How Jack Wills turned their brand from struggle to success - Punch Creative
August 17, 2023

How Jack Wills turned their brand from struggle to success

The fashion industry is fierce. Many brands struggle to maintain relevance in the ever-changing tastes of consumers and end up dropping off the radar. Jack Wills has faced a rocky journey over the past few years. The brand gained rapid popularity in the early 2010s, before facing declining sales later in the decade and being bought out by Mike Ashley’s ‘Frasers Group’.

Through strategic decisions, an authentic brand transformation, and a deep understanding of their target audience, Jack Wills have managed to save their brand and reclaim their place in the fashion market.

Our Leeds marketing agency takes a look at how they turned their brand image from drab to fab in such a short time frame.

Acknowledging problems

The first step in any brand’s revival is to acknowledge its weaknesses and challenges. Jack Wills realised that their once popular preppy image was losing its appeal with the younger generation, and they were facing tough competition from other fashion brands.

Declining sales and a lack of brand loyalty were also troubling signs for the company. To save their brand, they needed to evolve and adapt. This caused them to reevaluate their strategy and really dig deep to understand what the current market wanted from a fashion company.

This is a crucial step for any failing brand. If you don’t take time to recognise where you are going wrong, what needs to change, or what areas you can improve your business will not survive in the industry.


A big move towards the new found success of Jack Wills was influencer collaborations. The brand invested heavily in influencer marketing in order to appeal to their Gen Z target audience.

The growth of TikTok influencers during the pandemic provided a great opportunity to connect with Gen Z consumers. Collaborating with new, young and highly successful influencers was a great way to get the brand name back out there, and give it a fresh, cool feel.

It is reported that 44% of Gen Z consumers have made a purchase decision based on a recommendation from a social influencer. Therefore, by using influencers that were popular with the Gen Z audience, and had rapid growth and influence within this consumer group, Jack Wills managed to change people’s perception of the brand and add youth back into their core.

Their investment in influencers went beyond just a few social posts and product endorsement. Jack Wills have taken groups of influencers on multiple PR trips, including Ibiza, a ski resort and Parklife festival. This again has helped change the image of the brand to seem more cool, edgy and youthful as they have engaged with locations popular with the target demographic.

Rebrand and new image

Jack Wills realised that their old image was no longer engaging the target audience, with their preppy, put together style just not fitting in with consumer tastes anymore. The pandemic changed fashion consumers’ needs and wants, with a lot of people wanting every day comfort and effortlessly cool style.

The brand therefore switched up their style, with a focus on creating cool, young feeling, aspirational content. Their socials became an inspiration board for the ‘cool kid’ aesthetic, which perfectly fit what the new generation of consumers are looking for.

This also encouraged user generated content, with people keen to show off the brand and style it up in their own way. This further solidified their new brand image, and helped them reinvent themselves as a brand.

New product focuses

The brand used to be well known for their smart casual style, with blazers, tailored trousers and shirts being some of their most popular products.

With changing customer styles and a shift towards more casual everyday wear, those products just wouldn’t cut it for Jack Wills anymore. Instead, they have chosen to completely revamp their products, focusing on more casual, lifestyle wear such as loungewear, swimwear and denim. Although the brand did offer these kinds of products before their rebrand, they were still known for their classic, British heritage style.

These new product focuses have helped to appeal to a wider audience, and made their brand more wearable for every day. This combination contributes to more sales as people see it as a casual yet aspirational brand that they want to wear daily.

Switching up the TOV

Gen Z consumers want relatability and authenticity, and brand tone of voice is crucial to this. The way brands communicate with their followers and customers online is really important for building up brand image and brand loyalty.

Jack Wills have since changed their tone of voice online to be more relaxed, casual and Gen Z focused. This includes pop culture references, witty captions and trending phrases that fit into the target audience’s language.

Tapping into social media trends is crucial to connect with younger consumer groups, as they value light-hearted and relatable brands where they feel like they can actively engage with the content. Therefore the more laid back feeling social captions that they have adopted have contributed greatly to their overall brand identity revamp.

Jack Wills’ transformation is a shining example of how a combination of authenticity and successful marketing efforts can lead to a remarkable brand revival!

Read more from our full service Leeds agency: Punch Creative.