November 21, 2018
LVMH-owned shirtmaker Thomas Pink follows numerous high-end fashion brands with a complete rebranding, but its tactics take a drastically different approach than its peers.
The British apparel and accessories label has reemerged as Pink, following a social media blackout. Rebrands require an intensive creative commitment, but offer the opportunity to update heritage brands for a new era of luxury shopping.
"Luxury brands thrive by executing classic luxury marketing pillars," said Chris Ramey, president of Affluent Insights, Miami, FL. "Dismissing heritage and inviting market confusion is rarely in their best interest."
"It’s not unusual for a luxury brand to respond to market pressures, and then a couple years later discover they’ve forfeited their DNA and pillars of luxury."
Originally launched in 1984, Thomas Pink was acquired by LVMH in 2003 before the brand began to lose some of its luster through discounting and outsourcing manufacturing.
Pink hinted at the changes by completely swiping its social media channels, including Facebook and Instagram, of its prior content. It then began teasing the new reveal with sketches of a storefront on Instagram.
The shirt is the focus of the Pink brand. Image credit: Pink
Before its rebrand, Thomas Pink had been pushing its dedication to craftsmanship.
The brand tapped the expertise of former FBI behavioral analyst Joe Navarro to delve into the body language and sartorial cues associated with the powerful. Further differentiating its garments from others, the brand took consumers behind-the-scenes at the workshop of Smyth and Gibson, which has been making Thomas Pink’s shirts for about 10 years (see story).
In one of its last campaigns before the brand overhaul, Thomas Pink promoted a collection of shirts in "Pink, White and Blue.” To do this, the brand recruited Dylan Thomas, renowned photographer known for his photos of politicians, artists, homes and fashion.
To show that the value of the shirt goes beyond the surface level, Mr. Thomas created a series of animated images of the shirts cut up into pieces and fluttering through the air. This approach was meant to capture the depth of detail given to each shirt (see story).
Pink will still keep the shirt at the center of its new brand image, updated in softer fabrics and vintage pastel shades.
The brand's updated Instagram account is drawing attention to the features of "The Perfect Shirt," including the collar and the cuff. Prices for the button-downs have gone up 40 pounds to £130, or $166 at current exchange.
As the rebrand continues to unfold, Pink also has plans to redesign its stores and has already begun to reduce its retail footprint.
"It doesn’t hurt to have LMVH’s resources behind you," Mr. Ramey said.
Refreshing brand imagery is a popular strategy as high-end retailers and fashion labels look to capture new audiences.
This fall, luxury consignment platform Vestiaire Collective debuted a new brand image that looks to reflect its aspirational take on the increasingly popular resale market.
Launched on Oct. 16, the new look includes a campaign, revamped logo and packaging and updated Web site. The luxury resale market is growing at a fast pace, as both aspirational and existing luxury shoppers turn to secondhand merchandise for economic and environmental reasons (see story).
Online retailer Shopbop underwent a complete rebrand of its shopping experience in 2017, including the launch of a new loyalty program.
A stylish update to the site will showcase the products more, with better photography and styling so as to give customers a closer look at products before they buy them. The rebrand is an attempt to drive up sales on the site as well as provide a smoother experience for shopping for luxury goods online (see story).
While not a complete rebrand, British fashion house Burberry is turning heads in the luxury world by unveiling a new logo and monogram after decades of its iconic emblem.
The new designs were unveiled on social media Aug. 2 after teases leading up to the reveal. Burberry shared letters and behind-the-scenes memos of discussions regarding the monogram and logo before showing it off itself (see story).
"Brands either adapt or die," Mr. Ramey said. "Pink is more a 'new brand' rather than a 'rebrand.'"