BEER: National Premium, a 139-year-old Baltimore beer that died in 1996
NEW OWNER: Tim Miller, local real-estate agent
$200,000 Miller's estimated relaunch cost
That includes $100,000 for marketing, and $75,000 for the beer's first run. Rather than brew it himself, he'll save money by hiring a brewer y to work off National's old recipe. He expects immediate interest. "It has big-time name recognition," he says.
$1,000,000 The beer's marketing value
That's what the owner of a similar regional beer—Mark Hellendrung of Narragansett Beer—estimated his brand's recognition was worth in advertising dollars when he relaunched it in 2005. He spent $10,000 on a billboard, and it was an instant hit.
$??? Cost of overcoming the past
"You can get caught up in the romance, but you have to keep in mind that there are a lot of people who lived through the demise and remember people being laid off," says Hellendrung. Winning over old-timers requires time, money, and lots of samples.
Reboot Nation: Reporting by Anthonia Akitunde, Emma Haak, Jason Feifer, Dan Macsai, and Lauren Smyth
A version of this article appeared in the October 2011 issue of Fast Company magazine.