Pick n Pay - Transformation
Friday, August 22, 2008

The new Pick n Pay brand identity has finally made it into my portfolio. This was the major South African supermarket brand transformation I was working on at Landor during the first half of 2007.

My trip to South Africa at the beginning of this year was rewarded by experiencing the new identity first hand. The flagship store in Constantia (Cape Town), the Rosebank store (Johannesburg) and other corporate stores throughout the country were very impressive. Along with the lastest retail gadgets, packaging, advertising campaign, instore and general promotions, an impression of a forward-looking, modern and vibrant organisation is being realised.

After much research the transformation was held to be crucial to the continued success of the brand. The old Pick n Pay appeared unable to make or keep up with changes in the sector. Woolworths was taking market share at the top and Shoprite Checkers from the bottom. The old identity was becoming synonymous with a dusty, reactionary and inflexible company of traders despite the iconic status of the brand.

After an initial uproar in the local marketing and design community it seems the new identity is holding its ground and becoming a valued part of everyday life in the new South Africa.

The most compelling criticism from local marketing and design professionals was that millions of Rands left the South African economy and that South African agencies lost out. It is possible but unlikely that South African agencies can offer the advice of the heavy-weight strategists in London. Experience of the sort offered by Landor strategists is second to none. These are a rare breed of incredibly articulate, deeply experienced and highly creative marketeers who know a thing or three about branding large organisations.

As with any change there are steep learning curves ahead and a few mistakes are bound to be made. Armed with the strategy advice and the new brand identity tools we developed at Landor, Pick n Pay has made a solid investment which is bound to make returns way beyond the intial cost.

Click on the Pick n Pay brandmark above to view the entry in my portfolio.