Iconic luxury British footwear brand, John Lobb, which has shod the world’s brightest and bravest across three centuries has updated it brand identity to appeal to the next generation of shoe connoisseurs.
Originally founded in 1849 by a Cornish farmer who travelled the world hand crafting boots and shoes, today the business is still run by his direct descendants. However, with the rising popularity of ready-to-wear luxury apparel, a market predicted to grow by over 20 per cent over the next four years; the benefits of bespoke fashion and footwear has been lost amongst the emerging breed of luxury consumer. Add to this the significant issues faced by retailers over the last 15 months and it became critical for John Lobb to find new ways of communicating, engaging and selling in a post-Covid landscape.
Collaborating with Yonder Consulting, John Lobb has launched a modernised visual identity, e-commerce website and social media presence. By embracing digital capabilities the retailer is demonstrating how a luxury brand can showcase its heritage, whilst simultaneously engaging online with new audiences and younger consumers.
To capture the spirit of John Lobb, four key elements have been introduced to the visual and verbal brand identity.
As the beating heart of the brand and the global home of bespoke shoemaking, the iconic 9 St James, London shop plays a role in the brand with elements of its facade incorporated into the refreshed logo and new website. With International travel still minimal and many shoppers staying resolutely online, this enables John Lobb to connect emotionally with its customers and literally open its famous doors to an online audience.
The family history and heritage of the brand also plays a starring role in the brand’s new colour palette with the choice of grandson of the founder, Eric Lobb’s favourite burgundy colour to represent warmth and richness, supported by a muted gold plate tone. The bespoke craftsmanship of the brand is captured with a dark premium navy, whilst a light ivory colour inspired by the colour of chiselled wood reflecting the shoe lasts (the hand crafted wooden models of customers’ feet, all of which are on display in store) lifts the overall brand tone by contrasting with the other three richer colours.
In addition, a new tone of voice for written communications and copywriting has been distilled by examining 170 years of correspondence penned by the Lobb family.
Finally, a suite of bespoke illustrations inspired by the very first John Lobb catalogue denotes the handcrafted nature of the products.
To connect with the next generation of shoppers, the refreshed brand includes a new e-commerce website https://www.johnlobb1849.com/ acting as a virtual shop front for the brand. To further engage with the digital audience John Lobb has created a new Instagram enabling it to showcase its products, reach new audiences and allow the world to fall in the love with the art of bespoke shoemaking.
Commenting on their refreshed brand Nicholas Lobb from John Lobb said:
“We know that to best serve the needs of our customers, evolution is necessary and with the transformation of the luxury sector, we wanted to bring 9 St James Street online opening our shop doors to our digital customers. We’re delighted that the brand refresh has showcased our heritage and uniqueness whilst also allowing us to connect with new audiences online.”
Manfred Abraham, Co-CEO of Yonder Consulting added:
“This is a really exciting time for John Lobb and we were thrilled to collaborate with them as they adjust to new realities for the luxury sector. To succeed it was critical to get under the skin of the business and discover what makes John Lobb unique and how to best express that online. We’re looking forward to seeing how their customers respond and watching as they continue to stand-out in today’s evolving marketplace.”