Argos Ltd, trading as Argos, is a the UK's leading catalogue retailer and a subsidiary of Sainsbury's.
Established in 1973, Argos is a household name and an integral part of British culture. However, it’s this longstanding success - in spite of any evolution in the Argos’ image - that led the company into becoming an analogue brand in a digital world.
When R3Brand began consultations, internal understandings and operations were as efficient and streamlined as we had ever seen, and understandably so in a company of this size. But the “shop front” – i.e. the visuals presented to the end consumer – were far from what one would expect of a company of this size in 2014.
In an era where many a proud UK firm – Woolworths and Safeways being two unfortunate examples – would become redundant as a result of a failure to evolve, R3Brand’s expert role was to ensure that Argos’ ground-level staff, and the British public, were confident that the same fate was not awaiting Argos. The brand would head into 2015 with passion, ready for any eventuality.
Before our involvement with the Argos brand, they had enlisted the help of a third party consultancy firm to assess their brand’s position, strengths, weaknesses and give them a more in-depth assessment of something they already knew; they needed a new look.
Luckily for us, this meant they were already sold on the idea of re-branding and even had a loose moodboard of values that they wanted Argos’ new look to represent. The main ‘feel’ points that were conveyed to us were:
On a separate note, management had told us they didn’t want to subtly refresh the brand – they wanted to shout from the rooftops about it. Fortunately, this is what we do best.
Having agreed to all of the above, we were given the space to reimagine the Argos brand to become the future-proof power brand that exists today. Our favourite word taken from the dashboard was ‘Energy’ and we centred the entire project around this.
Starting with the logo, we didn’t want to deviate too much from something that has stood strong in the United Kingdom for generations. We needed grandparents through to children to see that logo and instantly recognize it as the brand they know and love. For this reason we simply modernized the current logo with softer angles and a slightly cleaner aesthetic.
The real changes came in the collateral that accompanied the logo, and the tone of voice used in the collateral. We established a brand new, in-your-face way of direct marketing whilst still remaining clean and very pleasing on the eye. Actual graphic design was kept to a minimum in terms of effects and styles, whilst making the campaign instantly recognizable. We incorporated this style of marketing and advertising into the brand guidelines along with the new rules under which the brand new logo must be used.
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