A big brand turnaround

In 2010 we were recruited by Coles to define a fresh approach to brand and design as part of one of the biggest turnarounds in Australian retail history. Following the project we became the lead brand design agency, managing every aspect of visual identity, core brand and design assets across all Coles’ retail services and through all channels. We have plenty to shout about when it comes to the work we’ve done. Here’s a snapshot.

Coles Supermarkets store exterior with down down red hand

Starting with the brand identity

We reviewed how all visual aspects of the Coles brand were used, and then came up with a bolder, more graphic approach. Following a thorough audit of all customer touchpoints, our solution was to literally maximise the logo, with an enlarged, bold and cropped version taking pride of place on all communications. This fresh, contemporary feel was rolled across press, outdoor and store communications, and can also be seen rolling across the country as bold new truck livery.

Coles Down Down red hand in laundry product aisle

Pointing the way to ‘iconic’

The Coles ’Big Red Hand’ has now become one of Australia’s most recognised brand assets, and Whippet has been its guardian from the beginning, defining the way it is used through all channels and in the store itself.

Making sure the price is right

We believe there’s huge strength in being able to prompt brand recognition from just a product and price point. A perfect example of this is in our creation of the Coles ‘Value Ring’, a simple device designed to highlight the thing customers care about most, price. Used effectively in a consistent way across all channels since 2010, it acts as a visual signpost for Coles value and continues to be widely copied by many retailers.

Bringing the market to the supermarket

When customers said they wanted their supermarket experience to be more like a ‘real’ market, Coles listened carefully and made great efforts to deliver just that – all the way down to the graphics and communications in the store. Whippet came up with a rich new design scheme, nicknamed ’Woodstock’, to bring a market-style freshness to Coles.

Using eclectic typography, natural textures, contrasting tones and home grown illustration, we created a warm atmosphere in which to deliver information that customers really wanted: cooking tips, nutritional values, ethical standpoints and local provenance. These principles, in both messaging and design, have formed the foundation for many of Coles’ most successful campaigns.

Curtis Stone holding tongs with message background

Because food matters…

Coles has become a leader in establishing a more ethical approach to the produce it sells. The ‘No Added Hormones Beef’, ‘Cage Free Eggs’, ‘Sow Stall Free Pork’ and ’Sustainably Sourced Seafood’ campaigns were warmly welcomed by customers and serve as a reminder that when you are saying something good, it doesn’t need to be dressed up too much.

Feed your family

The ‘Feed Your Family’ initiative was introduced in 2010 as a way for Coles to help families enjoy healthy, tasty meals on a budget. Supported by Curtis Stone, it continues to be a massive success story for the brand. Whippet again played a crucial role since inception, designing the ‘Feed Your Family’ identity and plenty of the campaigns from launch.

“While working on both Tesco in the UK and Coles here in Australia, Steve and his team have consistently delivered excellent design solutions across a wide range of projects. They leverage their expertise in retail design alongside customer insights to develop innovative, cost effective solutions that deliver great results.”

John Leaman

Head of Fresh Marketing, Coles

The project covered

Visual identity | Design asset creation | Brand guidelines | Point of sale design | Local area marketing | Press design | Integrated campaigns | Store development

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