The Rebel Company
7f1d9288 wha bw a
Article / Beliefs

New Beginnings

Read less

Five perspectives that have informed our rebrand

Writing this feels deeply personal. Never has the tone of something felt as crucial as it does now. Balancing empathy and understanding with positivity and a belief that, in the end, we'll all be ok.

As Rebel turns five, we're just getting started. A conscious decision to down tools for six weeks has afforded us an opportunity to focus on us for the first time since launching in 2015. Something we’d never thought possible before the pandemic.

We've been brave in the changes we've made, because we knew that we had to find our footing and be the best version of ourselves. Giving us a chance at success whilst creating something we can be proud of. I know I'm not alone in feeling nervous about every move we make. This is a big moment for me, for us, and for the future of our businesses. Let's make sure we get it right.

As we reveal The Rebel Company to the world, here are five perspectives on how to move on from the events of the last few months.

1. Celebrate the journey, be bold and look forward

During our summer hiatus from projects, and as we worked on our own business and brand, it was fascinating to cast our minds back to 2015. Thinking about how much has changed and how much we've learnt. Revisiting the achievements that we've been most proud of.

It's so easy to let the significance and the impact of milestones pass you by. We're all so caught up in what's in front of us and what the future holds. Now more so than ever.

Basing a future strategy on understanding what's worked in the past is crucial. But it mustn't be at the expense of an objective view of how the world has changed around us.

And whilst there is so much uncertainty, there are also things that we can depend on. Hospitality will always be the backbone of so many people's lives. It's crucial we’re all confident in what we offer and that we tell the world about it in exactly the right way.

We've been so impressed by businesses that have formed new approaches to how they operate and communicate.

Staying true to their passions and letting their personalities shine through.

Forest Road Brewery

We particularly loved this east London brewery’s response to losing 60% of their revenue overnight. When "sales of keg beer just stopped". In this video, founder

Pete Brown talks about how they turned a small van into a mobile bar. Bringing beer to their loyal fans who could no longer get their hands on the product in traditional ways. And it was so successful, they’ve just bought a second van.

"If people can't go to the kegs. Why don't we bring the kegs to the people?

Eats Thyme, Paris

Our client, at recently launched Eats Thyme in Paris, has done a stellar job of sticking to the inspiration, heart and soul of their concept. Capturing the Lebanese spirit, personality and patriotism in new and inventive ways.

They knew they could introduce Parisians to a more authentic version of the nation's cuisine. Yet it would take a patient and more creative approach as they shifted focus to bringing the product to market. At a time when the market couldn't easily come to them.

When the Beirut tragedy happened last month, they knew that the business could be a platform to raise awareness and funds for the disaster. Since then, much of their focus has been on supporting that cause.

Celebrating win-win relationships

At Rebel, we've realised that our best work has been built on win-win relationships with suppliers and partners. Working on projects that go above and beyond making money.

We're now placing a 'purpose manifesto' at the heart of each project. Giving us all something to be proud of and to underpin a strategy that's built for success. Our new brand reflects all this, whilst presenting a confident and bold approach to ensuring future wins. We really hope you like it.

2. Values and principles are the foundations of change

Uncovering and defining your organisation's purpose and using this to define a strategy is great. But this must be built on an honest appraisal of why things matter to you. As an individual, a leader, a team or across a business.

If we're aware of the positives that have defined past success, we can be more confident in the changes that we make to our businesses. Leading with principles ensures decisions are grounded in an approach unified by shared values. If things don't work out, we can accept this together and try something else. We'll always have stability in some form. Even in an ever-changing world.

Warrens On The Pass

Over the past ten years, farmers turned butchers Phillip Warren and Sons had made a name for themselves. Supplying their Cornish grass-fed meats to some of the best restaurants in the UK. Working hard to support their customers, understanding that they win when the restaurants do.

Launching Warrens On The Pass, they made a point of linking their products to the restaurants they were originally produced for. Meaning customers could order items intended for their favourite restaurants at home.

As legendary London restaurant The Ledbury announced it was permanently closing, Warrens continued their legacy by selling their bespoke products online. While short-ribs, pork shoulders and briskets intended for Shoreditch favourite Smokestak were being slow-cooked and barbecued in gardens across town.

With restaurants now open, Warrens continue to sell directly to customers. Such has been the success of the initiative.

The Conduit Club

Looking to past examples of taking a values and principle-based approach to work. Our new partner Michael worked on the development of The Conduit
in Mayfair.

The project was an excellent example of a business placing purpose at the heart of what they do. Key initiatives included a progressive approach to hiring with London based charity partners The Clink and Beyond Food Foundation. The creation of bespoke hemp-based products, alongside Margent Farm and Cambridge University (Centre for Natural Material Innovation), was part of a drive to reduce single-use plastic.

The building centred on cutting edge sustainable technology coupled with diverse, non-Europe centric art pieces. All within a members club in Mayfair, and without sacrificing any of the now-expected luxury components one would expect from this type of business.

Defining our own values and making them stick

As part of our rebrand, we revisited everything Rebel was about. Documenting our values and making them available for clients to see was a no brainer. As was sharing our Collective Commandments with the world. It's our commitment to being jointly responsible for everything we do.

Whether a freelancer, an employee, a supplier or a client. Great things happen when we welcome and support people who share our ethics and desire to use our voices and influence to make a real difference.

3. Live and work partly in the service of others

Only time will tell whether the world will go back to its old ways. But we live in hope that there will be at least an acceleration in businesses and individuals adopting a more responsible approach to what they do.

And discussed in previous posts and on the final webinar in the Two Eds Are Better Than One series, we have both an opportunity and a duty to think about the impact we have on others' lives. Never have fairness and equality mattered so much.

There are better ways of living and most of us have had a chance to refocus over previous months. Engaging in practices and habits that have the potential to change the way we interact with the world around us.

Rethink Food

It's been incredible to see how Daniel Humm and the team at Eleven Madison Park have risen to the challenge. Using their rethink food initiative to reach thousands of individuals and families living in food poverty in New York. The initiative was so successful that a recent partnership with Dominique Crenn saw the launch of the scheme on the West Coast too.

Now on our side of the pond. Daniel has launched a similar initiative with the NHS. This time at his London restaurant, Davies and Brook at Mayfair's Claridges hotel.

Genuine Community Development

Early this year we completed work on Vernon House for developer Mount Capital. We were impressed by their uber-considered approach. Both in Primrose Hill and at their Pragovka development in Prague.

It was great to see how supportive of the local communities they are. Particularly in Prague. Contributing to the continued growth of the artistic community currently living and creating within their development. Working with them rather than against them to evolve the scheme.

This is at odds with so much of the 'gentrification' we see. As communities are forced out to make way for 'progress' in the traditional sense.

The Rebel Foundation

The launch of our charitable foundation is planned for early next month. With the ongoing support of our clients and collaborators, we're excited by the prospect of continuing to change the lives of others. Giving the people we know the opportunity to do the same.

A shout out to all the clients who have contributed to our 1% match fund over the past 18 months. Your support has enabled us to get to launch and has already done so much for the young women we've been supporting in Mumbai.

4. Be your true self online

Since the beginning of lockdown, we've seen so many conflicting opinions and approaches when it comes to managing our lives online. As the world went digital, we were under pressure to do more. To say more.

With lives on hold, it seemed like social media was a release valve from the lockdown life but did it actually just increase our anxiety? We can’t help thinking that this may have just added pressure onto us as individuals. And as businesses, the misleading perspective that the way to win is through more content. This isn't the case.

We've come to believe in a less-is-more approach. Supported by being yourself and using your influence to bring a clear message. Being meaningful with everything you say and do.

An example from across the pond

New York-based friend of Rebel, Anna Polonsky has shown that the right campaigns can be hugely successful. Coming from the heart and engaging the right partners and peers at the same time. Her agency Polonsky & Friends have launched a successful US-wide initiative, Ask Chefs Anything. Whilst their apron collaboration with Bragard USA saw chefs including Thomas Keller getting behind the initiative, spurring nationwide sales with 100% of profits going to charity.

BrewDog goes from strength to strength

For the last 18 months, we've been working with the team at BrewDog to bring a consistent brand experience to the bars around the world. Handling their graphics work, menu design and signage as they've grown their estate.

Despite a well-publicised 'fight for survival' in March, the business doubled down. Staying connected with their fans whilst their bars remained closed. It’s clear that their continued success has been guaranteed by the way they've found their voice online. Their recent carbon negative commitment is admirable at a time when many businesses are unable to think long term.

Launching our digital marketing product

All this got us thinking. And we're delighted to announce that we've developed a content and digital marketing product. Created to support the strategy and design work we've loved delivering over the years. But also to support new and existing clients with identifying and connecting with their audiences online.

If you’d like to know more about how we’re helping businesses connect to their audiences online, please get in touch.

5. Embracing change and enjoying the ride

The next few months are going to define the future of hospitality. It's been upsetting to see so many casualties over the summer. No doubt there will be more.

What’s becoming clear is that our relationship with cities is likely to fundamentally change. We've been speaking to operators in neighbourhoods who are doing better than ever. Whilst our friends in hubs such as Soho continue to feel the effects of a workforce largely working from home. Of course, tourism is yet to recover in any meaningful way.

The success of the pedestrianisation of Soho to allow for al fresco dining will continue for as long as the weather permits. And the recently-launched “Take Put” campaign in Chinatown is another interesting initiative we’ll be keeping a close eye on. Jay Rayner certainly thinks it has legs.

Even a small permanent shift in the way we work is going to have a big impact on the fabric of city centre hospitality. Particularly those predicated on high footfall, daily custom and time-poor professionals.

But in the long run, opportunities abound for businesses that are positioned to take advantage of a redistribution of the professional population. Be it in cities, in the suburbs or further afield.

Is Co-living finally going to have its day?

Operators such as Bermondsey's Mason & Fifth are well placed to create professional communities in city neighbourhoods. If life 'on campus' results in a goodbye to the daily commute, there will undoubtedly be winners and losers.

Don’t forget to have a little fun

But we're confident that the industry will bounce back in one way or another. We're an enterprising bunch and it's been reassuring to see some irreverence as we continue to embrace collaborations. Both inside and outside of the industry.

We've loved the fun being had by Gizzie Erksine and Professor Green of late. As they continue to take their Giz and Green's "Monday Night Fakeaway" idea to new heights. Copyright and trademark infringement potential aside, it's nice to see this light-heartedness in times of great hardship.

In good company

For us, the next few months are about staying focused, positive and as relaxed as we can. Embracing the ability to work from anywhere and continuing our collaborative approach with partners around the world. To this end, a departure from 'agency' in favour of 'company' seemed like an apt way to solidify this approach. Because whatever we do, we're determined to be great to work with. And a good company in every sense of the word.