Brand maturation…with the times

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In an effort to appeal to all present day shoppers – Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y – mature brands often need to refresh their image, including their slogans, jingles, and mascots.

While Gen X and Gen Y generation consumers demand to be engaged and feel connected, the brand has a daunting task of simultaneously keeping Boombers hooked.

Several mature brands have gone through makeovers over the past few years. Aunt Jemima, has actually gone through numerous well-documented makeovers throughout the years.  In 1989, her image was changed, removing her headband and giving her pearl earrings and a lace collar.  This change took Aunt Jemima from a “southern cook” to more of a working woman.

In 2004, Brawny’s mascot, the Brawny Man, lost his porn-stache and went metrosexual.  This  coincided with the company’s investment to make the product stronger and softer.  They even engaged customers at that time by asking women to offer up their partners for a makeover of their own.

Earlier this month, Kraft announced that Mr. Peanut would go through a makeover of more than just his shell.  And, this isn’t just any makeover!  Mr. Peanut will now talk. But more than just a voice, Mr. Peanut will have a personality and – with bad-boy actor Robert Downey, Jr., in the role – my guess is a serious attitude.   The makeover was launched in a commercial that could be previewed first by those who are a fan of Mr. Peanut on Facebook.

Mature brand makeovers will continue to speak to Baby Boomers leveraging the fond nostalgia of so many products.  But those makeovers will be essential to enliven and re-ignite brands to appeal to the ever-growing-important pocketbooks of the Gen X and Gen Y consumers (do Gen X & Y consumers even have pocketbooks, or is it all online?).

An important component in future brand makeovers will be the change in advertising and media. Which made us wonder: Did the Gen X and Gen Y demand for engagement lead to the evolution of digital and other social media?  Or did access to social media drive our younger consumers’ demand for engagement?

What do you think?  Let me know.  In the meantime, I will be at the grocery picking up some peanuts for my holiday party!


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