The power of branding to make the ugly beautiful - Coley Porter Bell

The power of branding to make the ugly beautiful

Featured in Campaign

Written by: James Ramsden, Executive Creative Director

Today, Crocs has an annual revenue of almost $4 billion and its celebrity collaborations with the likes of Justin Bieber and Post Malone, sell out in a matter of hours. But in 2010, TIME magazine named Crocs one of the 50 worst inventions. So how has a moulded plastic shoe brand deemed so uncool, associated with comfort and functionality, become one of the world’s trendiest brands?

Crocs is just one of many brands bringing the ‘ugly-pretty’ vibe to branding. For years, the Stanley Cup was marketed towards workmen and people spending time outdoors around its ability to keep drinks hot or cold for hours. But once Stanley recognised how its Quencher cup could serve anyone wanting to prioritise hydration, it changed its branding and marketing to reflect this. Stanley has leaned into this new audience, even sending one customer a new car after her viral TikTok showed her Stanley Cup had survived a car fire. And as we know from the Stanley Cup craze on TikTok – which has over 7 billion views – this move had paid off for the brand.

Those deemed as ugly can adopt more creative approaches to their branding so that they are no longer dependent purely on their functionality as a unique selling point and can challenge for a place at the cool table. When branding makes a product more about soul than about shine, a brand can make ugly things charmingly lovable.

In this article, James Ramsden, Executive Creative Director at Coley Porter Bell, explores how branding can shift perceptions and elevate the plain, ugly, and utilitarian into something desirable, trendy and even lovable.

Read the full article here to learn more.