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Tout casse, tout passe, tout lasse; et tout se remplace: resurrecting declining brands by leveraging brand-pastness

David Strutton (Department of Marketing, Ryan College of Business, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)
Aaron Schibik (Schroeder School of Business Administration, University of Evansville, Evansville, Indiana, USA)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 23 May 2023

Issue publication date: 14 August 2023




The past is important for various known and unknown reasons. This paper aims to reveal and justify unacknowledged reasons why, when and how managers should consider leveraging the pasts of previously successful but currently declining brands to restore their more desirable historical market positions.


This conceptual paper combines marketing and branding theory with historical branding examples, anecdotes and inductive inferences to develop and justify brand-pastness as a theoretically-grounded and managerially-actionable repositioning concept that could be applied to resurrect declining brands.


The emergent historically-grounded brand-pastness framework generates innovative insights that could be applied in the future. These insights explain when, why and how brand managers could apply brand-pastness to resurrect declining brands. The framework also facilitates the development of a brand-pastness-based research agenda. The agenda is driven by questions structured to address the nature, scope and potential applications of brand-pastness as a new concept and useful repositioning tool.

Research limitations/implications

This paper’s recommendations are limited by their conceptual and inductive origins. However, a research agenda is developed to guide and structure future empirical investigations of the branding antecedents to and consequences of a prospective brand-pastness construct.


This paper introduces, conceptualizes and justifies the potential value of a historically-grounded concept called brand-pastness. The concept may prove beneficial when marketing managers use brand-pastness to reposition and resurrect declining brands by re-instilling targeted consumers’ historical perceptions of brands’ past superiority.



Strutton, D. and Schibik, A. (2023), "Tout casse, tout passe, tout lasse; et tout se remplace: resurrecting declining brands by leveraging brand-pastness", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 98-120.



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