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  • Arun Gopidas

Reckitt Benckiser rebrands as Reckitt (An Opinion Piece)

It was in 2016 when I first heard the name Reckitt Benckiser. One of my close friends had started working at this firm after her MBA and told me about it. I didn't know anything about this brand, and I did a quick google search to land on their website & saw their portfolio of brands: Dettol, Durex & Strepsils among many notable others. I was surprised that I was living under a rock all these years. I had been a frequent consumer of these brands without knowing anything about their parent brand. What impressed me more was the copy on their website: "Brands that touch people's lives". A simple 5 word sentence that had me swooning. I have a special place in my heart for good copy.

Brands that touch people's lives
A snippet from Reckitt Benckiser's website in 2016

Fast forward to 2021 and Reckitt was back on my radar, and that piece of copy occupied my mind space again. It had stayed with me for 5 years. I believe that's the impact of good writing.

But that's not what this piece is about. So, let's dive into this rebrand.

Reckitt Benckiser's Old logo
Reckitt Benckiser's Old logo

To start off, I liked their old logo. It was simple and clean, but the reason I liked it so much had nothing to do with design. Yes, it was clever to have the "'i's" dotted with same shape as their logo. But why I liked it was a spillover effect from me loving their copy. And this is what happens with most logos, you usually love some aspect of a brand and as a result you end up loving other things they make. I doubt you like the logo of a brand you hate (Do write to me if you are an exception to this).

The current rebrand was headed by Cornan Design Group & announces a shift in strategy to sustainable growth. It feels like the right direction given the state of the world we are in right now, a cleaner healthier world is the kind of narrative that will sit well.

Coming to their logo: It is delightful to look at. A spiralling 'R' connects to a shorted brand name to form their logo. It's a pain to craft spiralling designs with proportions that feel right, and I feel it's a job well done with hours spent pulling and pushing those handles.

Reckitt's new logo in 2021
Reckitt's new logo in 2021

While it impressed me, I was skeptical, such designs usually don't scale down very well. I headed over to their website to check up on how well their favicon held up, and I was impressed, it carried the same clarity the larger versions of the logo had. It sounds simple, but it's hard to get this right especially with a spiralling shape with a curved letter like a 'R' at the core.

Reckitt's new favicon
Reckitt's new favicon

Their rebrand introduces gradients back in the mix, a trend that's probably not dying off this year & I'm not complaining. The font for their body copy looks great, I love how the angled cuts on the 'd' & 'l's match cuts on the 'tt' from their logo. However, their display fonts fail to impress. It takes me right back to the likes of 'Bebas Neue', and that's the only thing I don't really enjoy about the rebrand, a fresh new brand with a old boring font.

Their website gets a makeover too, but it's hardly impressive. It's looks like what every website in 2021 looks like: Rounded corners with soft drop shadows. I don't blame them, but it's about time we break out of these moulds. I was secretly hoping a big brand like Reckitt would be the one to break these norms for everyone else to follow suit.

While this rebrand might not be breathtaking, industry-changing & revolutionary but overall, I think it feels good, some bright new ideas for a sharper brand.

With that we come to an end of this opinion piece & I would love to know what you thought about this rebrand!



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