WITH A NEW BRAND PLATFORM TEHNOSILA - AN ORIGINAL RETAIL PIONEER IN RUSSIA - HAS TRANSFORMED THE TECHNOLOGY RETAIL MARKET, LIGHTING THE WAY FOR OTHERS TO FOLLOW.
Tehnosila is the original pioneer of technology retail in Russia, created in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Taking full advantage of the opportunities offered by new capitalism, Tehnosila led the way through unfamiliar territory, lighting a path for others to follow. Today, the business operates more than 130 stores across the vast country and sells everything from white goods to mobile phones, combining range of choice with convenience to meet the needs of the Russian consumers.
But the problem with being a retail pioneer is that what once set you apart soon makes you stale and stagnant. Over the years, Tehnosila had struggled to develop and change with its customers’ tastes, whose loyalty to the brand was starting to wane. The Partners was tasked to help Tehnosila have the best of both worlds: an established, trustworthy reputation combined with an ability to spark bright, technologically forward ideas.
We began by researching the brand’s current offerings, conducting interviews with key stakeholders and visiting stores in and around Moscow and St Petersburg. We soon discovered that Tehnosila differed from its competitors in one major way: whilst other major technology retailers were opening stores in the new shopping malls in the city centres, Tehnosila was opting for sites further out of town, close to the homes’ of its customers. We believed that the potential negatives of these locations could be seen in a different light: instead of people travelling to the shops, Tehnosila could take shopping to the people.
This insight inspired our brand idea, ‘Closer to You’, which was designed to cast Tehnosila as the local digital retailer, close to its customers both physically and emotionally. We worked directly with the CEO, Ilya Tinchenko, to develop four key pillars for the brand proposition: delivering certainty, inspiring choice, there for you, and honest value. To bring these to life across a range of touchpoints, we helped Tehnosila revolutionise its digital platforms, with particular focus on Click and Collect, which in a country as vast as Russia, gave Tehnosila a competitive advantage. By honing the offering, Tehnosila could reassert its dominance as a store of great convenience, personifying the idea of the ‘local online store.’
The visual identity was a blank canvas, with the only requirement being that we had to use the iconic yellow in our design. We wanted to build on the brand strategy and personality attributes, communicating the key ideas of localness and digital convenience simply and elegantly. One word kept springing to mind: portal.
Tehnosila’s portal represents the speed and ease of getting what you want, when you want it. It not only represents the destination, but also the journey, made pleasurable through convenience and ease.
The portal is a bridge that makes choice easy, and with strong links to the online world, a portal can be both a physical journey and a digital one. Thus we created the iconic Tehnosila circle: a hub, a pinpoint, a gateway into a smooth, convenient, customer-centric world. Able to be used across a variety of media, from creative advertising to point of sale, the circle acts as a visual cue, blending the physical with the digital.
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Today Tehnosila has stores in over 80 cities in Russia, visited by 1.5 million customers every month, creating a refreshingly human approach to retailing in Russia.
The simplicity and authenticity of the brand idea has facilitated rapid transformation. Just 12 months after commencing the project, Tehnosila has refitted six stores and aims to complete the physical roll-out across half of its sites within a year. The website has been completely rebuilt, offering a seamless experience that imaginatively delivers on the brand promise. We held activation workshops in Moscow to help Tehnosila bring the brand to life in innovative ways, celebrating the idea of ‘Closer to You’.
The after-effects have been momentous: new format stores increased sales by 50%, with an average sale increased by 15% and an online traffic reaching 5 million visitors a month. Such recognition demonstrates that a strong brand platform can give retailers a tangible and effective edge over the competition. Today Tehnosila has stores in over 80 cities in Russia, visited by 1,5 million customers every month, creating a refreshingly human approach to retailing in Russia.