Pets at Home is a brand that we all know and love.
You always seem to end up in there when you’re shopping at a retail park (and in my case, I don’t even have a pet).
It’s like the ‘Toys R Us’ version of domestic pet-care, and for many, offers a fun, immersive day out.
In addition to offering the obvious pet products and supplies, the stores often feature interactive displays, educational resources, and live animals to engage customers and create a fun and welcoming atmosphere.
If that wasn’t enough, Pets at Home also offers pet grooming services, veterinary clinics, insurance, and adoption programs, making it a one-stop-shop for all pet-related needs.
But, because of all of these services and sub-brands, the main brand gets a little muddy and lost in the mix.
With the help of London-based design studio, Nomad, the whole brand identity needed bringing together to create one cohesive brand experience that lived under the master brand: Pets at Home.
“The previous Pets at Home was made from a group of sub-brands, sister companies and services. Although part of the same family with the same strong values, the varied identities, naming and brand experience created no recognition back to the primary Pets at Home brand.” – Nomad
Credit to Creative Boom
Uniting the brand to create an immersive experience
Pets at Home has grown into the UK’s biggest pet care brand with over 450 stores across the nation.
As mentioned in the intro, its numerous sub-brands across veterinary care, grooming, and insurance meant the master brand had become quite confusing.
In fact, some people didn’t even associate these things with Pets at Home, and when looking at the old branding elements, it’s easy to see why.
There’s a whole load of colour variations going on and each sub-brand has too much of its own identity. It’s always a careful balance to get this right as you want the distinct offerings to be obvious without being too detailed from the master brand that holds it all together.
Moving forward to the new identity, the goal was to unite Pets at Home and its family of pet care brands under one visual identity.
It’s based around the word ‘Pets’ which is what sits at the very heart of it. The brand’s primary focus is to help pets and pet owners so keeping this front and centre was key.
“It seems too simple to be true, but everything they do really is for the good of pets. It allowed the retail arm to remain as ‘Pets at Home’ and the vets to be renamed from Vets4Pets to ‘Vets for pets’, after that it gave license to bring all the sub-brands together in a really cohesive way: Pets Grooming, Pets VIP Club, Pets Foundation.” – Ash Watkins, Nomad Creative Director
Credit to Creative Boom
Connecting to customers their their logo
The new logo is both bold and legible meaning it is easy to read across all touchpoints where it will be visible to customers.
By keeping the word ‘pets’ front and centre this acts as the “anchor point” for the sub-brands in order to make them “stronger together” and create one tight system.
As there are so many channels that make up the brand world, the new Pets system had to be adaptable and simple so that it could easily be replicated.
Also keeping with the theme of connections, the new brand graphic forms are based on paw and fingerprint shapes “inspired by the connection of people and their pets.”
The idea of creating a “community of pets and pet owners” was a key element in this rebrand to make it easier for consumers to navigate. As Pets at Home offer lots of different services, it’s important consumers know how to access the one they need for their furry friend.
Nomad collaborated with Colophon, a font foundry, to create a unique typeface called ‘Pets Headline’ for the new wordmark.This is carried through every channel in the Pets brand world, again bringing the separate entities together to create one tight visual system.
Colophon also created another typeface which is used for the sub-branding logos and shares many of the same design properties as the Pets logo so that the two typefaces can work side-by-side.
Credit to Creative Boom
Introducing a sense of playfulness
Imagery was a key pillar throughout this rebrand to bring the people behind the brand to the forefront – pets and pet parents.
Instead of using the usual stock photography, Nomad captured images of real pets looking happy and playful.
This adds unexpected humour to the brand, and also showcases the personality of the pets. Lots of other brands use emotionless stock photography so this adds a point of differentiation for Pets at home.
The biggest challenge of the rebranding project was striking the right balance between joy and trust. The goal was to create a look and feel that captures the happiness associated with pet ownership, while also being appropriate for more serious situations such as pet health issues or the end of a pet’s life.
Paws for a Moment: The Pets at Home Rebrand
I feel all warm and fuzzy after reviewing this rebrand!
From a logo that encapsulates paw prints and fingertips, to the series of adorable doggy portraits, this is a heart warming rebrand fit for a UK pet care hero.
By creating a new visual identity and tying the sub-brands into one neat system, it makes it easier for consumers to understand and navigate what the brand has to offer.
The iconic green was also given an uplift to modernise the brand whilst retaining it’s heritage to reflect the brand we all know and love.
Overall this is a great rebranding case study and looks great across all touchpoints and pieces of collateral.
At Canny, we love diving into rebranding projects to analyse what worked and what didn’t. We’ve partnered with lots of brands across a range of sectors to transform their brand identity to better connect with their customers. To find out more about how we can help you, get in touch.