Should new Manager’s revive old brands?

SIIB New Campus Management was never about a rosy read to walk upon where directing others would serve the purpose. Instead it is about imply the mos

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Management was never about a rosy read to walk upon where directing others would serve the purpose. Instead it is about imply the most simplest of lessons in the toughest of situations to help the brand and the business survive profitably. Recently the Nissan Auto guys revived their brand Datsun in the form of their latest Go hatchback unveiled in Delhi. This move sent a lot of management analysts into thinking mode. Has Nissan done the right thing? Was it a good idea to bring back the name that had once been their identity?

As managers, we learn so many things about business, the global scenario and a lot more through interactive programs like MBA in International Business, MBA in agribusiness, etc.  In fact, this learning becomes a life-long process that we continue even after entering the corporate offices. But, one question that has often posed as a challenge to managers is about reviving the old brands. When a manager steps into an organization, the initial few months are spent learning about the past and present. In this past, the company may have taken several stern decisions of changing identities, discontinuing brands, etc. History has witnessed several managers who have risen to glory because they have stood the test of time and successfully revived the previously discontinued brands. However, what every manager needs to ask is, will this work?

When Nissan went for the tie up with Renault, there was a lot at stake in terms of loosing identity and market position. However, Nissan survived and grew stronger. Datsun had been the company’s flagship brand in the US before it was discontinued in favor of Nissan. With its latest offering, Nissan has brought back the once familiar name of Datsun. The Go hatchback unveiled in India is nowhere similar to the sporty ones that used to tread the roads in America. Built to suit the Indian roads and the Indian budget, Nissan hopes that bringing back the Datsun name will prove lucky for them in the Indian subcontinent and help them reach out to a new category of customers. The other models of Datsun are also in the pipeline that will be sold in Russia, Africa and neighboring countries.

Reviving a brand or a brand name is not an overnight decision. Subconsciously, there is a lot of effort that goes into understanding the history of the brand and the perception attached to it in the past. Only after considering this feasibility, the company decides to bring back a gem from the past. In fact, it is in this process of understanding that the manager’s skills are truly tested.