Protected: Thomas Sanderson Rebrand



Thomas Sanderson celebrated its 25th birthday in 2016 – a milestone for any business. However, as time and style moved on, the brands messaging and aesthetic became disconnected.

For this reason, Thomas Sanderson decided to undertake a complete rebrand in order to redirect the business for the future.

Business Challenges

Looking to rebrand, Thomas Sanderson needed to adapt to current developments in the market. Over the last decade, access and advances in technology had lead to changes in customer engagement.

Everything has moved online with less and less people opting to be contacted via phone. Additionally, the customers targeted a decade ago are ten years older and the younger generation more tech savvy.

For this reason, marketing and sales procedures were outdated. The visual aesthetic of the brand hadn’t adapted to the new digital age either.

Brand development had to consider these challenges and changes in the market. Thomas Sanderson needed to rediscover and reconnect to its target market.

See The Difference

A key factor in any brand development is to discover and promote what makes a business stand out from its competitors.

“See the difference” had been a phrase used in previous Thomas Sanderson marketing campaigns. Its purpose was to highlight assets that made the brand unique.

Similarly, “See the difference” had the same connotations as it developed into the brand slogan. Our intention was to establish Thomas Sanderson as a premium brand by telling customers the brand story.

Telling customers Thomas Sanderson sold quality products was the wrong approach. Instead, we decided to tell a story about how the products were created.

Consequently, showing how the best materials were sourced and then handcrafted in UK factories by real people, the quality spoke for itself. Thomas Sanderson research showed the customer would rather pay the premium price for “the difference,” instead of waiting on a discounted offer that cheapened the brand.

And, it wasn’t only about the products. “See the difference,” told the stories of the people behind the products. A series of videos helped give insight into the lives of the craftsman in the workshops, an ode to Thomas Sanderson’s humble beginnings.

Logo Design

Working closely with an external London agency, I assisted in the development and creation of the new Thomas Sanderson logo.

Having been involved with the marketing department and taking an interest in market developments, this helped inform the design.

Major brands in the interiors industry had also undergone brand overhauls in recent years. All of which had common distinct factors that established themselves as premium brands.

Simplicity in colour with simple graphical marks and typographical marks are distinct features of a premium brand logo. Examples of this can be found in the Laura Ashley logo and that of Fired Earth. More recently, Hammonds have also moved towards a more contemporary style. Be that as it may, simply copying another brands logo is a big no-no.

No doubt the new Thomas Sanderson logo took inspiration from contemporary high-end brands, such as the outlined examples. However, the logo’s core characteristics were derived from its history and humble beginnings as a small family business.

These factors, true to the Thomas Sanderson heritage, are what informed the ‘TS’ makers’ mark. Used as a simple logo mark by itself or within the full logo, the makers’ mark stands as the focus point on all Thomas Sanderson collateral.

Brand Planning

Understandably, creating a whole set of branded assets for a business is no lean task. Rebranding a whole set of assets, managing stocks and planning in a transition of those assets is a completely different challenge.

Working together with various departments, I helped take inventory of all assets that would need to be rebranded. Communicating with managers and splitting the jobs into tiers of importance achieved this.

Creating a tier split of business critical assets and items that could be introduced later, this helped prioritise my workload. Coordinating with colleagues via Team Gantt, we were all able to keep up with the progress of the rebrand.

This also helped clearly distinguish who was responsible for what jobs. The coordinated rebrand was definitely the largest project I’ve been involved in as a designer.

New Photography & Art Direction

One of my biggest challenges faced at Thomas Sanderson was working with limited photography. And, because of my heavy involvement with photography, I was tasked with auditing our resources for the rebrand.

Combing through folders of photography on the Thomas Sanderson image gallery, I created a comprehensive stock list. This list defined each product and service and noted what types of photography we had. Be it lifestyle shots or close-ups, I documented every item to see what we lacked or had in abundance.

The new branding, moving towards an interior design savvy business, required Thomas Sanderson to explore colourful photography. The challenge being, all current photography showed primarily neutral colours.

So, why colour? Colour inspires people. In the world of interior design, colour gets people talking and gets them excited about flamboyant room sets. And, because Thomas Sanderson can match any colour to their products.

Having to create a whole new collection of colourful images for the new Thomas Sanderson, I helped art direct photography.

This meant diving into my collection of inspirational interior design photography I had been building since joining Thomas Sanderson. Moreover, I pulled together some creative art boards of photography that suited the new brand style.

This also helped inform my writing of the photography brief for the photo-shoots in various studios. One of these shoots was also held at renowned interior designer, Marianne Cotterill’s luxurious London home. Marianne was brought on board for the rebrand to add hype and create buzz within the interior design world.

With Marianne’s expertise and voice supporting marketing actions for the next four seasons it helped establish Thomas Sanderson as experts of their craft. All product and room set colours chosen for these shoots covered photography Thomas Sanderson needed for the next four seasons.

Rebranded Asset Examples

Spring Collection Collateral

Winter Collection Collateral

Campaign Branded Letterheads

Employee Branded Assets

Internal Presentation Template