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  • Writer's pictureIan Morris

5 things to learn from the Boots rebrand

Same as the title, but including the Boots logo

It’s a known fact that whenever an iconic brand takes on a brand overhaul, it’s going to spur debate amongst the design community. So when the Boots rebrand was unveiled earlier this month there were, of course, some comments.

But we’re not here for that. We’re putting aside the uncertainty and firmly focusing on the aspects that the Boots rebrand got right. With a heritage brand like Boots, (170 years young might I add), there’s still a lot to learn from this big household brand.  

The bits Boots got right

1. A logo based on heritage

Logo design has seen a considerable shift in recent years. This is down to a shift in mindset when it comes to creating great logos. It is now is less to do with blindly following ‘trends’, and more of a change in approach, reflecting authenticity, uniqueness, values, history and the personality of the company.

Logos need to stand apart from the competition and show their distinctiveness. This is exactly what Boots have achieved. By firmly returning to their logo roots, they are standing proud alongside their heritage.

We applaud Boots for removing the confining lozenge – by doing this, the logo feels more like a signature, a seal of approval and undoubtedly allows its authenticity to shine.

It is this heritage that has made Boots the health and beauty powerhouse that it is today.

We liberated and crafted the Boots logotype from the restriction of the 1960’s lozenge, re-introduced the classically contrasting master-brand colours.

2. Bold palette, for a sprinkle of excitement

It’s no secret for anyone familiar with the Boots that the brand was feeling ‘stuffy’. It was time for them to shake a leg and re-energise the brand for a modern audience and competitors.

A great example of the Boots rebrand in action are the gift cards, shown below. The injection of a large colour palette has worked wonders for the brand.

We’re not looking at anything truly innovative here – they’ve taken the logo and enlarged it in different colours, but in this instance it really works and they’ve shown how something so simple can be really effective.

Boots Gift cards in different colours

3. Socially relevant tone of voice & imagery

Another area we champion Boots for is not being stuck in a rut when it comes to tone of voice and imagery.

They have used imagery that brings people to the centre of their brand, allowing their personality, character and individuality to shine through.

There are many large brands who shy away from current social issues for fear of backlash. Uniting culture and social movements, Boots have embraced and celebrated pride, diversity and individuality through their messaging.

Hats off to you Boots!

Boot's booklets and store signage

4. Not afraid to break the layout mould

The last 2 years have shown a wave of layout trends, with the rebrand of John Lewis & Partners and Uber taking the reins. So it’s no surprise that the continuation to move away from the conventional and perfectly aligned elements are something that we’re still seeing in brands today.

Off-setting imagery and headings are now part of the Boots rebrand, which certainly works. It injects that much-needed energy they craved, with a sense of simplicity and without looking like a completely different brand.

Boot's external posters

5. Still undeniably Boots.

A sign of any good rebrand is retaining the important elements of the brand with a considered, modern approach. Retaining the core navy, Boots is very much the household brand we all know, with a little TLC.

They’ve cut the waffle from their packaging for a clean, easy to read and direct approach, whilst the ‘Since 1849’ is a strong feature across key parts of the brand showing pride of their heritage. For the first time in Boots history, these elements make the brand feel more grounded and sure for who and what they stand for. Overall the Boots rebrand has been a much-needed success for a pivotal point in retail history.

The Boots brand purpose is to ‘champion everyone’s right to feel good’. Our evolved master brand identity projected the idea that ‘our confidence inspires your confidence’.

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