Case Study: Dr. Martens

How do you rejuvenate
your brand?

The challenge

Whilst enjoying a recent rise in revenue, the Dr. Martens team were conscious that they needed to avoid a ‘boom and bust’ cycle. They sought to understand the cultural drivers behind their success to ensure they remained relevant to consumers moving forward. Specifically, they wanted to understand the shifting cultural meanings of their brand positioning: ‘Rebellious Self-Expression’.

What did we do?

We conducted a semiotic analysis of the cultural context of ‘Rebellious Self-Expression’ in the UK, US and Japan. We also conducted a semiotic analysis of 4 key competitors and comparators across markets, together with a neutral brand analysis of Dr. Martens.

Where did it lead?

We identified key strategic territories that Dr. Martens could leverage, together with codes and cues from its Visual Identity and comms which could be dialled up/down, in order to communicate ‘Rebellious Self-Expression’ in a more culturally meaningful way. Findings helped shape future brand activities and inform communication strategies for the next phase of growth, including the recent successful IPO.