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Evolving a Heritage Brand for Future Growth | 2021

Evolving a Heritage Brand for Future Growth | 2021
Evolving a Heritage Brand for Future Growth | 2021

Designers: Bill Darling, Emiko Osaka, Katie Spohn, and Nicole Williams, Lippincott, New York, New York, USA
Client: Timberland LLC., Stratham, New Hampshire, USA

Evolving a Heritage Brand for Future Growth | 2021
Evolving a Heritage Brand for Future Growth | 2021

Project Description

Since debuting its iconic boot in 1973, Timberland has never gone out of style. However, even beloved brands need to evolve. As Timberland grew into a global powerhouse, its brand expression was dated across geographies and, thus, lacked the ability to truly own its place in the market. This sparked an internal exercise of defining Timberland’s visual identity and how it wanted to evolve.

Company leadership needed a strategic creative partner to bring its aspirations to life with a new visual expression that would act as its North Star. The goal? Double down on the brand’s commitment to protecting nature while tapping into the energy of fashion, attracting a younger, more street-savvy customer and driving consistency across markets. We partnered with Timberland to create a new visual and verbal expression that did just that, setting the stage for the brand’s next phase of growth.

We started with the two most own-able assets in Timberland’s toolkit. With its Tree symbol, the brand has a level of recognition that few could claim. Second, Timberland’s iconic orange color presented a huge opportunity for the brand. Currently used inconsistently across brand touchpoints, leveraging the color as a unifying factor in the visual identity was untapped potential.

At the center of the new visual system is the Tree Path, a flexible visual device that highlights both iconic elements and drives brand recognition. Working across different marketing channels as well as on product and in retail environments, the Tree Path can be used throughout the brand experience for consistency and impact. From leading to powerful statements on signage and collateral to highlighting bold messaging across digital platforms, the symbol allows Timberland to be more confident and engaging across its visual system.

Surrounding this unifying element is custom typography and a new, fashion-driven photography style that pays homage to Timberland’s nature-centric heritage. The new brand voice and messaging hierarchy is defined by activism and advocacy, providing Timberland a bolder platform on which to engage its community and showcase that it is a visionary leader in the world of sustainable fashion.

Together, these elements are the glue connecting the brand’s visual system, bridging the gap between its diverse audiences, and most importantly, driving home Timberland’s mission: to create a desire to step outside and make the world better.