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Newest Lee Brand

Have you ever seen a kid, while s/he is watching Saturday morning cartoons, getting excited about a commercial with the latest, coolest, radicalest toy available? Well, that’s pretty much my reaction when I see a logo I have never seen before at the end of a commercial.

Such was the case when I saw this. My mind raced: A new logo for Lee!? Could they have finally replaced that rugged (a bit dated) clunky logo with this more swift, friendlier mark? But wait, it’s too feminine, right? What about all us macho dudes?

I was ready to hype this post as a rebranding, then I did some not-so-lenghty research (because it really didn’t require much) and in the end it was not a rebranding (as I had so hoped) but a new brand under the umbrella of Lee (kind of ties back to the last comments in this discussion that got revived) geared towards women trying to find the perfect fit.

I’ll admit, not as juicy as a rebranding, but a nice new brand launch to discuss.

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ARCHIVE ID 1607 FILED UNDER Branding and Identity
PUBLISHED ON Oct.06.2003 BY Armin
marian’s comment is:

I find this weird. This, from their website: "Our family tree has many branches. Why? Because we know it's impossible for one brand offering one style to fit the needs of an entire family." Except for the "one style" part, I say, Why not? Levi's does it. It's not as though they're trying to market wrenches and tampons.

Although I'm no branding freak/officionado or even fan, I think the multitude of branding for their various products weakens their overall brand.

This new logotype is extremely feminine ... so much so that I didn't even recognize the name or associate it with the jeans company at first. I'd say if they're trying to distance themselves that much from the parent brand, there's problems bigger than a logotype will fix.

On Oct.06.2003 at 11:33 AM
btezra’s comment is:

"Although I'm no branding freak/officionado or even fan, I think the multitude of branding for their various products weakens their overall brand.

~I could not agree more. I am one consumer that detests the over branding of any product, especially the ones I buy on a regular basis.

~I never respond to a product that is over marketed, shoved down my throat by relentless ads and such, nor do I like when the brand is more important than the quality of the product. I only suppose my good friends that work in PR and Product Development/Branding would have my neck if they read this...

On Oct.06.2003 at 12:07 PM
Tan’s comment is:

I think it's a nice brand extension. It's really feminine, but that's the market, so nothing wrong with that.

It smacks of Diesel, A&F, and FCUK stuff. Young girls in hip huggers. Can't say I'm complaining.

Also reminds me of Levi's attempt to launch their "L2" brand -- to lure skate punks buying Diesel jeans.

I've always preferred Gap myself. Simpler.

On Oct.06.2003 at 12:31 PM
Kirsten’s comment is:

the look reminds me of martha stewart "baby". i think it's rather interesting to use the same name with a new look to develop sub-brands. think of how many different people they can reach with different logos, but all with the same name! i think this can strengthen some brands. look at hello kitty and her entourage. it totally works. it would be so boring if they didn't change her look all the time. guess it works with some areas and not others.

i quite like this new logo. makes me feel good.

On Oct.06.2003 at 01:06 PM
kyle’s comment is:

I think the whole point of coming up with a "new" brand (really an extension of the parent brand) is that they can give the One True Fit it's own voice/look/marketing but still associate with whatever impressions (hopefully positive) that the audience has with Lee. I think it dilutes the brand more to try to have the Lee name covering so many different lines by itself.

Dungarees is a good example...it definitely has it's own look, attitude + style. Imagine seeing a Dungarees commercial and a OTF commercial if they didn't have well-defined brands/looks--chaos ensues! (Maybe not for us designer-types, think of your "average" consumer).

Sometimes I think that sub-brands are the designer's way of getting around the marketing monkies + execs in order to create something different + interesting.

On Oct.06.2003 at 01:20 PM
vibranium’s comment is:

The thread makes it official, I'm quitting 'design' and I'm going to become an Art Director for an Ad Agency JUST to go on hip-hugger photo shoots.

I like the logo...I am SO burned-out at the moment that that's ALL I can come up with...me likes.


On Oct.06.2003 at 02:14 PM
Priya’s comment is:

the thing with product extensions is that it has the opportunity to weaken or strengthen the parent brand with little warning. truely very risky. time will tell with these OneTrueFit jeans. if they flop it will only hurt Lee. if it succeeds, it strengthens the parent brand as customers who have found success with this extension may seek to purchase other products in the Lee family.

from a business standpoint it's an obvious move. they're filling a need that is currently not fufilled. sure, levi's offers those custom made jeans but they're mad expensive. lee's move in offering custom and affordable jeans is something that i find smart.

new value curves are oh so useful.

the marketing is fresh and hip. when i first saw the commercials, i didn't think of Lee. i associate Lee with K-Mart. seeing the commercials i was thinking along the lines of Gap or Mavi. watching the Lee brand pop up at the end was surprising.

i'll be interested to see how this new venture fares for Lee.

On Oct.06.2003 at 05:25 PM
marian’s comment is:

Huh. I guess there's a good reason I'm not in branding.

On Oct.06.2003 at 06:16 PM
jesse’s comment is:

I don't know. I don't like it, but that's just my initial, gut reaction.

Funny, all this talk of branding and isn't that what the Lee logo is supposed to be, a brand? Like, literally, a brand? Like from a branding iron?

You know, for cattle. I'll go now.

On Oct.06.2003 at 07:15 PM
Armin’s comment is:

What's the general opinion on the parent logo?

Dated, not dated? Too rugged for its own good? Still strong?

On Oct.07.2003 at 12:49 PM
Su’s comment is:

Hip huggers cause paresthesia.

Constant nerve pain is not sexy.

On Oct.07.2003 at 03:58 PM
jonsel’s comment is:

Sam will crush me with all the force of a Red Sox championship trophy (!) when I say this, but I suppose the Lee logo looks authentic. Obviously, the ruggedness is not translating well or they wouldn't have felt the need to do the special logo for the women's line. I think what bothers me the most about the "lee jeans" logo is that it uses the Lee name in a new way, inviting confusion. Perhaps if they had named it One True Fit and had a small Lee logo endorsing it, that might be a better way to expand the line and maintain equity.

Then again, this is a fashion brand, where often the logo is in constant flux. Does this weaken a brand? Or make it flexible to appeal to wide range of markets?

On Oct.07.2003 at 06:52 PM
Tan’s comment is:

ok, so the old Lee logo.

It's iconic. The rough edges say 'rugged'. The font says 'traditional, no-nonsense, and casual'. It's an easy name to remember, fortified by the logo-ligatures.

It's interesting that it has the same first 2 letters as Levi's, yet is visually unique from any other mark.

So, yes, it's a successful mark.

But brand attributes is another thing. Is it old-fashioned? Maybe. Is it associated with 2nd-tier name brands? Maybe. Is it working-class, in a redneck kind of way? Yes. Does it seem authentic? Yes. Is it cool? No.

Good or bad? I don't know enough about the market to pass a judgement. It's like Jell-O -- it is what it is.

On Oct.07.2003 at 07:22 PM
jim’s comment is:

it's reminiscent of the script logo for chic jeans which I think is also undergoing a change...about the quality of the logo, I don't like it

On Oct.08.2003 at 07:04 PM
Matt Wright’s comment is:

I think Lee did what they needed to, and did it well. The traditional mark is only old if in fact you are old. Its not weathered or deteriorated, its just got a rough edge that without confusion, says all there needs to be said about good old regular Lee jeans. Yee haw cowboy!!

Now this new brand for the ladies, what a great execution! Its a perfect extension of an existing brand. This new mark just looks like a feminie version of the old mark...a nice little lasso script that simply says "Lee jeans for women" instead of "Lee jeans for dudes who rope pigs all day."

Good for Lee if you ask me.

On Oct.08.2003 at 07:49 PM
Johan’s comment is:

Cool initiative: www.carpedenim.se

A site displaying the pocket designs of designer jeans.


On Nov.14.2004 at 01:16 PM