Gucci, Puma holding company explains rebrand

PARIS: PPR, the parent company of brands such as Gucci and Puma, has launched a global campaign to explain its name change to Kering.

PARIS: PPR, the parent company of brands such as Gucci and Puma, has launched a global campaign to explain its name change to Kering.

The French holding company said Friday that it will rebrand as Kering to reflect its identity as an international group focused on luxury and sports and lifestyle brands. A global communications initiative explaining the change will run through June 18, when the name is expected to become official at the company's annual meeting, with brand awareness efforts planned through the end of the year.   

PPR chose Kering because company leaders wanted a name that had meaning, said Louise Beveridge, SVP of corporate communications. The stem “ker,” which means “home” in Breton, references the company's roots in the Brittany region of France, while the suffix “ing” signifies movement and PPR's transformation. The English pronunciation of the name, “caring,” reflects the company's commitment to its brands, stakeholders, employees, and the environment, Beveridge said.

The rebranding is accompanied by an owl logo, which signifies vision and wisdom, and a new tagline: “Empowering Imagination.”

PPR is promoting the rebranding through internal communications, press outreach, digital and social media, and advertising. The effort is focused on six key markets: the US, UK, France, Italy, China, and Japan.

The company first unveiled the name change internally, broadcasting a webcast on Friday to its 33,000 global employees. It then issued a press release that was translated into multiple languages and held a press conference in Paris. PPR is targeting b-to-b audiences through national, regional, and trade press.

Digital is the centerpiece of the effort, Beveridge said. PPR published an online video showcasing the new brand, and it is using social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Vimeo. In June, it will launch a social media campaign in China on the platforms Sina Weibo and Youku.

The company also partnered with fashion blogger Garance Doré to create five videos on the topic of imagination. During the filming, Doré explored the company and spoke with designers, staff, and senior executives. The first video will be published April 2 and the final in September.

In April, PPR will host cocktail receptions in New York, Hong Kong, and Tokyo to explain the company's business and future.

“When you're dealing with brands as big as Gucci, Puma, and Saint Laurent, which have incredible traction and visibility, the question is what is the space and place for the corporate brand. There is definitely a space for it,” Beveridge said. “The corporate brand needs to exist in its space but also coexist with our brands.”

Ruder Finn, which PPR selected as its US corporate agency partner last March, is assisting with the US portion of the campaign. The company works with Brunswick Group in China and the UK and Image 7 in France, while its internal team handles PR efforts in Italy.

TBWA worked on advertising, Havas Lifestyle handled the visual identity and website, and design and branding firm Dragon Rouge helped with the brand identity and signature.

Over the past decade, PPR has shed its European distribution businesses to focus on global apparel and accessories brands, which include Gucci, Puma, Alexander McQueen, Saint Laurent, and Stella McCartney. The company will spin off home electronics chain Fnac in June and begin the sale of mail-order catalog business La Redout next month.

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