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Astri identity

#Branding #Service design

Client
Astri Grupp

Industry
Retail space development
Real estate
Shopping malls, markets &
sports facilities

Website
www.astri.ee

What we did?
Umbrella branding & brand architecture
Corporate values & value proposition
Visual Identity
Navigation
Communication platform

Who did it?
Dan Mikkin
Katrin Vaisma
Jaana Ziius
Mo Almutawa
Rihhard Krüüner

Astri is a retail space developer with sites all over Estonia. People were familiar with the individual shopping malls and markets, but the connection between them was lost. Brand Manual created a common corporate identity for the group. First, we laid out the underlying service principles with the client, then expressed them through visual cues. This helped boost the team feeling for their own staff, and network feeling for tenants. And finally, a sense of greater value for visitors.

Shopping malls are nothing unique anymore. The market is saturated and new ones keep popping up in unexpected places. To discover what is unique about Astri, we interviewed shop owners and visitors, workshopped with Astri and learned that there is something special about the company. It is working hand in hand with local communities to create environments where everybody wins. Neighbourhoods get recreation and education facilities they were missing and retailers, caterers and entertainers get a healthy stream of customers.

How the umbrella brand backs up the individual mall identities

We launched the identity not as a graphic update, but as means to communicate Astri’s values wrapped in new colours. Astri is about long term relations with tenants. About building living and breathing environments where the local community can come together. About everyone in the company having a role to play. All of this was supported by what we learned during our many workshops with management, staff and customers and is now supported by a story, tone of voice and visual identity.

There are only a few public carriers of the Astri corporate brand: the web shop and a gift card. That is why the “morse code” identity (dots and dashes spell out Astri) is built as a set of building blocks. It allows us to create strong identities that still feel part of a family. To demonstrate we also designed a few individual mall identities during the process, each one claiming one colour from the group palette.

The brand lives through real life applications

Brand Manual created templates for communication like advertising, banner layouts and mood boards for photography. Some of these are very unified, like way-showing in malls, while the mall brands are very distinct.

It’s fun to see the identity live in various channels and media. Astri’s communication is much more streamlined and marketing teams don’t need to invent the bicycle every time they need to say something publicly. Now they can use existing moulds, fill them with creative content and share the results between malls. That is money saved and earned as well, through more consistency, which drives brand recognition. Teams in different towns feel more connected and aligned. And it works on a fun level too.

The group of malls are more coherent now. People on the streets as well as prospect business partners see it as a network of talented and experienced people, not just a pile of real estate.