Thursday, December 9

Brand Name Auction

Something very cool and interesting happened in the marketing world yesterday, probably the first in branding history. There was an auction to sell off some classic but dormant brand names, 150 of them to be exact. Available for complete buyout -- the brand name, the domain, full licensing rights - the entire entity of the brand.

150 brands were available to buy, 45 without a minimum bid at all. You might be surprised at some of the brands that were available:
- Meister Brau (a classic!)
- Lucky Whip
- HandiWrap (didn't realize it had disappeared)
- Pom Poms (one of my favorites as a kid)
- Shearson (a very early part of American Express)
- General Cinema
- Computer City
- The Linen Closet
- Kiddie City (I remember that toy store as a kid)
- Knickerbockers
- Braniff (the airline)
- Phar-Mor (the old drug store)
You can see the complete list here.

Held by a private equity firm, the auction was held at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC yesterday and also online, via high bidders' choice. All you had to do to participate is to register in advance and have a $10,000 check in your hands.

In a world where it costs a fortune, literally, to launch a new brand, this was an amazing opportunity to buy a classic brand name and reinvent it. A name like InfoSeek for example, a big data company that was hot before the dot com boom. Or Meister Brau, that some lucky bidder picked up for $32,000.

I'd love to see the list of buyers, and follow the progress. It'll be fascinating to see which ones become household names again, as they get new meaning and offer new benefits to consumers.

I guess this was marketing's attempt to be somewhat green: reduce, reuse, recycle!

What's your experience? Jim.

PS - If you don't mind, click here to vote for "The Experience Effect" as one of the best new books for small business. I appreciate it.

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