Red, White & Rebrand.

October 21, 2022

Royal Rebrand

Anyone who has worked in Marketing and has worked through a rebrand will know just how difficult and time consuming (not to mention costly) it can be. You start with a list of collateral that needs to change and things start appearing that you hadn’t even thought of or remembered and suddenly that list has just multiplied enormously. You’re typically hit with a time frame in which everything must be completed by and quite often it can run out of control. When carrying out a rebrand it’s so important that deliverables are defined at the outset and old stock (if printed) is depleted.

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the UK is about to proceed with the ultimate rebrand. Many items will need to be updated to reflect the newly appointed King and it won’t be an easy or a quick task! After all, the Royal family resembles striking parallels to a family run business:

  • Noticeable logo - Union Jack
  • Catchy jingle - National Anthem
  • Brand ambassador - Head of State

Some changes to the infrastructure of The Firm started immediately after Her Majesty’s passing, such as oaths of office, the National Anthem changing to God Save The King and legal proceedings. But other changes are on a larger scale and therefore will take longer such as postboxes, passport wording and bank notes which are just some of the examples of the enormity of this rebrand. For instance, there are currently around £80bn of notes in circulation so naturally it will take time to gradually phase out coins and banknotes. But over time, the newly appointed King Charles III will be the image that comes to mind when people mention the Monarchy.

Royal Warrant displayed on a postbox.

From postboxes, to passports. Stamps to Royal Cyphers, the internal list of items that will need to be updated to reflect the new Carolean age continues to grow, along with the cost (which isn’t uncommon in the current climate). Then there are the internal items that will need to be updated to reflect the new King. Like any huge project, the cost implications for this type of rebrand will be huge and it stands no one quite knows how much exactly it will all cost. But as Norman Baker (a former Government minister said) “The cost of the monarchy, which is significant, comes with the ongoing costs which ought to be reined in and haven’t been reined in”, making for an interesting conversation when the cost becomes common knowledge.

Fit for a King

Some of our household brands will also be impacted. The 620 brands that were awarded Royal Warrants by Her Majesty will need to reapply to keep the symbol on their products under Charles’ reign. They do have 2 years in which to do this, but what does it mean for those currently? Some may see this as an opportunity, particularly if they are planning on updating as now would be the time to do so, but

what about those that don’t get renewed? Will they face reputational damage? And what does this badge mean to sales?

Some brands will have had this on their products for some time, but this badge of honour will not just be displayed on products or commercial vehicles, it's likely to run into the depths of the organisation, in culture and values and is likely used as a recruitment tool. Take Heinz for example, the well known condiment brand has served the Royals with products since 1951! Self-proclaiming themselves as one of the country's most loved and trusted brands, their sauces, soups and beans are part of the nation's diet. With a strong brand identity and Royal Warrant on display, Heinz have established themselves in almost all UK households and are responsible for over 35,000 employees in the UK. If you listen carefully you can hear Charles whisper “it has to be Heinz'' as he digs into his wild mushroom risotto and organic lamb accompanied by a healthy dollop of ketchup.

The process for those reapplying for Royal Warrants and the introduction of new brands may look a little different than before as there is now such a large focus on sustainability, with the Royals coming under scrutiny recently for this very topic. With Royal Warrants being proudly displayed across product packaging, it begs the question what happens to those products already manufactured without the Royal crest? Do the companies that are requesting Royal Warrants have a sustainable supply chain? Are their delivery trucks eco-friendly? Multiple factors will be scrutinised in the application process, more so than have been the last 70 years as consumers are becoming more aware of the environmental footprint that mass production has on the planet. Therefore, big British brands may need to return to the drawing board before returning to Fortnum & Mason’s

But hey, we at BOOMM Marketing have carried out a number of rebrands (including our own this last month!). So, if the Royal family or any brand needs some expert advice you know where to find us!


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