Emerging Trends: Retrofitting

in Strategy & Trends | by David Capece

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Reinventing Classic

By Ethan Lyon, Senior Writer

Definition
Taking something old and passé and making it “cool” again is nothing new. Fashion is always recycling the style of yesterday and putting today’s spin on it. But fashion is not the only industry actualizing the Retrofitting trend. Companies are finding new and interesting ways of giving a face-lift to products of old. Though innovation runs through our veins, new products don’t have to look slick. As we search for authenticity in our lives, we will turn to familiar, comforting, quality products.

Spin
Authenticity—New isn’t always better. Well, new is good, but as long as it doesn’t look like it. It’s called vintage-chic. Often times, products from a different era are altogether new products. What a strange paradox. But consumers crave authenticity, because authenticity means quality.
Reinvention—Taking a pastime product, like Coke, and reintroducing the glass bottle design is ingenious. In effect, Coke is reinventing its product. That glass Coke bottle represents a time when quality was the cornerstone of company promise. You might even think it tastes better. Now, as companies are hacking away at budgets, quality will suffer. Therefore, the market for quality goods will be less competitive, which equals opportunity. Companies that can deliver authentic products with authentic pricing will have the upper hand.

Examples
Bigelow Apothecary—The apothecary vocation might conjure images reminiscent of a Shakespearian drama. Perfect, says Bigelow. Shakespearian is good. It’s the pinnacle of linguistic perfection–an emblem of quality. Then it’s no surprise Bigelow introduced its Apothecary collection to the Bath and Body Shop. Bigelow Apothecary exemplifies why the Retrofitting trend is emerging. It harks back to a time when products were made to a higher standard.
The Impossible Project—Remember the instant film Polaroid camera? Well, nowadays it’s been pushed aside by digital technology. You can’t purchase the integral film it requires to operate. That’s why the Impossible Project is calling on the help of instant film aficionados to donate funds in an effort to reproduce the film that inspired instant photography.
Lush—The bath and body store, Lush, were in a pickle: stores are only so big and Lush wanted to offer new and old products consumers love. Solution: the Internet. Offer the latest products in store (with a couple retro products in the mix) but create an online store that sells everything from the originals to the latest and greatest product line.

Key Words
Authentic, Quality, Classic

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