In this first post I wanted to share what inspired me to become a Brandropologist

As it says on the tin, my aim is to source, document and celebrate “epic tales of brand demise and resurgence” to share those with as wide an audience as possible,

Thus giving tribute to the people who invested time and effort creating products, experiences, services & brands that may have vanished from the collective memory.

The understanding of the historical, geographical and cultural contexts that those endeavours operated in will often reveal the reasons that led to their fate.

Doing so I hope to bring together like minded individuals willing to help revive, relaunch or at least celebrate brands that are no longer front and center.

Below are some of the triggers that led me to start this journey:

  1. The family business:

When I recently did a Google search for the insect repellant brand called Oxi-Tiques that my paternal grandparents created post WWII, I was saddened and surprised to only get two hits, one old newspaper advert from 1950’s and one from an old tin box up for auction

  • Despite having worked on this business tirelessly for over 3 decades, no other public records nor decent archives are to be found online. Someone, somewhere had to tell their story…

2. The trip:

  • In a recent family trip to one of The Azores archipelago (an autonomous region of Portugal) we ended up visiting the ruins of an old water bottling plant in a remote valley of the São Miguel island.
  • In the late 1800’s one of the first commercial fizzy water brand in the world was bottled and commercialized worldwide from this very source, the water was called: Água das “Lombadas”
  • Luckily one beautiful fountain is still pouring carbonated water and it tastes amazing, it really feels like drinking a San Pellegrino !
  • I fell in love with the dramatic beauty of this place and really wanted to understand what was the story behind those ruins, the forgotten brand and the people behind it.
  • Sooo, watch out for the post on the epic tale of the Água das “Lombadas”…

3. The auction find:

  • few years back I wanted to get a few vintage cameras for my oldest son’s birthday as he was developping a liking with all things photography. I happen to win a lot of old cameras at a local auction. Surpisingly most of them were from an old UK manufacturer I had never heard of: Coronet
  • My curiosity once again was tickled and I started wondering, what was the story of Coronet ? When did they operate ? Why did they disappear ? What is left of it ? More soon on that epic tale…

4. The constant reminder:

  • everyday when sitting in the kitchen while having breakfast I find myself facing two beautiful enameled plaques from vintage French brands
  • Pastis Olive (local aniseed liquor) and Delespaul Havez (Chocolate & Sweets manufacturer) no longer operate as businesses, however their soul is still alive via the beautiful adverts that have been lovingly created and passed on to the next generations.
  • Surely their stories are worth telling too…

Which forgotten brands have touched you in a similar way ?

Please comment below and perhaps we could write their epic tales together ?

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