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This is a story about how we accidentally made a rebranding for the coffee shop chain Bodriy Den. It will take about 7 minutes of your time.

7 June 2018 — Boris Skok

Why do you need to read it?

If you are a marketer, brand manager or business owner, you will find out how a large network is rebranding, what it is and what steps it consists of. If you are a designer, you can learn something for organizing work or communicating with a client.

Let's go!

 

First meeting

At first, client has no thoughts about rebranding. In the middle of August, Alexey and Alexander came to visit us — the founders of the chain network of coffee shops «Bodriy Den». If you have not heard of them — these are 180 coffee shops in Russia and the CIS, of which 12 are located in Novosibirsk and belong to the founders, the rest are franchises. The first meetings are always talking about what tasks are facing the business and its owners, what problems can be solved with the help of design, what are the requirements for the design and so on.


After our acquaintance, we jointly identified the following theses:



The task we formulated together is facelift identity, that is, refreshing and streamlining the brand image. That's what we had to "refresh" — this was how the Instagram account of Bodriy Den looked like before the design update.



As you know, it does not matter how many likes you have on Instagram, if you look good in life. Joke, nothing is more important than likes on instagram! It means that the design should look good not only on the monitor, but also in life. The main thing is that the new design should be organically incorporated into the new content created not only by the company, but also by its customers.

 

The second meeting — talk about pictures

The second stage of any project is a visual brief, which we prepare on the basis of a regular brief. What is the difference? In the usual brief, the customer gives introductory information — product advantages, a description of the target audience, strategic plans, etc. A visual brief, also called a moodboard is a selection of pictures. Its task is to identify the mood, taste and stylistic preferences. Understand how the client sees himself and how we see him. With the help of a moodboard, we dismantled the actual solutions in the design, the options for presentation, were inspired and chatted about what a Bodriy Den could look like in the wildest fantasies.

 

How to work with a visual brief?

Pictures in a moodboard do not necessarily have to demonstrate the specific solutions that you propose. Of course, it’s so convenient to sell some solutions, but the point is different.

For example, from these three pictures below, the guys noticed the first one.


No need to take everything literally. So, the picture itself is not important, but how a person reacts to it is.

The second image is a good, naturalistic, direct, with a simple and clear message.

The third is the most informative, discreet, it is all about the transfer of meaning.

The first - bold, attracts attention, you need to think about it. Of the three, it stands out for its brightness and has a story in it. The guys paid attention to it.

Does this mean that the identity should be similar to some examples from the visual brief for which the customer has hooked? No, it doesn't. This means that in the identity there may be those qualities and style that client chose. After discussion, we took a pause for a week to prepare the first options for identity.

Lifehack for designers:

Moodboard is your friend, use it to start a conversation about design. If the customer does not like any picture — he will say about it, and you will talk about what he likes.

 Lifehack for customers:

Moodboard is an excellent reason to tell the designer what you like. To understand how you see your product.

 

First concepts

The result of the first week of work is three identity concepts. We arranged them in order of complexity and distance from the current image.


Easy facelift

First, we identified weaknesses in the current logo. If you manage to fix them without losing recognizability  and not redoing the entire logo, this is a success. The simpler and faster — the better.

– about to spill

– different thickness of the lines (cartoony)

– too cheerful font

– keyword is stuck and very heavy

– excess lines


We draw a new cup, slightly changed the color, completely reworked the font part. Now there is no cartoon in the logo, it is clear and simple, as Americano without sugar.

Recognizability is preserved, it is clear that the guys sell coffee. But despite the fact that everything was done correctly, we don’t really like the result, and the customer also:

The opened cup lid in the logo created the dynamics and that’s why we liked it. The wings that set the movement of the entire composition, began to look inappropriate. With the lid closed, the cup ceased to be alive and became more an icon, a nameplate, and not a character.

 

But the main thing - it became very similar to Those-Who-Can-Not-Be-Named.

  1. The client liked:
  2. Preserved recognition
  1. The client did not like:
  2. It looks like the main competitor in the rigor and colors
  3. It has become too “office-like” for such soulful coffee shops
  4. The dynamics disappeared from the logo
  5.  Bodriy Den has become something more than just a cup of coffee with you
  6. So, this version of the identity will not last long — it will soon have to be updated


Let’s move to the second option.


Deep Facelift

In the second version, we beat the idea of ​​communication. This concept is an intermediate option between adjusting the old logo and developing a new one. The image is more emotional, modern, contains the potential to reveal the whole system of communication.


Nothing remained of the cup and only a feather from the wings.



The crossed out words create an additional emphasis on the entire phrase. When a person sees such a text, he subconsciously pronounces it not as a “peppy dumb day”, but as a “peppy, not a dumb day”, or “not a dumb, but a peppy day”.



So, by crossing out a word, we give a person a reason to think about why it is crossed out and complete the picture, find an excuse for “crossing out”.

Laconic design creates a sense of clarity and transparency. If you come to the Bodriy Den,  you will get what you see in the picture, clearly and quickly. No pitfalls. Everything is as simple as possible. At the same time, the image does not cause a feeling of severity and dullness  — feathers, interactive bubbles and copywriting allow the concept to gain a human face and speak the same language with people.

In this concept, the identity is dynamic - any word placed in a bubble can become part of a logo or pattern. So, there is no reference to coffee as the main product.

Much closer, but we still don't like, same for the client:

It’s great that we can play with the word "day", but crossing out causes negative associations. And the font part seems too heavy.

  1. The client liked:
  2. An interesting solution for communicating with customers
  3. No reference to coffee cup
  4. Live, not clerical image
  1. The client did not like:
  2.  Negative associations from crossed words
  3. Not obvious, why the Scandinavian design
  4. Heavy Font




Already not a facelift, but not yet rebranding

The third option is a new concept with an independent idea. We try to communicate using characters. The base is a font part in which several symbols.

We offer our own coding system of meanings. If you change the letters-icons in places, they form the word “OBED” (“LUNCH”), but that’s absolutely an accident.

If desired, any letter of the alphabet turns into a symbol that communicates with the viewer. At first it seems that the system is chaotic, but if you use a limited set of letters and transcripts to them, you get a complete message on the desired topic.

The day is so vigorous that you can just shout “Ee-ee-ee-ee-ee!” And this already creates an image recognition. We decompose the main color into components, we get blue and yellow for coding products.

We’re adding new colors and making icons. Green color consists of blue and yellow. The client is in motion after he takes a coffe to-go, so we’re showing this motion in icons with the help of lines. The yellow icon is a clear identifier, the blue lines are a tribute to the dynamics of the old logo (they look a bit like wings).



This is how it looks on brand carriers. The image suddenly became similar to the brand of St. Petersburg from the Lebedev’s Studio, but they themselves, it happens, sin. However, it was not the similarity with the work of Lebedev’s Studio, but the very same graphic negation ruined this concept. The guys even asked if there was a sale of crossed out letters somewhere:

— The crossed out O — stop sign, do not go, do not park.
— D — police flasher.
— Are you trying to tell us something?

 

Life hack for designers:

Choose unambiguous characters. If something can be misunderstood - it will be misunderstood.

Lifehack for customers:

Always be prepared for the worst. If it is possible to make fun of something, customers will definitely do it.

  1. The client liked:
  2. There is the potential to communicate using universal characters
  3. No dependence on the image of a cup of coffee - you can continue to develop the kitchen
  4. The font is dynamic, non-standard, but needs some work
  1. The client did not like:
  2. Many negative associations with specific characters
  3. The color is too similar to the color of the main competitor
  4. Icons are too heavy, massive, rough


Summary of the first three concepts:

None of the three options did not suit either the customer or us, so it was necessary to chart the direction of movement. From the comments on each presentation, it became clear that:


To make one concept from two is the most unloved task for most designers. This rarely turns out something good. Basically — it turns out the experience and understanding how not to do it. And this, by the way, is well worth it. Special attention deserves the color of the logo. Below it can be seen that one of the variations of the logo in color is indecently close to the color of the main competitor.

50 shades of green.

Since we, thanks to Jony Ive, are not from Kuyeda, we cannot allow such missteps. But you can’t completely refuse green either - we understood it from the research results. People were asked if they knew the name «Bodriy Den»?, and in most cases the answer was “Yes, those are the ones with green cups”. So green should stay.

 

The second presentation, or game fonts,
in which everyone won

In the first three concepts, the font part of the logo caused the most questions. Based on the analysis of the brief, discussion of the moodboard and communication, we set ourselves a list of criteria that the logo should correspond to:


Ten days later, the presentation was ready..


– Reducing the size of the “legs” of the “Д” letter

– Kerning

– Flattening font a bit - this way it looks more nice

– Choosing the needed lines’ thickness



Life hack for designers:

If the number of logo options is important for your customer (for ours it’s not), then here is a simple solution. No, not to highlight one of the options graphically, who would be fooled this way?

Build logo options in a chain, so that your client:



Lifehack for customers:

A large number of options for the logo, which initially you do not like, will not make it better. Talk to the designer about what the logo should tell about, and not how to look.

After all the manipulations got the final version. Green, by the way, have been made greener.



The picture shows that this shade is different from the main competitor, and from all the options offered by us. It is a little richer than the first.

So we’re checking for compliance with the criteria:




This example showed the lightness, dynamics and unobtrusiveness of the identity. Everything flies in the right direction - and the balloon, and the donut.



By the way, the “airiness” here is the reference to the wings of the cup from the current logo.

Life hack for designers:

Try not to use simple associations, such as chains “wings – fly – plane”. If the image must be flying — it is not necessary that something should flew.

Lifehack for customers:

Give designers strategic goals if you are confident in them. Do not try to control every little thing.

  1. The client liked:
  2. All criteria met
  1. The client did not like:
  2. The concept turned out to be synthetic
  3. The search for a solution led us to a dead end


Ultimately, the entire project team agreed that attracting new qualities to the old image is a bad way.

We decided to stop and start from the beginning. So we played with fonts and won a ticket to a new concept of identity — with more freedom in choosing solutions.

 

Finally, rebranding

We threw out all the old groundwork, took a pause for 10 days and made a new independent concept. The simpler the symbol, the more universal and widespread it is. For example, checkered taxis, red cross ambulances, figures of men and women for toilets and fitting rooms, and so on.

Each character is used in some situation, and characters for similar situations are grouped together. For example, road signs, signal flags, application icons in an iPhone or emoji. Emoji is used as symbols for some states of a person at the time of communication — it fits just perfectly.

That was how the face of our designer looked when he found out that he needed to create another version of the logo. The joke is so-so, but he begged to leave it. Sorry.

As you can see, emoji in the logo is fine integrated into communication on any topic :)

The more reasons for using a symbol, the better. You can insert into the logo, slogans, you can make stickers, stick them on the cups, packages, T–shirts of the staff — anywhere.




Font

We refused from the original “airiness” to “vivacity”. This means that the font should no longer be soft and round and can become energetic, simple and easy to read.

Sign

The best form that fits the Emoji is “O”. So the composition of the entire logo will be more convenient to use. A rectangle is easier to place on layouts than a rectangle with a circle, a trapezoid, or whatever.


By the way, the green color remained, but there is no talk of any similarity with a competitor. If it seems to you that all these emoji are the same person - do not be surprised. Even at the stage of filling the brief, we looked at Asian coffee houses a lot. This, by the way, is true. But no racism! The population density in Asia makes the go-to format topical than anywhere else in the world. Hence, a large number of examples of simple and easy-to-communicate local brands.

We presented this to the customer. He liked it! :)

  1. The client liked:
  2. Simple and versatile characters in large quantities
  3. The image is energetic, fast and still flying, but without secondary associations
  1. The client did not like:
  2. Few examples of use
  3. It is not clear how to scale the idea on a huge network


So, for the sake of completeness, only examples are missing — an understanding of how the idea is revealed throughout the network.


Brand carrier examples

Another week — and examples are ready. One of the key tasks of the Bodriy Den is to sell more 0.5 liter cups. Someone may say that half a liter of coffee is a bit too much not only for one, but even for two cups.


The idea of ​​cups is simple, like the Emoji themselves: since consumers like to be photographed with them, let them be photographed with a cup right in front of the face:






Life hack for designers and customers:

If you want to stimulate sales of a product in the line — select it graphically, this is the easiest and most obvious way.

The second most important element is the sign:





It looks stylish, but not too expensive, and simply emphasized. That’s what you need for people who arrabges meetings in coffee shops at lunchtime.

And so you can brand the plates with the schedule. It would seem nothing special, but this is also communication.


This is how to pack to-go orders and a roasted coffee.


But this may look like slogans. Flirting with the audience is based on the play with the letters B and D.





Minimalistic green posters — a tool for navigation and branding inside the sales point.


These Emoji can be used on the doors to the toilet.




Lifehack for the designer:

Often when the boring business tasks and interesting design meet, interesting solutions may apper.

Lifehack for customer:

Tell the designer not only about the features of the product, but also about business problems.


  1. The client liked:
  2. Integral, bright, not similar to competitors image
  3. The logo is dynamic, speaks not about the product, but about the emotions that the product gives
  4. Identity speaks with customers in a simple, understandable language
  5. Communication is easy to scale, just pick up emoji and text

 

 

Summary

The project is fully agreed by the management company and the franchisee. The guys made a plan for the introduction of new brand carriers. They will start with their own coffee shops in Novosibirsk, and in 2 years they will change the entire chain. At first everyone will natter — that it was better before. From our experience, it will pass in a couple of months of work, people will get used to the new image and the system will start working.

Production of any brand carriers now takes place on the side of the management company — so the designers on site will be turned off from the process. This means that there will be fewer errors, everyone will work with equally high-quality solutions, the speed of implementation of marketing campaigns will increase.

Thank you for reading to the end!

 

If you have a familiar newbie designer, send him a link to this article. He will certainly be able to learn something useful for communicating with clients and organizing the workflow.

If you have a familiar marketer or manager who can’t find a common language with designers, send him a link to this article. So he will be able to look at the organization of processes from the point of view of designers and will be able to build communication on projects more effectively.

 

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