Landor to rebrand Morrisons

It has emerged this week that supermarket giant Morrisons has appointed Landor Associates to work on the branding for its £450m overhaul, which will sweep across corporate identity, store interiors and packaging.

Marketing services director Michael Bates confirms that Landor’s appointment was made in January, following a paid creative pitch against Wolff Olins that was handled by the Advertising Agency Register.

At the same time, retail design specialist 20/20 has been dropped from its work on Morrisons’ store interiors and was not invited to take part in the pitch. The consultancy, which was originally appointed last September, had been working on brand development, as well as supermarket formats.

‘We are working with Landor on corporate identity, packaging and retail store environment. The brand development work from 20/20 has not come to light and we are not progressing with it right now,’ confirms Bates. He declines to reveal what proportion of the £450m investment will go to branding and design.

The news comes after Morrisons announced last week that the first aspects of the new-look supermarket will be unveiled in April (designweek.co.uk, 15 March). It is to change its visual identity and drop the 30-year-old strapline ‘More reasons to shop at Morrisons’. However, Bates will not outline a timetable for the roll-out.

The whole programme is being overseen by Morrisons chief executive Marc Bolland, who joined the company from Heineken last September. It is thought that Bolland was keen to bring in a large-scale corporate branding group to handle the overhaul. He has been working on the rebranding project with marketing services director Michael Bates.

The retailer is also on the hunt for a board-level marketing and communications director who would sit above Bates. ‘Historically, marketing has always reported into trading, but now it will be reporting to the new marketing and communications director, who will report to the chief executive,’ says Bates.

Landor Associates and 20/20 both declined to comment.



MORE REASONS TO RETHINK MORRISONS
• £450m makeover of the supermarket announced by chief executive Marc Bolland
• Rebranding led by Bolland and marketing services director Michael Bates, but a search for a board-level marketing and communications director is now underway
• Its plans include decluttering stores, updating signs and redesigning the corporate logo
• 2006 turnover up 3% to £12.5bn
• Acquired Safeway in 2004

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