Velcro, known the world over for making hook-and-loop closures that hold various parts of our lives together, has undertaken a rebranding effort that includes new packaging, revamped websites, a renovated Barcelona office, and a focus on consumers’ own insights on the creative things you can do with Velcro products.
The rebranding has been a massive top-to-bottom exercise, according Velcro Group vice president of global marketing Jurjen Jacobs, who explains, “It’s a manufacturing-driven company, very regional, with lots of different Velcro affiliates and entities around the world, and they were all doing their own thing. When I came aboard, there was an incredible inconsistency in all the things that we were doing.”
That said, there was also an incredible opportunity, Jacobs says, calling it a “marketer’s dream” to come into a company with more than 50 years of heritage, and, according to research, a relatively high amount of recognition amongst consumers who overwhelmingly have positive associations with the brand and its products.
Two years after he began developing a rebranding plan for Velcro, enlisting the talents of a network of creative shops from around the globe, Jacobs is now seeing it come to fruition. “It’s all now physical,” he says. “It’s a very exciting period.”
Jacobs shared highlights from Velcro’s rebranding process with Co.Create.
It all started with the logo
Jacobs tackled the Velcro Companies’ logo issue before he did anything else. There had been two in circulation, and they were old. One was a named-based logo that dated back to the 1950s, the other a flying V logo that was born in the 1970s. “Having two logos doesn’t work in general, so we created one,” Jacobs says, noting, “But there were positive aspects to the old logos we really wanted to keep.” The new logo, which took six months to design, pays tribute to the past while making the brand feel current. Additionally, it works well everywhere it needs to be–on Velcro packaging, websites, buildings, business cards and so forth, Jacobs points out.
Simplified packaging designed to cut through the clutter
Rebranded Velcro packaging featuring the new logo hits store shelves in Europe this month and will appear in the United States in the first quarter of 2013. Jacobs says the goal with the package redesign was to make it easier for consumers to find what they are looking for, a challenge given that Velcro makes approximately 400 products for consumer use. Ultimately, it was decided that color-coded packaging would work best: Red packaging indicates adhesive-backed products; green is for outdoor/gardening; packages coded blue contain ties and straps; orange packaging holds products for use on fabric; purple represents office solutions; and teal is for specialty items.
A stickier Velcro.com
Television commercials do not factor into Velcro’s branding campaign. “For us, that’s way out of reach,” Jacobs says. So Velcro websites will remain a vital marketing tool. Velcro recently relaunched its flagship Velcro.com website, giving it a fresh new look and making it easier to navigate. Currently, the company is localizing the website content for European markets as well as China and Mexico and adding e-commerce functionality to the product pages.
Selling a reinvigorated brand to employees
Jacobs isn’t limiting his efforts to reaching consumers. He is also marketing a new and improved Velcro to the company’s employees. A film screened in-house outlines the company’s plans for the future, and Jacobs says it has increased company-wide pride and made employees feel more invested in the future of the company. It’s even drawn tears at some screenings. Meanwhile, Velcro’s Barcelona office just underwent a major redesign and has been transformed into a modern space cleverly furnished with lights, clocks, maps, and other items fashioned from Velcro products. Jacobs says the office will inspire Velcro employees and attract new hires. Velcro’s home office in Manchester, New Hampshire is next in line for a makeover.
Ask the consumer, what can you do with Velcro?
In the coming months, Velcro plans to increase engagement with its customers by integrating user-generated content into its sites and taking the conversation about Velcro to social media platforms including Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube. “Instead of us trying to invent all kinds of new things you can do with Velcro, there are millions of people using our products every day, and most of them will be very proud to share their results with other people,” Jacobs says. “I think that’s a huge strength of our brand and where our future marketing strategy will come from.”