A true retail pioneer, 40 years ago Argos transformed the high street with catalogue shopping. Now a bold brand strategy underpins their next pioneering step, to become the digital super-retailer.
Argos is a UK retail institution with 740 stores selling thousands of products via its catalogues to over 70% of British households. For over 40 years, it pioneered the concept of mass value retail through its catalogue-driven ‘product-less’ stores.
But with the launch of online shopping, fast in-store iPad-powered ‘click and collect’ services and a new range of premium products, Argos had grown from a catalogue-seller to the UK’s largest online retailer, offering universally appealing convenience and choice to millions of consumers.
The Partners was engaged to transform the Argos brand to reflect its new reality as a digital super-retailer.
Working with Argos leadership, marketing and retail teams, we developed a strategy built on its unique proposition: to deliver products with a notion of immediacy, local availability and choice – something we called Super Retail. The optimal blend of online and high street presence designed for the digital age. Whatever you want, whenever and wherever you want it.
We authored a multi-layered, thorough strategic framework for the brand that defined the Super Retail idea in detail so that all internal and external stakeholders to the brand understood the ambition and the steps they needed to take to realise it.
We created a bold personality for the brand that speaks with a confident, active tone of voice and produced a comprehensive evolution of the brand identity, iconography and customised typeface to reflect the new personality and signal significant change. This new personality has been expressed through bold and playful bursts of colour, applied to digital and print catalogues, outdoor, TV and mobile advertising, website and store environments.
We have created a range of initiatives to bring the brand to life for internal audiences, from community events and internal engagement programmes through to product and service innovation ideas.
OWN BRAND STRATEGY
A key factor in the development of the Super Retail strategy was the evolution of Argos’ portfolio of own-brands. We worked on dozens of projects to bring the Argos personality and ‘can do’ attitude into the vast number of products sold from its catalogues, online and in-store.
We developed identities, visual languages and packaging designs for three core product categories – a premium ‘Collection’ range; a ‘Home’ mid-range; and a basic value offering, repositioned as ‘Simple Value’.
Featuring over 140 lines, starting from just 99p, Simple Value is a range of everyday essential products for the home – from bathroom essentials to DIY tools to luggage – all of which are available to buy online and be collected from over 800 points across the UK. Shifting the meaning from ‘basic’ to ‘simple with a twist’, we made the product descriptors the twist. The copy, with a touch of humour, elevates the conversation, sense of empathy and customer engagement.
We then translated the Argos masterbrand into a range of own specialist brands, including Opti for fitness and sport equipment; Guild for a collection of power tools; and Heart of House and Hygena for two furniture and home furnishings brands.
We have expressed this new personality across digital and printed catalogues; outdoor, TV and mobile advertising; the website, Christmas App and store environments – working in partnership with Argos’ other agencies where required.
For Christmas 2014 we created the My Christmas Wishlist digital app. Children can choose from thousands of toys and add them to a personalised list that is then emailed to Santa (and, of course, their parents). We created a set of characters to guide children through the process, each one of them embodying an Argos brand value: Mo has knowledge, Stik is flexible, Gil has strength, Fly is speedy and Squidgy is inquisitive.
The new brand was launched in October 2014 and we continue working with Argos on developing strategies to keep this much-loved British retailer a step ahead of the market
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