For a pair of American brands that recently underwent similarly massive rebrands – Big Heart Pet Brands (formerly of the Del Monte empire) and Jazzercise – heritage was found in the companies’ histories, but also in their values and objectives for the future of their business. American brand agency CBX worked on both rebrands.
Big Heart Pet Brands is, essentially, a new brand. It’s logo and brand system are new. It’s positioning is new. Yet, it is also the only remaining vestige of FMCG giant Del Monte’s business after a sell-off of its human food brands. The company found that its remaining pet-focused holdings were not best served by the Del Monte brand, despite the brand affinity among consumers for the parent company and its own 129-year history.
Satoru Wakeshima, general manager at CBX, says this was a compelling position as the company was now all about pets. That was a proposition that made sense to its consumers, internal audience and investors alike. “While Del Monte Foods owned strong, well-known leadership brands in this space, such as Milk-Bone – and they very well could have gone the route of calling it the Milk-Bone Pet Company – there was a much bigger opportunity. When you’re creating a brand, you’re telling a story. And our story was more than just about the products this company sells, it was about a mission, a purpose: nurturing the bond between pets and the people who love them, making every day special.”
Wakeshima adds, “Big Heart Pet Brands would be a completely different company than Del Monte Foods and that transformation happened literally, overnight.” Despite throwing off the Del Monte mantle, though, Big Heart Pet Brands focused on its objective – love for one’s pets and the emotions within that relationship. From that standpoint, the brand was able to establish a new heritage in pet care by harnessing the company’s culture, the equity in its renowned brands and a new photographic and visual style. Wakeshima says, “Unless heritage has relevancy, it’s merely that: your past. Brand equity is what you own in the minds of people and there’s tangible, visual equity and there’s the intangible, emotional equity that’s associated with a brand.”
Jazzercise also saw heritage as both a boon and a burden. The high-intensity exercise brand had become inextricably tied to the 1980s, and all the visual clichés inherent in that decade. In rebranding, it had to acknowledge the household brand’s heritage, but also address its relevance to the modern woman.
“A rebrand allows any business to take a step back and evaluate its past, present and future place in the market and wider world. Ultimately, it’s a moment to identify its raison d’être”
Creative director at CBX, Alison Koller, says Jazzercise chose a frank, straightforward tone of voice that recognised and dispelled the associations the brand had with the past. But it also remained true to its core proposition of offering fun, intense workouts infused with choreography and dance music. Koller says, “We looked at all of the historical materials from Jazzercise, and understood that the name was the one clear piece of equity for the brand. The visual elements, however, needed a complete transformation… Innovation can come in the form of a new product or service. In the case of Jazzercise, the simple extension of the brand into greater strength and higher intensity toning (still based in dance) was a straightforward innovation.”
See full story in Transform Magazine.