Dissertation Idea and Poster Ideas

So after researching the topics earlier I decided to focus on Marks and Spencers AKA M&S. I think that M&S is very well known and and will be good to explore to answer my dissertation question. To start with my essay I did some fairly brief research on the internet just to see what I could find out about the M&S logo. All I managed to really come up with was the fact that yes M&S did have a rebrand a few years ago because they felt dated compared to their competitors. I needed better info than this so decided to email them and ask them if they could give me some more information on the topic. The reply was very helpful:

Dear Chelsea

Thank you for your e-mail to the M&S Company Archive.

There were two aspects to the re-branding of M&S:

–          In 2000, we stopped using our famous ‘St Michael’ brand on all of our products. It was first used on exceptional quality products in 1928, and then applied to all of our products in 1958, and was recognised around the world. But by 2000 the company felt that it was dated, and so the ‘St Michael’ name was no longer used.

–          In 2004, we re-branded from ‘Marks & Spencer’ to ’Your M&S’. We’d traded as Marks & Spencer, or Marks & Spencer Limited, since 1894, so this was a significant move. Again, it was felt that the new brand was fresher and more relevant to the changing, developing business and the wider retail climate.

The following information comes from Bevan, Judi, The Rise and Fall of Marks & Spencer:…and How It Rose Again, Profile Books Ltd, 2007, p. 293:

[Steve Sharp, Marketing Director ]‘had been exercising his creative brain cells. His responsibilities included advertising and he spent some time with Mark Roalfe at the advertising agency Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R…. They had several brainstorming sessions, playing around with slogans. ‘When I was a kid my mum never took me to Marks & Spencer, she always took me to M&S’, Sharp said. ‘And thankfully I hadn’t read the company handbook, which says you must not shorten the name’. First they came up with ‘Our M&S’, which became ‘Your M&S’….The slogan reached out and touched every customer who had been disappointed by M&S. It tapped into the visceral loyalty of the 14 million people a week who still walked through the doors. Sharp was not a great believer in market research but his gut told him the abbreviated name would strike the right chord with customers. To check it out, the idea was put to some customer insight groups over a long weekend starting on a Thursday. At Saturday lunchtime we took a call which confirmed his instinct. The researcher said: ‘They love it, they love it’.

In terms of understanding the thinking within M&S at the time of the re-branding, and impact on performance, the best sources are the annual reports. You will find the annual reports for 2003/4 and 2004/5 (along with annual reports for the last 15 years) at:


I hope this information is helpful.

With best regards


For my poster ideas I didn’t really know how to produce a poster and relate it to my essay title. I decided to look into M&S advertising/posters and see what they all have in common:

Just like the logo, the posters and advertisement are all linked because they use the same colour palette and are very simple. Their layout is easy to read and follow. I have decided to use this layout for my poster idea and to use the colour palette also.

Whilst coming up with a couple of ideas for my poster, I quickly did some sketches of the simple layout I want to use:


I am unsure if I want a box round each section of lines to separate them. I have decided however at the top next to the logo I would like to have my name, email, essay question and research question.

I put together my poster in photoshop and firstly decided to try out having black squares behind white text and green text on the white background. I decided I didn’t like this layout and took the black squares away.


I think that this looks much better however I think the title looks stranded in the middle next to the logo!



I decided to add more info with the title and think this looks much better. I quite like the layout I have gone for here however wanted to break up the text so I added lines.



I also added speech marks around the research part because it is an email reply that I received from M&S. I have also seen speech marks on an M&S poster, it was round something they had said.



I think the few lines forming boxes round two of the parts looks much better and keeps the poster simple like what I was going for.



This is my final poster:




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