One Direction: five teenage, European heartthrobs who touch girls’ hearts, playlists, and wall space for more than five years now. From “What Makes You Beautiful” to “Story of My Life,” the famous quintet seemingly perfected their music and group aesthetic.
But such a feeling of perfection was not unanimous.
In March 2015, Zayn Malik announced his plans to leave One Direction, breaking loyal fans’ and teenage girls’ hearts all around the world, leaving people to wonder if the quintet will survive as a quartet.
While Zayn previously felt that he “may have let [his fans] down,” he left the group because staying did not “feel real” to him anymore (MTV News). So who exactly is the real Zayn then, and how has he rebranded himself since departing from the boy band?
Upon leaving 1D, Zayn has flown solo into the recording industry at 23-years-old. Recording as himself, his new music and music videos are quite a leap from the pop star sounds of yesteryear. His music is strikingly sexual and his voice is impressively mature with a distinct R&B flare. But beyond his new sound, what else has contributed to his wholesome rebranding?
For starters, Zayn has truly explored the hair scene since the days of 1D. He has shaved his head and has dyed it five times… his hair evolution says it all. He has wholeheartedly ventured into the facial hair scene, too—a look not tolerated while in the boy band. Beyond his hairy creative liberty, Zayn has gotten multiple tattoos and has even gotten ear piercings and a nose ring, too.
Zayn Malik has truly rebranded himself, racing far away from the One Direction aesthetic. He has done so in a way in a way that pushed creative boundaries, allowing for him to finally be “authentic” (ABC News). Zayn finally feels at peace with himself, his career, and his future—all because of a wholesome, personal rebranding.
For campaigns to be effective in today’s complex markets and amongst complex consumers, one really has to think outside the box and look away from traditional marketing standards—just as Zayn did. So think creatively and see what kinds of product rebranding you can do, too!
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://media.licdn.com/mpr/mpr/shrinknp_400_400/AAEAAQAAAAAAAAUBAAAAJGMwNmMxMTBmLTgwODItNGY2NS05MDViLTY3YWY2ZDkxNTc1NQ.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Elizabeth is a Junior Executive Intern at SJG. She earned her BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison this past May. Outside the office, she enjoys bike riding, listening to music, and hanging with friends and family.[/author_info] [/author]