Do Dead Brand Names Have Any Value?

I ask because good brand names have considerable value-people trust a product that they believe in, and will pay premium prices for products of that brand. whaht about brand names that have been allowed to die. tke the case of General Motors-they killed off the Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Saturn brands. Would these names ahve any value? Suppose I were to buy the Pontiac name-would the name give me any advantage in marketing products sld under that name?

As a used car salesman or as a private citizen in a one off sell? What level of commerce are you talking about?

There’s a company called Leaf Brands that has been resurrecting various defunct food products like Tart ‘n’ Tinys, Rocket Pops and Hydrox cookies. There’s a Planet Money podcast that discusses the Hydrox story: The Hydrox Resurrection

If I remember correctly, in the podcast he’s pretty vague about how much he had to pay to get the rights to the Hydrox brand, but it wasn’t free.

Another one is Pinnacle Foods, which bought up the names for Swanson TV dinners, Duncan Hines cake mixes, Lender’s bagels, and Mrs. Butterworth syrup, among others. Then Pinnacle was almost bought by Hillshire Brands, which was formerly Sara Lee.

In the auto industry specifically, when Ford bought, and later sold Jaguar, the deal included the Rover and Lanchester brands, even though Lanchesters hadn’t been built since 1955 and Rover ceased production in 2005.

Many brands have been resurrected in some form or fashion unless perhaps it was a brand no one ever heard of. I mean Atari as a brand is still around and makes other companies money just from using that brand along with licensed games. There are a lot of Pontiac…etc fans out there, their Trans-Am is a classic and it most certainly has value but perhaps it’s in the timing…someone will make use of it when the time is right.

I remember Zenith, they made TV’s. I’m sure if someone used that brand name again on a TV, I’d be tempted to buy it based from nostalgia.

You know for sure they’re “dead?” Just because nobody makes the product anymore doesn’t mean somebody doesn’t own the name. IMO if somebody still owns the name it isn’t dead.

Pontiac is still being used by GM, they’re still marketing to Pontiac drivers.

The Montgomery Ward name was worth something

From Wiki:

"… DMSI then began operating under the Montgomery Ward branding and managed to get it up and running in three months. The new firm began operations in June 2004, selling essentially the same categories of products as the former brand, but as a new, smaller catalog.[30]

The DMSI version of Montgomery Ward was not the same company as the original. The company did not honor obligations of the previous company, such as gift-cards and items sold with a lifetime guarantee. David Milgrom, then president of the firm, said in an interview with the Associated Press: “We’re rebuilding the brand, and we want to do it right.”"

Chrysler had a model called Imperial for almost 30 years. Then they turned it into a separate brand for another almost 30 years. Then they discontinued it, brought it back again as a model almost a decade later and finally discontinued it again in 1993.

Chevrolet has recycled a bunch of model names after dropping them. A quick search shows Astro, Beauville, El Camino, Impala, Kingswood, Malibu, Monte Carlo, Nomad and Nova were all reused, sometimes after a decade or more, sometimes flipping between cars and trucks.

Beer brands get passed around like cold sores. Schlitz was as dead as a brand could get (a change in formulation caused allergic reactions that actually killed several people.) The name is now owned by Pabst.

Actually, now that I think about it, they asserted that the Hydrox brand had been abandoned and I don’t believe they paid for the rights to use the name. Maybe I should just listen to the podcast again…

Looks like the intellectual property of A&P is on the block. Although if they couldn’t make a go of it, I don’t know what I’d do with it.

You could do worse. LG Electronics owns the Zenith brand name.

Bell & Howell is another 100+ year old name that’s been through the spinoff, venture capital and licensing mixmaster.

Polaroid blew it big time.

In the 1980’s Kodak stole their patent. The Court said they stole it.
The $800-900M (?) award gave Polaroid all the time it needed to completely destroy itself.

The ‘Polaroid’ stuff you see has zero to do with the original company.

If you want an old-line car name, try Studebaker - I imagine it is available either free or really, really cheap.
For a case lesson in how to get and remain 10 years behind the market, Studebaker is your case. When the 6 volt electrical system became obsolete, pretty much everybody went with 12v. Studebaker (I’m told) went with 8v. When they actually made a profit (the Avanti was a Studebaker), they sold the cash cow so they could continue to lose money on every car they sold the US Government (Larks for the Post Office).

SpaceX should probably consider buying the Saturn brand…

Regarding studebaker: their “Avanti” model was revived several times…does the presnt owner of the Avanti name own Studebaker?

It’s my hope that General Motors might eventually resurrect Pontiac as a high-performance “supercar.” I always loved the Pontiac styling, and IMHO it would look great on a real sports car.

It happens all the time in the world of guitar manufacturers, where the big two names, Fender and Gibson, routinely bring back their slain competitors as zombie servants. Just off the top of my head, Fender has zombified DeArmond, Guild, and Gretsch; and Gibson has done the same with Epiphone, Kramer, and Steinberger. But there are so many more - probably dozens.

Shinola, the shoe polish brand that is often mistaken for excrement, has been resurrected as a manufacturer of watches, bicycles and leather goods.

Not being American, the name Hydrox — of which I have never heard — would make me think in order:
1/ Hyrax, the charming little rodent-like chap distantly related to elephants

2/ Hydrox the diving gas, and/or Hydrogen Chloride, which is not a diving gas and should by no means to taken along as a substitute

3/ The Hydra, Serpent-Headed, of Greek myth

Anyway, I wouldn’t feel tempted.

I’ve seen (and eaten) Hydrox cookies. They looked & tasted like cheap knockoffs of Oreos. So, I really hope Leaf didn’t spend much money buying the Hydrox name, because I doubt rather strongly that it has much value left.