Lessons We Can Learn from Burberry


Riccardo Ticsi, Burberry’s latest chief creative officer has already shaken things up, but not in a good way. Just a few months after his debut, Burberry unveiled a new pattern and wordmark. The new marks were created by famous British sleeve designer Peter Saville, who has little experience with the art of branding or rather, rebranding. While a designer may be famed, it isn’t a one size fits all, particularly with a project like this one. Creating award winning album cover art is not quite the same as rebranding a luxury fashion house— a task that requires a team, a thorough evaluation of the existing brand, a revised brand strategy, and time.

The new monogram and wordmark represent the fashion house’s first iconic logo redesign in almost 20 years. The minimalistic graphic identity incorporates an interlocking TB pattern (after the founder Thomas Burberry) in beige, white, and red coral. Additionally, the logo replaces serif style caps, created in 1999, with a sans-serif bold text.

The most incredulous part of this debacle is the fact that Ticsi only gave Saville four weeks to rebrand Burberry, making it clear that he has little to no experience with what it takes to take on a successful rebrand. With this in mind, it is a good time to review the process that should be followed when venturing to rebrand a well-established company.

Research & Analysis - Evaluation of all current materials and an in-depth analysis of current practices. Working alongside partners and agents to gather input and make recommendations is part of the process.

  • Three weeks minimum for a larger brand

Brand Strategy - Creation of a long term plan for a successful brand. This will include the essence of the brand and architecture necessary to achieve the outlined goals. The brand strategy will be responsible for dictating the entire brand experience and positioning.

  • Four weeks minimum for a larger brand

After this, it is time to move on to the visual component.

Development of Logo Concepts - Several logo concepts will be created with various color palettes and layout options. Four of those will be presented, with a maximum of three rounds of revisions.

  • Four Weeks minimum for a larger brand

A brand is an extremely valuable asset and should be treated as such, change for the sake of change makes no sense for a national brand. There must be strong reasons to evolve or change a brand. Naturally, brands must evolve as the world does, but the modifications must be based on findings which will dictate how much, or how little.

Newer isn’t always better. A bad rebrand can really hurt a company; just ask BP, Gap, Kraft, Tropicana, overstock.com or even Coca-Cola. Many of these brands had to revert back to their original logo in an effort to save the brand. No one is exempt from making mistakes, however, it’s best not to have to excuse your faux pas and instead do it correctly the first time.


Photos Courtesy of Burberry.