Taxi Studio creates Clarks sub-brand

Taxi Studio has created a new sub-brand for Clarks shoes, Clarks C&J, aimed at older customers. The consultancy has worked with Clarks for more than eight years on projects including branding, point of sale and internal communications. It was approached for the project and appointed without a pitch last summer.

Taxi was briefed to create a sub-brand marketed directly to customers aged over 55, by grouping Clarks’ existing shoes for this age group under one identifiable brand range.

Ryan Wills, creative director at Taxi, says, ’They wanted to separate the “grey market” so the Clarks brand could have a more fashionable focus – it’s making sure we’re telling the right story to the right people.’

Initially, Taxi held ’co-creation’ focus groups with older consumers to gain insights into their lifestyle and cues for the name and visual direction. The project involved creating the entire brand, including naming and developing a toolkit to enable the sub-brand’s international roll-out, including photographic direction, brand guidelines and the core creative intent for brand communications.

The branding features an ampersand device, vibrant colour palette and contemporary typography, which aim to represent the shoes’ ’style and comfort.’

’We used rich deep colours, but brought them to life with accent colours,’ says Wills.

The name Clarks C&J is a reference to the initials of the Clarks brothers, the founders of the company. Wills says, ’We wanted the name to have longevity and not be too linked to a specific, campaign-led idea. They can use it to build on the story of the brand and move it forward.’

Clarks C&J launches in August.

Rugs to riches

  • Brian Mansfield, strategy director and managing director at Taxi, says, ’Our creative challenge was to tap into the wealth of heritage and trust that the Clarks brand has in spades’
  • C&J stands for Cyrus and James, the Quaker brothers who founded the business making sheepskin rugs and slippers
  • Clarks was founded in 1825 in Somerset
  • The company is still 81 per cent owned by the Clarks family, with the remaining 19 per cent held by employees and related institutions

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