Gant moves away from ‘scattered’ brand image and returns to its roots with global rebrand

Gant is hoping to make an emotional connection with consumers by going back to its American Ivy League roots as part of a global rebrand.

The clothing brand, which prides itself on its “American sportswear with a European sophistication”, desperately wants to change its vague brand image.

Speaking to Marketing Week at its rebrand event in London, the brand’s global marketing and communications director Caroline Roth said:  “We saw there was a pretty scattered perception of what Gant stood for as a brand, both internally and externally.

“How we had previously portrayed ourselves didn’t really fit with what people were looking for in our brand – which is authenticity.”

In response, Gant is going back to its Ivy League campus roots, where the brand originally started. As part of the rebrand, Gant has also brought out a new range of shirts called Gant Diamond G.

The campaign centers on a brand film and five print ads. The people featured in the print activity are all Ivy League graduates who have focused on positive change and are wearing the brand’s iconic white shirt.

Marketing overhaul

The brand has also changed the way it does its marketing by putting the consumer first.

“We have mapped out the path to purchase and know exactly what to communicate depending on what situation or state of mind that consumer might be in,” Roth said.

Going forward, the brand is hoping to find out more about its target audience. 

“We know our existing customers very well, but we’re broadening our offering with Gant Diamond G, so we need to understand how new potential consumers might be thinking,” she said.

Focus on digital

As of 3 September, the campaign will be rolled out globally, supported by a multi-million dollar media investment.

The campaign will reach across print, outdoors, cinemas, digital, in-stores and social media through autumn and into 2016.

Digital is of particular interest to the brand, as it understands that consumers want to interact with content. As a result, Gant is launching a digital campaign that is built around the idea that a white shirt equals a blank canvas.

“The white shirt is the starting point to how you dress during the day. Equally, every artist starts off with a white canvas, it’s what they fill it with that makes it interesting,” Roth said.

The digital campaign will allow various artists to showcase their interpretation of starting off with a white canvas using the hashtag #neverstoplearning.

“This fits nicely with our overall brand campaign, which focuses on the white shirt. But we also wanted something that could easily be shared and interact with,” she said.