Geek Culture and the Marketing Model for “Rebooting” a Brand
While attending Chicago’s annual Comic Con convention, the 3rd Coast PR team sat in on the much-anticipated “Doctor Who” panel featuring Chicago’s top experts and fans. During the discussion the question was raised, “Why, after 50 years on the air, has Doctor Who become so much more popular in the last few years?”
Many answers were given, but in the end it came down to one concept: Rebooting. Whether it’s the revival of the show in 2007 or a new Doctor every few years, Whovians and geeks alike are champions for a reboot.
And it’s not just Doctor Who fans – geek culture as a whole is centered on the concept of rebooting and reinventing. We have seen this trend play out within the comic book genre with franchises like Spiderman and X-Men and even into the sci-fi world with Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. Just this July at Comic-Con San Diego, it was announced that Batman and Superman will team up soon for a Justice League themed film franchise to rival the ever so popular Avengers – and we’ll go see it!
Having been around for over 70 years, these famous “geek” franchises are also setting the precedent for revitalizing brands within the marketing world as a whole. Recently, we have seen trends from classic brands like Bass Penny Loafers (with a 77 year history) and Fiat (hailing from 1899) to reboot marketing efforts and regain the consumer relevance and awareness they once had. Bass Penny Loafers, who is said to have “lost its way over the past few years” plan to focus their efforts on a younger consumer, 24 to 45 years old, while Fiat has already reinvented their brand with new models, colors and a funky Italian attitude.
Whether it’s geek or cars (or geeks with cars – Transformers reboot, anyone?), we love seeing great brands staying strong and current. Have you seen any brands go through a reboot? Are there any you would like to see reinvent themselves?