Is there hope for brands we'd like to see come back?

Yesterday's New York Times Magazine gave some hope for those of us who have been pining for some product to come back -- like Hydrox cookies, Grape Nehi and other items in the Top 25 Things We Wish Would Make a Comeback. Rob Walker's story Can a Dead Brand Live Again? profiled a Chicago company, River West Brands, that revives what it calls ghost brands. Like Brim coffee. Or Underalls.

The company recognizes that it's a lot cheaper to revive a brand that so many people already recognize -- thanks often to jingles from their childhoods -- than spend the millions it takes to create a new one from scratch. Unfortunately for fans of dead brands, they don't just look for products that still have cult followings because they were awesome. In fact, having a bunch of people who are fanatical about a product can actually be a turn-off.

"A tiny number of hard-core loyalists not only doesn't mean a whole lot when reviving a brand, it might be a problem because those people do remember," Walker writes. He cites VW Beetle purists who didn't like new bug.