Brands Reborn


Brands Reborn

According to Collins Dictionary, a rebrand is ‘the process of giving a product or an organisation a new image, in order to make it more attractive or successful’. Giving yourself a new image can almost be done overnight, but making yourself more attractive and successful in the long term is a lot trickier.

One of the most successful rebrands of recent times was by Burberry in 2001. During the late 1990s, Burberry faced damage to its public image when the fashion brand was associated with ‘chav culture’. However, after hiring a new global design director and CEO, the conservative brand began injecting more sex appeal, making Kate Moss the face of Burberry for starters, immediately restoring its reputation and making it cool at the same time. Over the next 10 years, Burberry started to take back its intellectual property by buying back licences it had sold to allow other businesses to use its check on anything and everything. This allowed the company to significantly increase sales, through innovation, sticking close to its key brand principles and being confident in its creative vision. Burberry was also one of the first fashion brands to use social media, livestream fashion shows and create digital engagement with consumers. Burberry made itself attractive again.

At the other end of the spectrum in 2010, fashion brand Gap, introduced a new logo which it had spent $100 million creating. Unlike Burberry who embraced the power of the internet, Gap released the new logo with no warning, no marketing hype and no social media noise. The change was so unpublicised that it took people a while to notice that anything had even changed. However, once it was noticed, the feedback was not good and the new logo was replaced after just six days – one of the fastest re-rebrandings of all time. Gap execs responded immediately, asking the public to share their own designs for the brand, sparking speculation that the whole thing was a hoax… quite an expensive and embarrassing hoax it would seem. With this rebrand, Gap did seem to change its image overnight, but failed with the hard part in making it attractive and successful. 

Branding is important, it reflects who you are and what you stand for.  Rebranding is almost more important, it reflects how you are changing and growing

Here at Pumpkin, we are going through our own little rebrand courtesy of our friends at Gower. After nearly 20 years in business we are modernising our image to aid our continued growth and attract the best talent. Unrelatedly (we promise!), this seems to be coming at the exact same time as UKIP is having its own rebrand. However, I’m not sure we have a lot in common with Nigel Farage’s party… although, we do enjoy a pint…

Paddy Williams


Two weeks at Pumpkin

My name is Holly. I am currently studying Fashion Promotion at the University of Central Lancashire. Over the Easter break I was privileged enough to come and gain work experience at Pumpkin.   My first commute from rural Sussex was rather enjoyable. I got the train into the capital and then took a black cab to the office. A necessary luxury at this stage, as I didn’t trust myself on the tube. I was introduced to the team at Pumpkin and was instantly welcomed; I felt a real buzz within the office.

I was introduced to Jo, Account Executive, and was given my first introduction to the basics of the office.  I am studying Fashion Promotion so was given the task of getting more coverage for  a contemporary British womenswear label with a clean, unstated aesthetic. After reviewing editors and the range, I was shown how to construct appropriate emails and how to approach bloggers via Twitter and Instagram to generate more interest. I was also encouraged to create a blog, about my time at Pumpkin so this is my first attempt.

I started to explore London for the first time. The office is close to Soho and Oxford Circus, which is perfect for inspiration. I love it! I have the London bug. I was set a project to locate contacts for actors suitable for a campaign which is aimed at raising awareness to stop domestic violence and sexual assault. This involved looking into actors and their agents to find out why they would be the right face for the campaign based on their previous work.

My first day back after the long weekend, flew by! The sun was shining and the days were getting longer. I took the underground which was chaos but I felt a sense of achievement. I started contacting advertising trade journalists, but most of my attempts were met by answering machines although the few that answered were extremely polite which helped my first caller nerves. I feel I have a clearer understanding of the clients Pumpkin works with and what they do for those clients. I have had to familiarise myself with a huge range of newspapers and magazines where clients are often featured.

I have been on the phone, booking events and have learnt how to edit files. I now feel confident working on excel, speaking over the phone and navigating my way around London. All of these skills I will take away with me. The team has made me feel welcome and are all so approachable for that I am very grateful. My experience at Pumpkin has been so enjoyable, I don’t want to leave. It has given me so much motivation to take back and apply to my university work and it has also changed my perspective of working life. I returned to my studies with renewed enthusiasm and clear goals.

Holly Thompson


Why the Fashpack Is Leading the Way in Diversity

I’m not sure who finally dropped a dose of petrol onto the flames, but it looks like diversity has become one of THE hot topics in the advertising and marketing industry for 2016. It has been bubbling under the radar for a while, but this year is shaping up to be the one in which the industry has finally decided to take a moment to self-assess and openly discuss its lack of true diversity both in the content it produces and in the composition of its senior boards/workforce.

I think this ‘awakening’ might have something to do with the appointment of Karen Blackett, the first ever black, female CEO of MediaCom. Karen is an outspoken, intelligent and passionate advocate for diversity. I had the pleasure of hearing her speak at a Pumpkin social/work trip at EdTalks in London in April, and it remains one of the highlights of my year so far….she was truly inspirational and spoke from a personal viewpoint which shone a bright and honest spotlight on the industry’s problem with diversity. 

But let’s be fair and give some brands and marketers credit where it’s due. As a self-confessed fashion and beauty fiend, I believe that both industries have made great strides in inclusive marketing. The world of clothes, shoes, lotions and potions appears to be blind to colour, gender, and age and disability. 

One brand which has always stood out for their maverick attitude to advertising is United Colours of Benetton. For years, they have gone against the status quo and stayed true to their founding principles. The brand’s bold and ‘in your face’ campaigns have provoked outrage at times, but if I were a member of their marketing team observing the current fashion landscape of inclusivity, there would be a hint of self-assuredness about being the originators of this new phase of marketing.

MAC Cosmetics is another brand which stands heads and shoulders above the rest. Its inclusive campaigns range from using celebrity ambassadors of all races to front their limited edition releases, its MAC AIDS Fund, whose mission statement sums up what every brand in the world must be aiming for in their marketing (…to serve people of all ages, all races, all sexes…). But MAC’s standout moment for me was its unequivocal response to racist trolls who mocked an Instagram post of a black model with full lips showcasing its new shade during New York Fashion Week. The swift statement proved that MAC is a brand that talks the talk AND walks the walk, at the risk of alienating some of its consumers on social media.  

These are only two examples of how the fashion and beauty industry is representing the different facets of society in their marketing, and there are countless more. The industry has by no means perfected the art of inclusive advertising and many may argue that it’s about time, but I think the fashpack deserves a pat on the back for a stellar effort so far.

Angela Acquaye