Why Evri rebrand wants a motive

Hermes recently rebranded as Evri. Here, Koto’s James Greenfield analyses its new look and asks whether rebrands are enough to change public perception of a struggling brand

If your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room, then the UK delivery company Hermes brand is probably a series of muttered expletives. It’s been on a downward trajectory for a number of years and it recently hit rock bottom with an investigation by The Times newspaper. The undercover report showed up a company with a rotten culture and demotivated staff, struggling to deliver packages and its promises.

This position makes fertile ground for a rebrand. There is a clear business case to make some serious changes, to revolutionise the brand, to avoid losing the big contracts that drive its business, whilst resetting the relationship with the end user. But big corporate brand rescue jobs are fraught with danger and need a strong strategy and some luck to forge a path and be deemed successful.

Against this history I wasn’t surprised to see the the first headlines about their rebirth as Evri, but I was surprised to see the approach taken. The PR story, spun out this week across various news stories, focuses heavily on a new name and a superficial visual layer, led by a multi-state typographic logo with its 194,481 variations. The often jarring result leads to a slightly unruly combination of letters, which the internet has decided is reminiscent of a ransom note.

It’s easy to dismantle many rebrands on aesthetics alone, with glib responses and comical lookalikes often ruling social media. This is especially the case with the rebrand of a much derided company that occupies a negative position. Put simply, in a world that isn’t keen on change, it’s easy to hate the new wonky logo of a company you probably already loathe. But for the me the weakness in the result lies beyond ugly font combinations and their accessibility issues. My overriding question when reading the various articles and reviews was ‘What is the brand thinking here?’.

Sign in