Throughout the Century 21's history, their branding has been iconic enough to become almost synonymous with real estate. In fact, one recent study found that Century 21’s logo was the most recognizable in the industry. So why do a full brand overhaul?
Last month, Century 21 rolled out a sweeping rebrand that aims to paint the nearly 50-year-old franchisor in a clean, sophisticated light. Overseen by CEO Nick Bailey, who took over the company in August, the aesthetic overhaul is intended to go beyond the surface to signify C21’s “big, bold, ambitious moves ahead,” according to the website announcing the rebrand.
“It was time for a remodel,” the site reads. “So we tore the old house down to the studs and rebuilt it with our most valuable asset in mind. You. Our agents.”
Their goal was to “defy mediocrity and deliver extraordinary experiences”, no easy feat for any brand, but doubly hard for an iconic brand synonymous with traditional real estate branding.
The agent-focused campaign features entirely redesigned listing flyers, business cards, new-agent ads, yard signs and even decor ideas for the office with the company’s signature colors — black, and a newly toned-down, more metallic gold. A separate campaign targeted at consumers was also launched. The modern look is a stark contrast from its former logo — and a big leap from the iconic, vintage gold jackets that the brand retired over a decade ago.
The logo monogram is really nice, with the angles of the “C” aligning with the “1” and “2”. While some might say that using it cropped in different applications might muddy the waters in terms of brand consistency, we believe that is the strength of a rebel brand – redefining what’s accepted, and changing the norm. The color combination of gold and dark gray is much more pleasant than the old yellow and black and gives both the wordmark and monogram a more high-end feel.
The selected color scheme for the rebrand isn’t necessarily rebellious in itself, some might argue. That is until you consider the audience and the competitors. What this new rebrand does really well, is differentiate itself from the likes of RE/MAX and Coldwell Banker, the other major Real Estate players, with the sophisticated color scheme and the sharp angled graphics.
The bold and gold look translates very well to flyers and "just listed" brochures. Well designed direct mail is a rarity in the real estate industry, but these materials will definitely put C21 agents a step ahead of the competition using Powerpoint or ugly printer templates to create their direct mail pieces.