12 November 2020
Author: Vivek Bhatia
Returning to Jollibee, ico Design’s recent work rebranding the Filipino fried chicken brand for UK expansion is an example of this. We realised that Jollibee’s own-able territory lives beyond food – something we defined as ‘an upbeat Asian Twist’. This makes sense for the brand’s fusion of Western comfort foods with Southeast Asian flavours but it also impacts its brand expression across the board to appeal to British consumers without alienating its core Filipino audience. We developed a modern attitude – both visual and verbal – to celebrate the brand’s Asian heritage.
Indeed, with almost 80% of Millennials wanting to ‘see the story behind the scenes’ of the brands they purchase from, companies are now expected to show personality beyond just their branding. In food and beverage, it’s all about the brand experience – and design is integral to creating that experience, from the way food is photographed to the menu and the interior fit-out.
Familiar brands that have done this effectively include South African chain Nando’s, who’ve turned design into part of the experience and has gone on to win several awards for its interiors, not to mention a cult following in the UK and Ireland.
With different cultures increasingly influencing one another, it is important that quick-service food and drink brands build a narrative and identity that is adaptable and flexible to local mindsets and market changes. When looking to branch out to new or unfamiliar territories and audiences, ensure you understand the cultural trends and expectations, respond to these but also maintain what makes the brand its own.
Vivek Bhatia is partner and creative director at ico Design, a London based design studio that creates and builds memorable brands for businesses and organisations.
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