Reebok Changes Logo and Direction in New Brand Strategy

For only the second time in its 199 year history, Reebok is changing it’s “symbol”.

At Blade we call it a logo, but Reebok’s Chief Marketing Officer, Matt O’Toole says “Our new brand mark is not a logo. It’s a symbol, it’s a beacon for all of those around the world who want to live a fit and healthy lifestyle.” With all do respect Matt, this is a new logo, destined to become the Reebok avatar online, and the icon people come to recognize as Reebok worldwide. It is not ethereal. It is real. It’s also really replacing the current logo we have all come to know.

The mass roll-out of the Delta brand mark (read: logo) comes after it’s initial introduction with Reebok’s Crossfit brand. The logo was designed to feature three sides for three separate parts of the Delta:
Reebok Delta Mark Feature
1) Physical change.
2) Social change.
3) Mental change.

Mighty high ground for Reebok, which is touting their mission as one of social change and inspiration for all people, not just elite athletes. Reebok wants to fight the “epidemic of sedentary behaviour” that we know exists and has resulted in poor health and high obesity numbers in North America and around the world – an admirable and lofty goal that could make the world a healthier and better place. It could also prove to be a smart strategy to attract and bind consumers to Reebok because they share the corporation’s social concerns.

Let’s not waste time questioning Reebok’s motivations. But this change is also about capturing a larger market share, and sell more than just running shoes and “traditional” sports footwear. The explosion of crossfit, endurance obstacle races, and other “new sports” has created an opportunity for shoe companies to broaden their product mix and grow their brand community. In our view, that is exactly what Reebok is attempting with the Delta brand mark and their new direction.

It can be a wise move for brands seeking to elevate their profile and grab profitable, high profile market from competitors who also sell culture and motivation, like Nike and Adidas. Any brand unwilling to change is more likely to wither, and the Delta mark is part of Reebok’s way of evolving to survive in a shoe and sportswear market that continues to be a hotly contested battleground for loyalty and endorsements.

Time will tell if Reebok’s current brand community will embrace the new direction and focus of the brand. And whether the company will do more than prop up a new symbol as rallying cry. What about programs? Engagement and on-the-ground efforts to curb obesity and inspire greater physical fitness? That will certainly entice new members to join the worldwide community of socially conscious consumers they want to enlist. The logo? Not so much.

Today we have 1 simple question to end on, which Reebok logo do you like better?Reebok Classic and Reebok Delta Logo Banner

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Written in collaboration with Blade’s Social Media Manager, Joshua Murray.


Wayne S. Roberts

The Globe and Mail calls Wayne S. Roberts "an ad industry provocateur." Maybe its because he's never seen the point of playing by the ad game rules that place awards above results, while offering spec work instead of real value to win accounts. Throughout his career, Wayne has maintained a defiantly independent streak characterized by his insistence that agencies must be honest, direct and passionately invested in their clients' success. His pioneering work in espousing the brand community perspective has been a touchstone of his belief that branding is more than just logos, websites and ad campaigns; it is the fundamental way human beings connect with each other to create communities and launch movements that have changed our world.

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Wayne S. Roberts