past followers will jump on the Pert Plus bandwagon solely because you rebranded your bottle and TV advertisements. Can the former king of 2-in-1 rebrand itself, or should Idelle have spent its money creating an entirely new product? Personally, I lean towards the latter. These days, I’m concerned with the chemicals I’m putting on my head and in the water cycle, thus I would have liked to see an environmentally friendly, Whole Foods-esque 2-in-1 shampoo.
So here’s the question readers, how risky is too risky for a rebrand? Is there a statute of limitations on “bringing something back?” At what point do you start fresh? Pert Plus is no Betty White, but I’ll be interested to see how it does in the drugstore real estate war.
Jump for some other interesting brand reputation stories this week: