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5 Brands That Abandoned Their Fan Base

PORTLAND, Ore. ( TheStreet) -- Even brands with a solid core of loyalists let their eyes wander.

Even when you're older and more established, there's something about that younger demographic and its cache of cool that makes you want to shed your company's retro logo, spruce up its packaging, do some social media promotion and get the old buzz machine cranking again. Who knows, maybe you'll make some best-of lists, develop an ironic following among hipsters and make a cameo in Girls or a Duplass brothers film.

At worst, maybe you'll just shed those lame, dusty old consumers who've supported you so faithfully throughout the years. Maybe they built you into the behemoth you are today, but they're making you feel lame by association and really putting a damper on that whole new image you're trying to cultivate for yourself.

Coca-Cola's (KO) introduction of New Coke in 1985 and its subsequent reversal and re-release of the original formula as Coca-Cola Classic just three months later is the unquestioned standard for how ditching your original fan base can go wrong, but there are also a handful out there who turned their back on their biggest fans and took it to the next level successfully. We surveyed the retail landscape and found just five examples of companies who forsook their original followings for a shot at something bigger. Here's how it turned out:
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