Unleashing Your Team’s Creative Genius to
Generate Powerful, Strategic New Ideas
and Profitable Business Growth




Post Written By Sandie Glass, Owner of Innovation ROI

A Strategic Full Service Ideation & Research Company

Trend Announcement

I just saw the announcement that the Sears’ Black Friday 2014 Ad was just released (11/4), and it reminded me of  trends , specifically “What’s old is new again” that I’d like to discuss with you today.

Sears originally launched the Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalog back in 1893. This iconic “Big Book” was the sole marketing vehicle for this original mail order business.

As merchandise expanded from just initially jewelry and watches to sewing machines, sporting goods, musical instruments, saddles, firearms, bicycles, etc., it grew over the years in not only the number of pages, but the actual dimensions of the paper size, the addition of color sections, and the frequency of production – with the creation of Spring and Fall catalogs as well as the popular Christmas “Wish Book.”

As the world became more technologically advanced and competitive “look books” went digital, Sears shifted opposite from the trends into a new retail model and said goodbye to producing the large catalogs back in 1993.

Ever since the start of the modern Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been known as the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season. The term “Black Friday” was first coined in the 1960’s to mark the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season since accounting records were kept by hand, and red ink indicated a loss, and black a profit.

Today, Sears is still synonymous with its legendary “Big Book” catalog and with the “make or break” importance of Black Friday sales to retailers, Sears has cleverly taken to  “recycled marketing,” modernizing this iconic equity element from its past and turned it into its yearly Black Friday Ad. Clearly demonstrating What’s Old Is New Again.

The 2014 Ad is 64­ pages of more than 1000 doorbusters and deep discounts on close to everything in the store.

This is an incredible case study of recycled marketing and tapping into trends, particularly the “What’s Old Is New Again” trend  – utilizing an iconic element from the past and transforming it into a modern-day tool to drive business growth.

What nostalgic brand equity element could you be utilizing to put the trends like “What’s Old Is New Again” into action for your brand ?


Innovation ROI is a leading up-front innovation consulting firm that has a combined 38 years of expertise collaborating with top corporate innovation teams to create incredible, actionable business—building ideas. You will get a Return On Insights through our Collision Point™ process, where INSIGHTS and IMAGINATION intersect to create powerful strategic ideas for success. Learn more about Innovation ROI at www.innovationroi.com.