I had the pleasure of working with Matt Mason at Chocolate who had worked directly with IKEA retail stores here in the UK for several years, we were invited to pitch for the opportunity to develop creative and sales materials for the launch of IKEA Shopping Centres Russia. With several huge centres already built they had plans for 12 more, all anchored by an IKEA retail store. The brief was to generate a fresh, bold brand and a set of outstanding creative collateral clearly demonstrating the huge opportunity for UK brands to capitalise on their thriving economy.
After a successful pitch work began researching and understanding the point of difference between this company and the centres themselves. Designed using natural materials the centres were incredibly ahead of their time. IKEA considered every element of the build with their architects to ensure that they created unique spaces where customers wanted to stay for longer. The concept focussed on natural ‘flow’, into and around the buildings, making the experience refreshingly easy for consumers. Chocolate Ltd used the idea of flow to create a range of stunning brochures which challenged stereotypical views of the Russian market place and delivered a range of strong benefits to possible tenants encouraging engagement.
The design concept introduced flow with a series of continuous lines featured on all communications including an animated film, 13 brochures, a unique and original website and exhibition materials for MIPIN and other large retail shows. Our styling was used until 2016 when they approached us once again to refresh the brand and give assets a new direction in preparation for ReCon Las Vegas and an approach to the US market.
Now known as IKEA Centres Russia and with the US target customer in mind, Chocolate Ltd set about producing a new creative angle which played on the basis of unlocking opportunities where you least expected to find them – welcoming the USA to Russia isn’t a simple proposition but we used clever creative and punchy headlines in order to break away from any preconceived ideas and demonstrate the possibilities on offer.
We gave all creative a strong, fresh and individual look and feel with a range of die cut retail icons added to all 14 brochures. Chocolate Ltd also developed a series stand graphics which included an enormous lock and key – part of the overall brand messaging.