Some of the most interesting (and profitable) consumer brands are Bridge Brands. Successful Bridge Brands have a distinct, even quirky quality that makes them extremely memorable. They have a youthful quality combined with a degree of maturity that makes them palatable, and even attractive to a variety of age groups. There is a sense in the successful Bridge Brand that it makes up its own universe—one where it is the center and the salvation. This can create powerful loyalties and extremely strong lifetime brand relationships. The successfully conceived Bridge Brand is certainly much more than just a stepping-stone—it is a destination experience.
Although Interbrand’s president credits the success of Coke to his interpretation that it “continues to reinvent itself,” the facts say otherwise: of the 15 new Coca-Cola brands the company has introduced since 1983, only a couple are still around. The most notable “reinvention” (New Coke, in 1985) was one of the greatest marketing boondoggles of the last century.