Published On: Thu, Feb 16th, 2012

What?s in a Name? Strategic Marks, LLC Plans to Bring Back the Brand Names You Remember

What’s in a Name? Strategic Marks, LLC Plans to Bring Back the Brand Names You Remember

Irvine, CA (PRWEB) June 30, 2011

What do Atari®, Astro Pop®, Flicks Candy®, Bonomo Turkish Taffy® and Mini Cooper® have in common? They are all brand names that, once upon a time, were big businesses and part of the public vernacular, then died off and were recently resurrected by loyalists who couldn’t see those iconic brands fade away. More and more die-hard fans of some of the most iconic brands that faded away are focused on bringing them back with a real passion, not just to fit a corporate product mix. Strategic Marks, LLC, a company based in Irvine, CA, is one of a handful of companies with plans to revive some of these long-lost brand names since many brand icons are pieces of “Americana” history and American popular culture.

Good trademarks are those that establish a strong and favorable connection, in the minds of the consumers, between a specific good or service and the source of that good or service. Therefore, even when the product leaves the marketplace due to company consolidation or because it was pulled off the market, consumers still hold strong feelings and attachments to these brands. In many cases, the loyal customers are the ones taking charge and acquiring these brands, making sure the mistakes that originally caused the brand’s demise won’t be duplicated.

“I started the company as a hobby by first acquiring the rights to Astro Pop®, (one of the most popular candy suckers in the world which Spangler Candy stopped making in 2004) then started acquiring other defunct retail and food brand trademarks that once emotionally resonated with the consumer during its heyday. It really is a personal thing with me”, says Ellia Kassoff, the CEO of Strategic Marks, LLC. “It all started when I couldn’t find my favorite candy sucker, Astro Pop® in any of the stores and called the manufacturer. When they told me they discontinued the product, my heart dropped. I asked myself, how can they just discontinue one of the most iconic candy brands around just like that? I then called the CEO of the company and asked if the rights for Astro Pop were for sale. Two years later, I own the brand!” After doing research on why companies drop brands I was amazed to find out sometimes, it’s just a matter of simple ‘brand management’. Many large companies have a financial formula and if the brand doesn’t meet the formula, they simply drop the product. Other examples include when Macys bought Federated Department stores and closed many of the old department store names that people loved. They just didn’t need them anymore. In one day they all faded away. Leaf Brands was one of the top 10 candy companies in the US, with iconic brands such as Jolly Rancher®, Milk Duds®, Whoppers®, Heath Bar® plus they had the market share of gumball machines with their Rainblo® Bubble Gum line. When Hershey bought the US division of Leaf in 1996, all those brands became Hershey and the Leaf Name was tossed aside.” Everyone in the candy industry remembers Leaf so we acquired the name and restarted the company. When we made our debut at the National Candy show in May, it was as if the Leaf name hadn’t died. We had customers asking us to bring back the bubblegum and make a new malted milk ball. It was so amazing!” One article ran saying, “Major Confectionary Company Leaf Brands announces new product at the Sweets and Snacks Show.” “I started laughing and said, Wow, we’re only two days old and we’re already a “major confectionary giant?”

Ken Wiesen, an attorney from NY brought back Bonomo Turkish Taffy® and Machinery manufacturer Jim Tjerrild brought back Flicks Candy® after Ghirardelli stopped making the favorite movie chocolate bits back in the 1980’s. “These were our favorite candies growing up and no one stepped-up to resurrect them so we decided to do something about it,” Says Ken. “The brands are our babies! There are quite a few of us out there that are buying up our favorite brands.” Ken continues.

“Consumers miss the unique and special things these nostalgic brands provided. So much these days is generic and lacking that special touch,” said Kassoff. We just want to bring back some of the memories and happiness these old brands gave us growing up. We’re talking to mall owners that would love to license the old department store names and re-open them. We’re really excited about these stores coming back! More selection, more competition, better service.”

Brand Expansion

The key to success with any of these brands is not only re-starting them but also extending the line of the brands. “With Astro Pop®, we decided to create Astro Pop Sodas™, A Giant 2lb Astro Pop, small versions called Astro Pop Asteroids™ and plans are to create a frozen Astro Pop. “We have to move the brand forward and not keep them the way they were.” Kassoff explains.

Strategic Marks, LLC has received the rights to the following trademarks and is in the process of re-launching and re-establishing these brands via in-house brand development and outside licensing/partnership alliance model, with plans to focus on e-commerce, private label, as well as offer special signature products, and licensed/brand extensions:

Retro Department Stores

Joseph Magnin

Bullock’s Department Store

May Company


Jordan Marsh


The Broadway

The Bon Marche’

Abraham and Straus


Leaf Brands, LLC

Wacky Wafers

Astro Pop®


Newport Ski Company

Newport Surf and Sport

Retailer websites are planning to launch in late 2011.

About Strategic Marks, LLC: Based in Irvine, CA, Strategic Marks, LLC identifies, acquires, redevelops, and monetizes iconic brand intellectual property.

About Leaf Brands, LLC: The original LEAF Brands were started in the 1920’s. LEAF Brands, once the fourth largest candy producer in North America, brought candy classics such as Whoppers® and Jolly Rancher® to the marketplace. Members of the Leaf family have assembled together once again to revive the Leaf name and its famous image after the US division was sold to The Hershey Corporation in 1996 and left the United States. Products include Astro Pops®, Yummers!™, Farts™ and David’s Signature Beyond Gourmet™ products.


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