ghost brand
n. A once-famous brand name that remains on sale but is no longer popular.
In that regard, I remembered a clipping I'd saved from 1997. … It starts, "Burma Shave, Brylcreem, Pepsodent, Ovaltine, William's Lectric Shave, RC Cola, Barbasol, Hai Karate, Black Jack Gum. At one point, these brands were widely recognized and frequently purchased. Many have now faded or become 'ghosts' of their former selves" … Many of these ghost brands are still being sold. Ovaltine, for instance, has a new life as a hot chocolate alternative.
—Ian Shoales, “Wring Out the Old,” Intelligent Enterprise, March 27, 2001
1993 (earliest)
Whatever the method used to try to bring ghost brands back — and whatever the odds against success — none of them should automatically be counted out, marketers say, given their longevity and lingering loyalty. "They're the Elvis brands," said Ms. Katz of Liberty. "You thought they were dead, but they keep coming back."
—Stuart Elliot, “The Famous Brands on Death Row,” The New York Times, November 07, 1993
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