Brands From 80’s Making a Comeback

Why? And Why Not!

Hey, Doc, we better back up. 

We can see impressive comebacks from lifestyle, clothing, consumer electronics. Popular brands from 1980’s have everything in place: awareness, positive image and media background.

Take a look at Apple, Lego or Marvel. All three companies experienced a major decline in sales or were close to bankruptcy during 1990’s or the early 2000’s. They all have something in common to succeed today and engage Millennials:

  1. Solid cultural footprint
  2. Catchy visual identity
  3. Kids in 80’s and 90’s saw and used these products

When company suffers from low revenues and management mistakes, it loses internal stakeholders. When company recovers, external stakeholders are retained.

Let’s travel to the year of 2000 and ask teenagers if they remember Polaroid photos, Marvel comics, Nintendo, and Old Spice. Answer would be “Yes”. And they may still wear Keds or Dr. Martnes. If you are excited and wait for a second season of “Stranger Things” — set in 1984 — pay attention and look for specific products on the screen.

Story To Learn From – Polaroid

Comparison of modern and vintage instant cameras

Taking everything into account, Polaroid utilized very obvious strategy:

  1. Keep your brand concept and identity – colors and logo

2. Learn from successful products – action cameras by Polaroid meet GoPro’s idea.

3. Stay digital. Polaroid offers miniprinters for your Instagram/Snapchat photos.

The New DeLorean

If you visit their new website, there are no concept designs or pre-orders.The stainless steel DeLorean will cost you $60-$100K, but the buzz is real. Take a look at the protaginist in the video above – a perfect Millennial interpretation. Do you remember how many times you wathced Back to the Future?


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  1. Great read, I didn’t realize how many of these brands were failing. Ilia i’m curious what else you think will make a resurgence and re-position themselves for Millennials? Also do you think that this is more of a trend and that this won’y lead to long term financial and commercial success?

    1. Thanks! I think brands that were popular in 80’s can make a comeback, especially those which can be attributed to a lifestyle: young Gen Y saw ads, their parent using something.

      Kellogg’s “resurrected” some of their breakfast cereals from 80’s. Take a look at Nintendo also with their growing popularity.

      Almost all oldschool brands belong to major MNCs now and they can easily reintroduce them to mass market anytime. Personally, I think amost popular clothing brands from 80’s will be launched soon.

  2. I remember when Polaroid and Kodak were having their court battles over instant pictures and Polaroid won. I had a Kodak camera I was so upset, only had it a short time. Never had another camera until digital came out. Your article about ad and millennials very insightful.

  3. I so agree with your examples of brand comeback Ilia! Polaroid and Marvel are epic cases that still gives hope to so many brands that are losing their market these days! Brilliant topic to write on!

  4. After reading your post I myself want to buy a DeLorean and I started doing research from where to get one.

  5. I just received a polaroid camera as a gift for my last birthday, you’re right they are making a comeback!

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