Ok, before I go any further, you may be asking who and what is Li-Ning?

Li-Ning is one of China’s largest sportswear suppliers. The brand is extremely popular throughout China, and during  its rise to fame the brand even had the likes of Adidas and Nike worried. Recently, the World Brand Laboratory published the “China’s 500 Most Valuable Brands” report, and attributed the Li Ning brand with a value of 12.734 billion RMB.

So if the brand is such a success, why are they making a change? Well the answer is because Li-Ning has found that 50% of its consumers are in the 30-40 year old age bracket. They have a small market share in the Under 25 age group and this has been highlighted as major issue by the organisation as they see the latter audience as the key to future success.

Below are changes made to the logo, the slogan, and the advertising campaigns with the hope of appealing to the younger audience:

The Logo

Li Ning (Old Logo Design)

OLD logo design

Li-Ning New Logo Design

NEW logo design

As you can see the logo has undergone quite a transformation considering how recognisable and loved the original logo was. The new logo is more 3-Dimensional and the Chinese characters have been replaced with the English brand name. However, the new logo is based on the Chinese character ‘‘ (rén) meaning a person or people.

The Slogan
The former slogan for the brand was ‘Anything is possible’. The first obvious issue here is it’s high similarity to the Adidas slogan ‘Impossible is Nothing‘. It is important for Li-Ning to differentiate itself from this major rival as the brand looks to grow its international market share.

To that end the new slogan is entitled ‘Make The Change‘. This new line aims to demonstrate youth and self-confidence, it challenges the young consumer to dare to be different.

The Advertising Campaign
This has been the most contraversial part of the Li-Ning rebrand. The new campaign quite literally dismisses those consumers born after 1990. This has caused  much anguish amongst the aforementioned loyal Li-Ning consumers in their 30s and 40s.

Li Ning - Print Ad 1

Li Ning - Print Ad 2

Li Ning - Print Ad 3

The posters (above) reads ‘90后李宁‘ (90 Hòu Li Níng) meaning ‘After 90 Li-Ning’.  However, there is a double meaning embedded within this phrase, as it also represents the date Li Ning was established – 1990.

This new direction is certainly a bold move by Li-Ning. They are agruably destroying an established and loved brand to target the future source of their profits both on a domestic and international scale. Only time will tell if the risk of the rebrand will reap great rewards.