Over eight years, Foodhall had established itself as THE luxury food retail destination in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. However, competition grew strife and new players in the market challenged the standard set by Foodhall, the brand that spawned the competition. We had to think of a way to help Foodhall raise the bar for premium retail with new strategy and reclaim its position once again.
Our goal was to build a consistent and elevated visual and verbal language for brand Foodhall to enhance the overall shopping experience.
How it began:
Foodhall was set up with a vision to make food retail a premium experience. They broke away from the food supermarket mould to build a luxury superstore that prioritised curation of both inventory and experiences to offer a holistic food experience.
When Foodhall approached us, they were an established brand with a predetermined voice and vision for food retail. Their expectation of us was to elevate the brand experience in a way that distinguished them from the growing competition and to create systems that were easily replicable across Foodhall’s brands and services.
Research and analysis:
Our research started with shadowing Foodhall’s target audience – the expats, the well-travelled male and female in their 40s and the homemakers in their 60s looking for upgrades in their lifestyle through food.
It’s a customer that understood food and loved food, so we had to create a language and experience that inspired them to cook better, plate better and eat better. We had to talk to and educate this niche audience in a manner that is well-informed but not preachy. And since we were communicating with a more mature audience, the language had to be simple and straightforward yet evocative.
Defining the problem:
The more we immersed ourselves into the world of Foodhall the more we noticed the need for consistency across their stores. Our execution had to be relevant for Foodhall pan-India.
We also noticed that a lot of communication was lacking at the store level. There was a lot on offer across the aisles and sections, however, there was no binding story and very few touchpoints that were prompting consumer interaction.
Building the design and brand language:
To tackle this mammoth brand, we created systems and adopted a step-by-step approach to the revamp. To build up Foodhall as a whole, we had to first elevate its parts. Our task, as we saw it, was to
1.Build the brand
2.Create an expression for the brand
3.Work on extensions of the brand
4.Create identities and a language for the brands and services by Foodhall
Nothing communicates the love of food more than the vocabulary of food. Our first step was to craft a folklore for the brand that conveyed Foodhall’s values and the quality of its offerings. The next step was to update their pledge that reiterates Foodhall’s promise of curating the finest ingredients and experiences for its food forward customers.
We extended this vocabulary to the store directory, which we fashioned after a recipe. We broke up the sections in the store in the way a recipe is broken down, thus making an immediate connection with the act of buying ingredients and the act of cooking.
We simultaneously worked on a visual vocabulary capitalising on the vibrant colours of food for brand posters. To convey the range of ingredients and the possibilities they present in the kitchen, we created pairing posters dominated by vivid photographs of stunning dishes. By highlighting two distinct ingredients used to make the dish and designing a stylised ampersand, we conveyed not just the type of ingredients we offered, but what people could create with them. The posters were installed in and outside the store and spoke loudly of Foodhall’s USP without over-communicating.
Once the visual and verbal styles were set, our focus was to delve deeper into the consumer journey. To this end, we created a system of templates to announce new products and services in the store, educate customers about the uses of niche items, and encourage sampling within the store to boost sales.
While setting up these systems, we set aside blue and brown as the primary colours for brand communication and created a different palate for all secondary communication, thus achieving more clarity in the store.
Foodhall’s commitment to food extends beyond curation, and includes services that make cooking more convenient and engaging. We invested a lot of time in highlighting these services that are key in setting Foodhall apart from its competitors.
Setting up the flagship store:
In December 2018, we launched Foodhall’s newest store that was set to redefine food retail in India. Spread out over 25,000 square feet and rising four floors high, Foodhall@Linking Road consisted of it’s own café, restaurant, coffee lab and cookery studio, not to mention over 8,500 high-quality ingredients.
The replicable systems we had set up, and the brand language we had developed allowed us to lay emphasis on everything from the overall store design and in-store experiences to looking at business opportunities for individual product categories and Foodhall brands.
Today, Foodhall has recorded its highest sales since its inception, with in-store revenues increasing by 20-30% and Café sales growing by 30%.