Magazine article CRM Magazine

The Troubles of Trading on Name Recognition: When Your Brand's Secondhand, Tell a New Story

Magazine article CRM Magazine

The Troubles of Trading on Name Recognition: When Your Brand's Secondhand, Tell a New Story

Article excerpt

THIS MONTH, I want to talk about brands that bounce around, that were born in one place but move to another, changing hands and facets along the way. Businesses get acquired by other businesses and must be recrafted to fit the new owner's needs. A dead product is brought back. A restaurant opens under new management. That sort of thing.

It's possible that I have touched on this subject before, but I can't remember. This issue marks my ninth consecutive year of occupancy on the back page of CRM, and while I'm grateful for that time, I can't be expected to recall everything I've written about since then. Heck (or a stronger expletive), I tend to forget what I've written by the time it's edited.

Anyhow, on to the topic and its inspiration. Remember the public broadcasting staple Cosmos, with Carl Sagan, which ran from 1978 to 1979? It was a mind-expanding vision of the universe, from the infinite to the infinitesimal, the vast to the very, very tiny. It changed the way we think about so many things, and revitalized science education worldwide.

Now it's back, and it's on Fox.

This is not going to be a screed against that network, or a rant about the commercialization and/or trivialization of intellectual content. If anything, I want to congratulate Fox for reviving the show, and for putting a bunch of talent behind it. The host, Neil deGrasse Tyson, mirrors Sagan in that he is an eminent astronomer and educator with an engaging personality. The producers include Seth MacFarlane (best known for shows like Family Guy) and Brannon Braga (of the Star Trek family). There's a lot of money there, too, and thus a lot riding on the show's success. If the revival fails to connect with viewers, it will quickly go the way of every other show on Fox that I have ever liked. Sorry. I had to get that in there.

The new Cosmos is not a reimagining or reboot. It's a continuation and an update. Science has come a long way since people were wearing bell-bottoms unironically; so has broadcasting. The graphics and special effects will be outstanding, and animated segments will illustrate things that couldn't be conveyed by the late Dr. Sagan's sonorous, soporific voice. …

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