Inside The Rebranding Project At Nadel
In March, the near-70-year-old distributor Jack Nadel International (PPAI 107145, D12) announced that it was rebranding as, simply, Nadel. Six months on, PPAI Media has checked in with Nadel to learn more about the rebranding, the thinking behind it and how the transition has gone.
At the time of the rebranding, the company – headquartered in Los Angeles and with offices around the world – said the new name reflected its evolution from a promotional marketing firm to a complete, in-house agency of talent and brand promotion. It noted that as the world is changing, Nadel was changing to stay ahead of the industry and influence its direction.
“We are the same company meeting the needs of a changing industry,” says Debbie Abergel, Nadel’s chief strategy officer. “Branded merchandise has evolved and we are pleased to have a hand in that evolution. We believe in the power of connections through branded merchandise. It used to be about positioning the merchandise, now it’s about sharing your story – culture, ethics, sustainability, community, financials, etc.”
Founded in 1953, Nadel has grown from offering branded merchandise to custom product development, digital storefronts, fulfillment, global distribution and other services, and counts companies like Meta, Netflix and Tesla among its clients.
The refreshed brand includes a redesigned website and updated social media presence to go along with the streamlined name. Abergel stresses that what hasn’t changed is the company’s approach to the market. She says, “We are in the same space, same values, same service and quality we have offered for over 60 years. What is new is sharing a bit of our secret sauce and transparency with clients. Letting them see what it takes to execute their needs has been rewarding.”
Nadel partnered with Ludlow Kingsley, a boutique branding agency also based in Los Angeles, for the project. Bringing a third-party in provided a fresh perspective on the company’s work to deliver its brand promise to clients, vendors and employees.
“This was the most important aspect of the rebrand,” says Abergel. “During the process we poured over all types of marketing collateral, yearbooks, newsletters for the past 60-plus years – what you see in the rebrand is what has been consistent with Nadel since the late ’50s. A dedication to our craft and our culture. We used this base at various times over the past 60 years to meet changes in the branded merchandise space and in the world. We believe staying true to our culture and creativity will ensure our future.”
The company sought feedback from both within and outside the organization during the branding process. Accurately reflecting the internal voice was of paramount importance.
“The year before rolling out the new look, we really wanted to connect with our people on what does it mean to work and be a part of Nadel,” Abergel says. “Our goal throughout this rebrand journey was to make sure that each employee was a part of the process. The next group was our vendors and then last were clients. Our employees are the stewards of the rebrand. Their acceptance and adherence without mandates from leadership has been the reward.”
And the rebranding has been invigorating within the company. Abergel says, “The way we rolled out the brand is important, and we have a new look that feels so good to us all. My co-workers love wearing and carrying Nadel branded merchandise. It’s a beautiful thing. I think the reason they do is that they are proud for what Nadel stands for. There is deep pride and ownership for this company amongst our people .”