• Transform magazine
  • February 27, 2020


Daring design strategy for British brand Debenhams

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Change is rife on the British high street. BHS collapsed. House of Fraser went into administration. John Lewis, still alive and kicking, has rebranded. Now, Debenhams has unveiled a new look for a new era.

Working with London-based design agency Mother, Debenhams focused on a new logo and brand communications strategy that will roll out from 2018 onward. Using strong, rich colours and illustrations, along with a refined, serif typeface, Debenhams’ new brand is able to be deployed in print and online with ease.

CEO Sergio Bucher says, “The Debenhams Redesigned strategy sets out to reinvent the shopping experience for customers. Whilst we have made real improvements to our stores and continue to improve our product offering, we also want to signify overtly to customers that Debenhams is changing and give them more reasons to come in store – our new brand identity is a way of signalling that change.”

Debenhams has worked tirelessly to infuse its stores with new experience-driven features, craft a more accessible e-commerce site and modernise its collection and brand. The first stores to undergo modernisations – including new dynamic showcase spaces and improved in-store experiences – were Reading, Cambridge, Leicester and Sheffield Meadowhall. One of the chain’s key features, its expansive beauty halls will be complemented by a redesign with a new ‘Labs’ section designed to help customers discover new products.

The strategy also involves a new focus on changing customer perception and improving e-commerce conversion rates. The rebrand is rolling out across all physical and digital touchpoints and will be complemented by a new advertising campaign. The campaign is “designed to champion the unapologetic joy of shopping,” according to Debenhams. Supported by the new illustration style from the rebrand, marketing materials are more fun and more relevant to Millennial audiences than previous iterations.

With in-store shopping becoming more defined by experiential features, tied increasingly to brand loyalty and becoming ever more competitive, Debenhams is taking steps in the right direction. Its 200 year heritage and strong new strategy may help it succeed in a challenging market.

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