Championing the No.1 sports retailer
Rebel Sports briefed Hulsbosch to reposition the business as Australia's premium sports retailer of choice. Rebel's key business objectives were to grow market share with a renewed focus on connecting with its female demographic and cementing brand loyalty with its existing customer base.
The new brand identity is both distinctive and inspiring. The word ‘Sport’ was dropped from the identity taking advantage of the high brand awareness enjoyed by the Rebel name, while the flipped ‘e’ intends to communicate healthy competition and the idea of one’s personal best. The brand program has a strong focus on clear, simple and confident messaging translating to a relevant and inspirational brand offer.
Erica Berchtold, Managing Director of Sports Retailing
Super Retail Group Limited, 2012
BE CHALLENGED, BE CONFIDENT, BE THE BEST YOU CAN
Sport, in its various forms has been around for many centuries and there is evidence of gymnastics played in Ancient China as far back as 2000BC. Propagated by a military culture, ancient Greek sports, ultimately resulted in the creation of the Olympic Games, we know today. When world industrialisation brought more leisure time, there was a marked increase in spectator sports. The advent of mass media, combined with global communication and more focus on health and fitness has only increased sport’s popularity. Combine this interest with fashion and the need for a ‘sporty, health conscious’ image and there is your recipe for successful retailing.
Rebel Sport traces its history back to 1985 when the first store was opened in Bankstown NSW. Since then, Rebel has grown to become a large retailer of sporting and leisure equipment, apparel and footwear1. However after 27 years the brand needed refocusing because it wanted to reach out to new demographics2. More so, it was time to bring the sports retail brand into the 21st Century’ 3.
Hulsbosch was asked to reposition the business as Australia’s premium sports retailer of choice. Rebel’s key business objectives were to grow market share with a renewed focus on connecting with its female demographic and cementing brand loyalty with its existing customer base4.
Peter Birtles, Group Managing Director and CEO
Super Retail Group
It was important to identify the values and promise of the Rebel brand. Their main raison d’être is based on delivering outstanding customer experiences underpinned by their core values. The brand blueprint identified a core set of values; passion, openness, integrity, care and discipline5. It was with this understanding that Hulsbosch worked on the idea of being ‘the best you can’. This concept was then applied as a brand attribute that carried meaning and relevance through to its customer base. It set the tone for the core assets to be articulated in a new graphic identity6.
The new brand identity needed to be both distinctive and inspiring. Sport is a competition between individual players or teams. They are united in a play-off to win and this is represented in the Rebel wordmark. The word rebel evokes such strong emotions that it really did not need a logo. Using Gotham font a simple, clean, no nonsense, timeless typeface fitted perfectly with the brand name.
Those two ‘e’s in the word provided an obvious, simple way to tell the story. The ‘e’s are facing each other and suggest competition, the encounter between two players or teams. The second (turned) ‘e’ signifies the rebellious nature of the meaning of the word ‘rebel’. The word ‘Sport’ was dropped from the old identity taking advantage of the high brand awareness enjoyed by the Rebel name. Facing the two ‘e’s visually expresses healthy competition, either against someone else or against yourself, promoting the idea of personal best7.
Rebel brand executions cover the entire consumer experience including point of sale, instore signage, instore graphics, uniforms, shopping bags and loyalty programs. The national roll out was across 150 stores in 2016 with ambitious plans for a further 545 stores to open in the future.8
Working on this project proved to be very seductive and many designers and other team members in the studio became involved and added a lot of value to the branding of Rebel. Once the wordmark was designed, the word ‘be’ within it became a descriptor: be challenged, be the best you can, be confident etc. Brilliant. This, combined with the stores ‘look and feel’, has made it one of Hulsbosch’ favourite projects.
And the effect of the rebrand? According to Peter Birtles, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Super Retail Group ‘When Super Retail Group Limited acquired the Rebel business in late 2011 the business had been seeing like for like sales declining at 3% per annum for at least three years in a row. Rebel was tired and didn’t call out the attributes needed to attract and inspire the contemporary sporting customer. We needed to develop a brand image consistent with our vision of creating a sports business that engaged and inspired our customers to be their sporting best. In the five years since the rebrand, Rebel has generated an average of over 5% like for like sales growth – a huge turnaround’ 9.
The Rebel brand identity was a finalist in the 2015 Create Design Awards10.
1. RebelSport. (2017). Rebel Sport. Retrieved from http://www.rebelsport.com.au 2. Signarama. (2013). What’s in a name? Transitioning from Rebel Sport to Rebel. Retrieved from http://blog.signarama.com.au/2013/11/whats-in-a-name-transitioning-from-rebel-sport-to-rebel/ 3. Berchtold, E. (2012). [Rebranding Rebel]. 4. Hulsbosch, J. (2017). [Rebranding Rebel]. 5. RebelSport. (2017). Rebel Sport. Retrieved from http://www.rebelsport.com.au 6. Jaid Hulsbosch quoted in Burrows, T. (2012). Rebel rebrands with Hulsbosch. Mumbrella. Retrieved from https://mumbrella.com.au/new-aussie-made-soft-drink-hits-the-market-with-a-mexican-wrestler-and-a-chihuahua-128612 7. Hulsbosch, H. (2017). [Rebranding REBEL]. 8. Armin. (2012). Follow up: Rebel. Retrieved from http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/follow-up_rebel.php 9. Peter Birtles, (2017). [The effect of the REBEL rebrand] 10. CreateAwards. (2013). Create Design Awards. Retrieved from http://www.createawards.com.au/2013-shortlists/rebel-brand-identity/
"Hulsbosch created a relevant and emotive brand revitalisation program that is in line with our strategy to grow the business and provide our customers with an innovative consistent brand experience."
Erica Berchtold, Managing Director
Rebel Group Limited