Why 35-year-old biscuits brand Julie’s rebranded in the middle of a global pandemic
Malaysia-based biscuits manufacturer Julie’s underwent its first rebrand in 35 years in 2020 as part of an effort to futureproof itself in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. Sai Tzy Horng, brand director and son of Julie’s founder, speaks to The Drum about the brand’s transformation.
Malaysian biscuit brand Julie’s had been in business for three and a half decades when, amid the Covid-19 pandemic last year, it took the decision to execute the first rebrand in its history. While there were ’myriad reasons’ for the rebrand, Julie’s needed a total makeover after more than three decades in the market, says Sai Tzy Horng, brand director at the family-run confectioner.
The brand not only needed to update its brand look, feel, expression and experience. It also needed to take a good look at how it organised its product portfolio, he explains.
“All in all, we needed a comprehensive brand design system that would help us effectively and efficiently express what we stood for as a brand,” he says.
“The rebranding served as an internal audit of where we came from, what we stand for and where we want to be moving forward. So it helped us take stock of our accomplishments and facilitated a long-overdue conversation of our potential as a brand.”
As part of its rebranding efforts, Julie’s revamped its logo and product packaging, as well as releasing a short film called ’Operation Maybe’, featuring Malaysian celebrities such as Indi Nadarajah, Fabian Loo, Amanda Ang and Bella Rahim online.
When asked why Julie’s chose to rebrand in the middle of a global pandemic, Sai says Covid-19 forced the business “to get much more serious about digital“. As such, the company is doubling down on its digitalisation efforts.
“While Julie’s exports to 80 different countries, the company will focus its efforts on our top 10 countries in 2021, including Malaysia, Singapore and China. Moving forward, we want to be much more consumer-centric and leverage digital to gain more consumer insights and bring the brand closer to consumers,” he adds.
At the same time, Sai says the brand will draw on lessons from the past 35 years to guide its rebranding efforts. He says that the company’s diversity of customers and products have grown, with the brand’s export markets spanning over 80 different countries.
“We have grown a steady base of Julie’s lovers and they have taught us to be a happy, aspirational, fun-loving and confident company that brings people together,” he says.
“We have also learned over the years that biscuits meet people in many moments in their lives, memories, nostalgia, and aspirations. Thus, we are committed to being socially conscious as evidenced by our efforts in the community with activities such as The Best of You movement and of course, with our most recent rebrand.”
Sai is hopeful that the future for Julie’s will be much more vibrant, fun and colourful, reflected in the elements of its rebranded identity.
“We want to speak out louder as a curious and enthusiastic brand, with an incredible zest for life and humour through our brand touchpoints such as our advertisements and social media communications,” he says.
“And as seen in the iconic Julie’s logo, we always want to look confidently up into our next adventure and make the world better one biscuit at a time.”