How to Make an Old Product Seem New

If you have an old product, a failed product, or just a product in need of a refresh, you’re probably interested in finding ways to make your older product seem new and exciting again. You need to upgrade the image, modify the presentation, or alter your audience targeting to overhaul your strategic positioning and ultimately land more sales.

Make an Old Product Seem New
Image created by Market Business News.

How do you do it?

First Steps: Research and Brainstorming

Before attempting to change your strategy or reposition your product, take the time to analyze your current position and identify weaknesses in your marketing approach.

  • Look at the history

What is the history of this product? Are there any historical events or changes that are preventing this product from being successful in the modern era? For example, the bidet is a traditional bathroom washing device that has a long and fascinating history. In the United States, bidets never caught on, so bathrooms weren’t created with plumbing accommodations for bidets; this made new installs of bidets cost prohibitive. These days, bidet products are designed with this limitation in mind, allowing homeowners to easily install them on existing toilets.

  • Research the competition

Are any competitors currently marketing a product like this in the modern era? If so, how is their strategy different than yours? Have they found an angle that’s successful? You can use competitive strategies as inspiration for your new framing, but you’ll also need to competitively differentiate yourself.

  • Analyze your market

Who are you trying to reach with this product? Is it worth considering a different target demographic? How can you position this product to better suit a specific niche market?

  • Identify failure points

Was there a turning point for this product? Did sales begin to decline after a specific change in the product or market? What failure points can you identify, and can you plan to compensate for them?

Refresh Strategies for Old Products

These are some of the best strategies to breathe new life into an old or failed product.

  • Revitalize the branding

One of the most straightforward ways to revitalize an old product is to update the branding. Simple changes, like altering the name, changing the colors associated with the brand, or visually overhauling the packaging can make the product seem new and interesting, or expose it to entirely new audiences.

  • Tap into the power of nostalgia

Nostalgia is a powerful emotion. If your product has been off the shelves for a while, or if your target demographics are now older with more spending power, consider leveraging nostalgia in your branding, advertising, and product releases. For example, Coca-Cola distributed its product Surge throughout the 1990s and discontinued it in 2002; in 2015, Coca-Cola redistributed Surge in a limited release, prompting “90s kids” to go out and purchase the product in bulk to relive the taste from their childhood.

  • Appeal to a new audience

Instead of hitting up the same audience 15 years later, consider branding and marketing your product to an entirely new audience. Can you appeal to younger people? Older people? People in different geographical areas? People with more or less income or education? The possibilities are practically limitless if your product is useful.

  • Place the product in a new context

Consider taking the product and placing it in a new context. For example, when Converse sneakers first emerged, they were marketed as basketball shoes. By the 1980s, they were resolutely outclassed by other types of basketball footwear, and by the late 1990s, sales were dwindling. But in the 2000s, Converse made efforts to associate their brand (and their shoes) with “old-school” styles and countercultural rock stars – which led to a renaissance of appreciation for the product.

  • Combine the product with other new products

If you have other modern products that are successful, consider bundling your old product with those new products. Instead of having the uphill battle of trying to sell a product that doesn’t have much appeal in isolation, you can sell packages of products to people who are already interested in your brand’s offers.

  • Rely on new advertising channels

Sometimes, products fail simply because marketers and advertisers don’t market them in modern, interesting ways. If your product is from the 1930s and you still advertise it solely with newspaper and radio ads, you’re probably not reaching many people in the modern era. Branch out to strategies like social media, search advertising, and influencer marketing – especially if these channels are ideal for your target demographics.

Exercise your creativity and don’t be afraid to experiment as you find a new brand and new positioning for your historically relevant product. You may not see the results you want immediately, but as long as your product serves some kind of need, there’s probably a market for it that you can develop.