Who are you? Who who, who who?
How do you transform the image of an organic cosmetics distribution chain when it’s a tightly-run family business with a strong grip on the brand?
When we approached Aphibio, they’d just “birthed” a promising franchise of organics shops to be deployed in France on a national scale. They created the Aphibio brand and boutique display guidelines in their garden back shed, and were looking for ideas to improve and promote their corporate image, both graphically and strategically.
Would we manage to offer the Aphibio clan enough perspective for them to let go of preconceived brand beliefs so inherent to family-owned businesses?
“Nature” evoked by a circle of “trust and abundance”, embracing the main brand feature “Bio” (Organic) in a festival of rotund fonts and symbols. Lacking in transparency, the brand name is camouflaged by the symbol. The unfinished circular symbol is unclean at best, and its color gradient a tribute earmark to the 1980’s. Not an easily replicable logo overall.
Logo – STC’s Version
A lean and clean circular symbol rid of its gradient kitsch that sheds light on the brand name and offers instant visibility. Transparency is a core value of the brand and ethical engagement. Angular fonts contrast with the round symbol, nicely balancing feminine / masculine and emotional / rational characteristics that can appeal to well-being or scientifically-minded audiences.
Austere black and purple hues are dethroned by shades of green, white and grey to soften the palette and convey an earthy, sophisticated feel. Touches of gold are minimized to avoid restrictive associations with luxury, elitist concepts.
“A Chic Look 100% Organic”: tricky in an era where green-washing is so quickly stigmatized. While the 100% organic promise is true for product lines marketed through Aphibio, it isn’t in synch with European cosmetics eco-label standards. The “Chic Look” duet is elitist, superficial and fashion-inclined, openly betraying the profound, durable, and well-being qualities Aphibio advocates.
Aphibio’s brand saga needed to be written and explicit to position it within the organic ecosystem. “Latitude Verte” conveys just that: a play on words between Green ‘Attitude’ and ‘Latitude’, it suggests the geographical coordinates of Aphibio’s ethical engagement as an organic produce distributor on the Organic sector matrix. The Green Attitude also speaks to consumers, who once they go Organic, seldom go back to mainstream produce. The tagline offers room for expansion if/when Aphibio extends its business endeavors beyond strict cosmetics and fragrances.
To create a genuine brand universe, Aphibio yearned for homogeneous visual guidelines and imagery in line with the brand promise: earthy hues and natural landscapes inviting the imagination to enter a world of warmth, wellbeing and comfort. An enticing and refreshing visual identity evoking nature’s simple yet bountiful treasures, easily replicable on print and interactive materials.
Environmental Branding – Before
With no environmental brand guidelines to speak of, store decoration varied from one franchise to the next. Common to all was the “manicure parlor” feel you’d experience when entering the premises, further reinforced by impersonal, rudimentary modular furnishings.
Environmental Branding – STC’s Version
Natural textures, soft colors, noble woods, clays and stones meld harmoniously to convey a cocoon store environment. Select materials, minerals and plants demarcate the luminous atmosphere of the merchandising area from the secluded privacy of the spa alcove.
Strategy & Campaign – STC’s Proposal
True to “Latitude Verte”, a messaging matrix was crafted to address customers, mainstream audiences, target prospects, suppliers, franchisees, partners and the media, respectively.
“L’Horizon Bio” (“Organic Horizon”) would be Aphibio’s proprietary quality standard, a thought and industry leadership initiative;
“Les Aphiliées” (“The Aphiliated”), a brand name extension for close Aphibio followers, would encourage customer loyalty as part of a community nurturing program called “L’Intégrale Aphibio” (“The Aphibio Quintessence”);
“Le Bioty Bag”, a pouch offered to privileged clients, would contain a private members card and dedicated “BioPasseport” with an array of personalized cosmetics tips and product samples.
“La Liée” (pun “The Linked and/or Ally”) would become Aphibio’s tie to charitable organizations as a gage of the brand’s corporate sustainability endeavors.