Case Study by Marko Zonta RGD, Principal and Creative Director, Zync
Hangar9 is a high-end fashion retailer committed to a truly personalized shopping experience and refined, trend-setting clothing. Zync developed a new persona and communications strategy for their existing brand, Fisher & Company. This rebrand included the new name, a new look and logo and a responsive website.
The goal of the project was to position Fisher & Company for continued success in London, and future success in Toronto, and beyond. We had to increase awareness, client base, media attention and opportunities for expansion. But most importantly, we had to help develop a lifestyle brand that redefines fashion and style for all women — with a special focus on the sophisticated businesswoman.
Once we had zeroed in on the scope, timeline, roles and responsibilities for the project, we used our proprietary strategic process: Business Creative™. We took key stakeholders in the company through a series of strategic and creative meetings, exercises and workshops. By engaging a wide range of stakeholders, we were able to develop a deeper understanding of the company, helping to differentiate the brand and make it stand out. Through Business Creative™, we established a foundational strategy and began developing new names and visual identities.
During the design stage, we developed three new identities with specific names and logos. We worked closely with the client to make sure we developed a look and feel that represented their goals moving forward, which included pushing boundaries while also being mindful of the brand's history. We gave the client the opportunity to choose from concepts ranging from a bold identity through to a more sophisticated approach.
In the end, Hangar9 was selected. It embodied their sophisticated and elegant appeal mixed with a clean and contemporary look. The name also paid homage to their philosophy that with the right 9 wardrobe pieces you can create multiple striking outfits.
After completing the creative process, we produced stationery, garment tags, bags, wrapping paper, signage and decorative wallpaper that could be used behind the checkout counter. The new store in Toronto will be completely branded with the new look and will open later in 2015. Hangar9 officially revealed their new brand at the company's annual fashion show at the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club last month.
Zync also developed a responsive website that was both user-friendly and easy for the client to maintain. As we see people increasingly favouring their mobile devices over desktop computers, we have to take advantage of responsive web design and alternative mobile strategies. If a company is not providing a mobile-friendly experience for its customers, they’ll bounce off the website and go to a competitor's, whose website is easier to use.
Besides providing a user-friendly experience and easy navigation, a website needs to engage customers and provide relevant, up-to-date content. For Hangar9, it was very important for them to learn how to create and manage content themselves. Zync provided a custom CMS for the site to make content input and editing simple and easy.
Fisher & Company had been around for 30 years. Doing a rebrand after a long and successful history is always a challenge. The client must be an integral part of the process to help the entire team embrace the change.
The new logo and wordmark integrated the existing name in a subtle way, adding 'by Fisher and Company'. This may be phased out as customers become familiar with the new brand. We have received positive feedback from the client, who told us that the brand works perfectly for their business.
The new name, logo and overall look speak to the elegance and sophistication of Hangar9’s clothing and clientele, and the name pays tribute to the company's philosophy while giving it a memorable spin. The new brand is also different enough from the old to open horizons for growth into new markets and new opportunities (like expansion of the women’s line and introduction of a men’s line).
"Zync was given the challenging task of taking our 30 year old family business and evolving it into a fresh new modern brand—Hangar9. It was Zync’s enthusiasm for our company that really made us feel at home and engaged in the entire process. They provided a “fresh suit” for our business and used an unparalleled creative approach to capture, in our new image, the key fundamentals of our business. They created and translated a message to the modern woman that we have been trying to get across for 30 years. The result was a global brand image that we hope will bring us continued success for another 30 years." - Rachael Fisher, Lead Stylist & Buyer, Hangar9
- Re-branding is a collaborative process. You must work closely with the client. Form questions, gather information, analyze and repeat. Insights received along the way should strongly influence your work.
- Presenting a range of design approaches to the client team helps them better understand and articulate how they want to position their company.
- Knowing where a brand shouldn’t live is as important as knowing where it should. Before you start work on a project/re-brand, work closely with the client on a creative brief so you are both clear on who the target audience is, and who the target audience is not. The more we know about the brand and the problems we are trying to solve (and not solve) the clearer and more focused we can be when building the brand.
- Make sure your business plan and your brand strategy are aligned.
- Understand what can be done by your internal team and what should be done using by external resources.
- If you’re working with a small budget, focus on design elements that will be most effective in helping the client achieve their goals. Work with the client to determine what is most important to them (in the case of Fisher & Company, leveraging brand trust), and use that as a base for your strategic decision-making process.
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