Ethos identity to bear out ‘re-energising’ of Hamleys

Long-established toy retailer Hamleys unveils its revamped identity and own-brand packaging today as its Regent Street flagship gears up for the Christmas season.

Ethos Brand Design is behind the creative work, which represents Hamleys’ first attempt to provide a coherent brand experience above and beyond its retail outlet.

Previous changes to the identity have tended to be piecemeal and incremental, says Hamleys group marketing manager Delia Bourne. This new push on marketing and design, which involved the refurbishment of the flagship store by The Clinic and Watson Design in 2000, is the brainchild of Hamleys chairman Simon Burke.

‘The design work has re-energised the whole business,’ says Bourne. ‘It’s not a nine-day wonder but a stepping stone to build [future growth].’

Hamleys’ in-house visual merchandising team will develop the principles laid down by Ethos into a ‘brand bible’, she adds, to bring ‘consistency to the many areas that need to be policed; from stationery to [dealings with] suppliers’.

Strategically, the aim of the identity project is to update Hamleys’ appeal and position it as a ‘multi-channel retailer’.

Bourne adds, ‘We don’t want to be known just for our Regent Street store. We have a revamped website [designed by JKD] and a strong direct marketing operation, as well as satellite stores in London’s Covent Garden, Heathrow Airport and Amsterdam airport.’

The redrawn logo, which retains its handwritten feel, ‘conveys the fun and magic of the brand’, says Bourne.

The packaging – in Hamleys red with gold stars – features an ‘icon’ that Bourne describes as a ‘seal of excellence’ and likens in appearance to the wax seals on historic documents.

These icons correspond to six product categories that Hamleys is introducing to help with segmentation and accessibility. Ethos has also designed the sub-brands: Premium, Classic, Traditional, Discovery, Fun, and Role Play.

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