The journey of the rebrand
Last week a former client called me. He wanted to talk about a few merchandise ideas that we presented to his team that seemed to have stuck in his mind. Part of a recently rebranded FTSE 250 company, he wanted to resurrect the conversation as they were busy considering the best ways to express this new identity.
So much more than a new logo
Keen not to simply replace the old logo with a new one on the same merchandise they’ve been using all along, there was clearly an ambition for something more nuanced and true to their rebranding message. After all, they had spent a lot of time and money working on this new positioning so they don’t want to risk all the trappings that come with a quick fix. This client appreciated that they needed to update their collateral, merchandise and whole representation to make sure it was in-line with the new brand. A sensible move, any brand manager would undoubtedly agree with.
It’s something of a well-proven truism. Take a newly elected Prime Minister for example. The journey to get to this position doesn’t just happen overnight. Their behaviour had to change and adapt over time in order to keep up with that aspiration to be living behind the door of No.10. The lesson being that you can’t expect a different result whilst trying to maintain the status quo. The identity of this client had evolved and therefore everything else related to it has to develop along with it.
It’s all about careful consideration
Fundamentally, the way brands are represented tells a story about how they are positioned. One of this client’s new core values is ‘Partnering’ so one item we looked at was a Bluetooth key finder which we felt tied in neatly to this theme. For another value, ‘Creativity’, we discussed a pack of three pencils all packaged up in a sleeve proudly sporting their shiny new logo and branding. For us, it’s all about careful consideration of how branded merchandise can be used strategically so that the true essence of the brand is promoted. A good piece of branded merchandise is so much more than a ‘giveaway’ – it tells a story, and it has to tell the right story. What’s good for one is seldom the same as for another.
The subtle nuances of colour and style are ‘food and drink’ to designers but we contend that merchandise is being commoditised. A soft-touch, crook-handled umbrella, complete with pantone matched ribs and contrasting canopy can create an amazing brand experience when compared to a standard windproof golf umbrella. Both are great products, but with their own distinct arenas in the brand marketplace.
A creative mindset
With a bit of thought and a creative mindset, brands can use merchandise to link their culture, brand personality and visual appearance all at once – and having that well considered, beautifully produced suite of brand merchandise will give you control of every touch point with your clients.