4th March 2009
Fitch was appointed in May 2008 to carry out a rebranding project for CentrObuv Group of Companies, creating an international brand that would be perceived differently by its target audiences.
CENTRO (previously named CentrObuv Group of Companies) is a Russian market leading low-cost shoe retailer targeted at a mainstream audience. The company owns 315 stores around Russia and its main format is a discount store of 250-400 sq. m. 80% of the assortment is produced by the company under its own brand CENTRO.
Fitch was appointed in May 2008 to carry out a rebranding project for CentrObuv Group of Companies, creating an international brand that would be perceived differently by its target audiences. The key business objective of the project was to help the company become a leader in the low-cost shoe retail sector in Russia. The new target audience for the company was identified as students and young professionals (mostly women) under 30.
During the initial stage of the project Fitch completed a full audit of existing brand positioning and held a series of interviews and seminars with key stakeholders. Fitch also carried out competitor audit and undertook trends analysis in the international shoe retailing sector. The audit results demonstrated that the CentrObuv brand had great potential due to a high level of brand awareness, a large and affordable range of products and highly trained staff.
However, in order to attract a new target audience it was essential to add emotional appeal to brand communications, enlarging current positioning based on the principle “pay less”. The idea was to show that CentrObuv is not just about low prices for shoes and accessories – it is also about affordable style; which would become an essential emotional part of brand communications. It was also important to create a consistent style for all brand communications including visual language, photographic style, design of navigation and POS materials, and packaging.
Fitch undertook a full range of works to create the new brand – developing brand strategy, brand name, logotype and identity, retail space planning principles and design, including design of packaging and navigation materials.
Fitch developed the idea of new brand positioning – “The Coordinators of Style”. The new brand values are – value for money, fast-fashion, coordinated style, orientation with fashion trends, individual approach (reasonable, energetic, inspiring).
The name Centro was chosen to fit the new brand positioning. It keeps the existing brand awareness, sounds appealing to Russian customers and adds an international feel, as well as underlines brand leadership in its segment.
Based on the new positioning and brand name Fitch developed two creative territories for the future design. The final chosen creative territory was “Style Editor”. The new visual language includes primary and secondary brand colours as well as a seasonal colour palette. It has been developed specifically to fit the “Style Editor” idea through packaging and communications. Each season includes female, male and kids’ colours with a few more secondary colours to give each a strong individual feel. This enables to regularly refresh the graphic materials and interiors, but at the same time maintain consistency in the brand communications.
Retail space planning principles were developed according to the 3 types of customer journeys – “Browsing shopper”, “Pre-planned shopper” and “Service needs”. The new retail space includes the following zones: Women’s Department, Men’s, Kids, Sales, Sports Department and Cash Desk. The Women’s Department is a primary destination department with two key features: the catwalk which is a beacon to the department showcasing the latest must-haves and new season’s collections, and the “New-in” Gondola which is the primary lead-in gondola, located next to the catwalk. This gondola allows the store to highlight new fashion trends and collections.
The pilot Centro store was opened on November 29, 2008 in St. Petersburg, Russia, and attracted a large number of customers. The Client reports high customer interest towards the new brand and plans to deliver the new concept to all the new stores located in shopping malls and, in the future, a full roll out to all stores of the chain.