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How 6 Industry Leading Brands Refreshed For Success

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30 June 2023

How 6 Industry Leading Brands Refreshed For Success

Does your brand require a refresh? Here are some techniques on how you can revolutionise your branding to keep up with market trends.

Brands are very much like people. They have cycles, growth spurts, moments of stillness, and the most successful ones are constantly growing. In an industry that is always developing, brands need to find new ways to adjust to changing trends, markets, and world ideals without compromising their brand identity. Steve Hoch, Professor of Marketing at the University of Pennsylvania and Director of the Baker Retailing Initiative states that “It’s hard to effectively position a brand, it’s even harder to reposition it”. 

 

At London Contour Experts, we’re specialists at conducting effective brand ‘facelifts’ as part of our service offerings in both product and marketing; supplying detailed competitor and consumer research, tailored marketing strategies, and creating dynamic re-brand designs to help brands reach their full potential. If you need help to refresh your brand or break into a new product category, download our full marketing offerings here.

 

Unsure if a brand facelift is for you? Take a look at how some industry-leading brands tackle adapting to an evolving market to successfully remain relevant.

AGENT PROVOCATEUR

Agent Provocateur was renowned in the 1990s for being provocative and innovative with its marketing tactics. Campaigns for the brand were hypersexual and voyeuristic, yet played on the male gaze trope by directing their ads towards women and placing them in dominant roles. The brand was considered feminist at the time by parodying motifs once used to sexualise and objectify women and pushing it as far as they could to illustrate the absurdity of female body objectification. However, this tactic did not come across as cutting-edge to a twenty-first-century audience and instead seemed outdated and misogynistic as it still objectified women’s bodies. 

The brand needed to appeal to a new modern market whose ideals had shifted and reposition the brand to remain relevant. To achieve this, Agent Provocateur completely redirected its branding and began producing more whimsical and lighthearted campaigns. The atmosphere within their branding moved away from the 90s dark, edgy and erotic ambience in favour of a softer, feminine and jovial tone which promoted comedy and fun rather than sex appeal. Being able to adapt to a shifting eco-political climate, Agent Provocateur was able to remain relevant in a competitive market and reposition its brand for a modern audience by adjusting the tone of its marketing without compromising its identity as sensual.

SCANDALE

Scandale is an iconic French lingerie brand that first introduced elasticated girdles, the ancestor to Spanx and Skims, to the world. In 2022, they completely rebranded themselves as Scandale Eco-Lingerie, refocusing their identity as a sustainability-led company, committing themselves to prioritise the ‘intelligence of sustainability’. They became vegan PETA-approved, using 100% eco-fabrics with 80% coming from recycled and organic fibres, and 72% of alloys consisting of recycled materials. They also rehauled their logo, maintaining the French sensual identity of the brand with a pop of red, but moving away from the now outdated sketch typeface and kitsch 1950s illustrations in favour of sleek and minimalistic font design. 

 

Their new green ethos is coherent throughout their campaigns too, which feature models wearing the product with white minimalist backdrops posing with various types of foliage. Scandale was able to successfully rebrand themselves in line with current consumers’ concerns over climate change and wastage within the fashion industry. By repositioning itself as an eco-conscious brand through strong cohesive marketing, a logo update, and by implementing sustainable practices, Scandale has successfully modernised its brand whilst maintaining the strong french aesthetic of its designs. Whilst creating an entirely new USP is an intimidating notion for an established brand, LCE is here to guide you through the creative process, and help you uncover a new passion which resonates with both your brand values and the desires of the modern market.

PERFECT MOMENT

In 2021, Perfect Moment approached LCE to facilitate repositioning the brand as style experts whose products could be worn both in the city and on the slopes, whilst expanding into a new product category. We assisted the brand by conducting extensive research into the market and noted that consumers were moving away from traditional activewear colours that were more monotone and neutral, favouring bold and exciting colours with dynamic patterns that dominated the catwalks. These vivid designs and more fashionable cuts appealed to a younger demographic and consequently got picked up by online influencers, generating interest and buzz by appearing more ‘instagrammable’. 

Through our research, we also noted that modern consumers were concerned with shopping more sustainably and therefore created designs for Perfect Moment’s swimwear range that were crafted with recyclable yarn and reversible silhouettes for longevity. By applying ready-to-wear trends to their designs and implementing eco-conscious design techniques, Perfect Moment was able to reposition its products from strictly sports gear for professionals, to style-savvy swimwear designs worn by trend-conscious consumers. Additionally, through LCE’s research we discovered that whilst Perfect Moment’s consumer base is largely female, men between the ages of 20-35 were becoming increasingly experimental with colour and pattern too, perhaps due to the explosion of streetwear at the time. This encouraged Perfect Moment to break away from sporting fashion tradition and embrace adventurous hues and clashing pattern designs in order to convert a previously untapped consumer in the market.

 

CALVIN KLEIN UNDERWEAR

Calvin Klein reinvented the men’s underwear market when they introduced boxers to their range in 1982. Before this, men’s underwear advertisements were targeted toward the women in their lives, such as mothers, wives, and sisters, as they would primarily be the buyer rather than the men themselves. The brand was able to successfully break into a new product category by identifying a group of buyers whom the market wasn’t currently targeting and creating campaigns that specifically appealed to men. By appealing to a new crowd, they inadvertently changed the entire market itself, becoming the inspiration for campaigns and products to this day; their now iconic branded jacquard waistband has been mimicked by countless brands. 

Calvin Klein campaign

GQ Fashion Director, Robert Johnston, claims that the brand’s quintessential waistband is fundamental to Calvin Klein’s continued dominance in the men’s underwear market. “If you spend money, you want people to know it. Wearing it, as people do, above the waistband, is a stamp of approval … a sign that you feel confident.” Rather than reinventing its brand, Calvin Klein was able to cleverly reinvent the market with an innovative product and bold marketing campaigns which has permanently changed the market itself. They were able to do this by calculated market research. At London Contour Experts, our branding ‘facelift’ program can help you to also identify gaps in a new and unexplored market for your brand through thorough market analysis, split into consumer and competitor evaluation. 

 VICTORIA’S SECRET

This brand has experienced one of the most notorious and well-documented fashion reinventions of the 21st century. Once considered the most influential brand within the lingerie industry, Victoria’s Secret was heavily criticised by younger generations in the mid-2010s for promoting narrow beauty standards, exemplified by their ‘The Perfect Body’ campaign in 2014. The publication of the Angels’ rigorous diet and exercise plans to prepare for the infamous annual show was also condemned by critics, who believed it encouraged eating disorders and unhealthy lifestyles to young girls who hoped to attain figures like the Angels. The brand was also scrutinised for its ties to Jefferey Epstein and its obvious catering to the male fantasy within its shows and branding, with the public’s disinterest in the brand was reflected by falling sales. 

Victoria Secret's campaign

In 2021, Victoria’s Secret’s new CEO announced they had begun a complete overhaul of their brand identity, beginning by moving away from using models in their campaigns in favour of inspirational women such as entrepreneurs and activists, who will be now known as The VS Collective. Getting rid of their notorious Angels was intended as a signal to consumers that the brand is refreshing its values to meet today’s morals of the modern market. However, their most recent campaign features former Angels such as Hailey Beiber and has come under fire for an apparent unwillingness to fully transform the brand. Victoria’s Secret is a warning to all brands too afraid to adapt to shifting consumer opinions, as they will be left in the past. 

ABERCROMBIE & FITCH: YOUR PERSONAL BEST

Following heavy criticism for its over-sexualised marketing techniques and exclusionary size range targeted toward young adults and teens, Abercrombie & Fitch has been in the process of reimagining its brand identity since 2017. Carey Krug, Head of Marketing at the brand, claims that before the brand “focused on people ‘fitting in’ whereas now, it’s focused on creating a space where everybody truly belongs”. Their campaigns now feature models of all shapes, sizes and skin tones as well as people with different disabilities, illustrating that the brand is now one which welcomes and caters all types of consumers. 

Abercrombie campaign

To further their brand facelift, Abercrombie & Fitch introduced a new activewear range in March 2022, known as ‘Your Personal Best’. This product category is entirely new for the brand, with the name indicating a message of inclusion and celebration for all levels of capabilities. The collection itself is available in a wide range of sizes and natural earthy hues, hinting at a non-gendered stance on their activewear line. In contrast to Victoria’s Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch is swaying public opinion back on their side with their commitment to their new brand identity through cohesive marketing which feels genuine and earnest. This is reflected in their sales, which by mid 2022 have already exceeded $3.7 billion which is more than the company’s total revenue for 2019.  

swimwear campaigns

There are endless avenues for how to refresh your brand if you begin to feel that your brand no longer accurately reflects your values or doesn’t resonate with the consumer market. London Contour Experts can help you redesign your logo, adjust the tone of your campaigns, as well as conduct thorough market research into new product categories and design collections to ensure you break into your target market. 

To take a sneak peek at how London Contour Experts performs our brand facelifts, check out our Valiant Lingerie rebrand case study!

 

If you want to discuss a brand facelift with a member of the HYSCULPT team, get in touch here! 

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