Fred Perry’s Rob Gaitt on using language to reinforce the brand’s identity

Verbal branding is just as important as visual communication, according to Fred Perry’s brand director Rob Gaitt, but authenticity is key.

Rob Gaitt Fred Perry

What does verbal branding mean to Fred Perry?

It is nearly impossible to convey depth and emotion via a two-dimensional image alone, so the right words are integral to communicating a story to the viewer. There’s lots of authenticity at Fred Perry, so we’re lucky that we don’t have to make up our stories; the trickiest part often is what we choose to leave out. It’s about curating these stories and our use of language reinforces the brand spirit.

How has language helped create a brand ethos, tone of voice and identity for Fred Perry?

We still communicate the way Fred did – clear, simple, abrupt at times but always true. This runs across internal and external communications. It’s important that we have consistency of messaging and that means we use the same vocabulary and sentiment. We’re definitely not aiming for big shiny corporate messaging – we prefer meaningful conversations with real people, sometimes just one-to-one.

Fred Perry book

How do you use language to differentiate the brand across channels, online and offline?

The topics we talk about don’t change and that’s an active decision. The evolution of how we can talk with our customers has changed, though. Our approach is simple: we look to how our fans talk to us and one another and that shapes how we do it; it’s important we speak as equals.

Marketing is about repeating yourself without becoming boring. For us, that means exploring the subtle nuances and emotion behind our product. We’re less about telling people the ‘what’ and more concerned with the ‘why’.

Is verbal branding as vital as visual communications?

Brands have always been obsessed with what they look like and that’s not going to change. The ones doing it well are obsessed with all facets of their brand and ensuring how they talk and what they have to say is aligned.

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  1. Congratulations to Rob and all at Fred Perry. As your verbal branding agency, we’re exceptionally proud of the work we’ve done together over the last 5 years and look forward to more years of growth. Best wishes from Chris and all at Verbal Identity Ltd

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