MozhnoEst – farm fresh produce in the big city
On a saturated Russian grocery market, our client decided to launch a new type of store. We put our heads together and researched consumer habits in big cities to find a niche that needed filling. Because the new grocery brand had to stand out and change something in people’s lives.
The shops were meant to be rather small, less than 200 sq.m. The first and most obvious idea was to create a corner shop for well-off locals. But there are many of those around and they’re quite boring, so we decided to do something completely different.
Let’s go for the quality one can’t find in a corner shop or hypermarket.
Quality is a broad term, that means too much and too little. To find out what quality really means, we created six different personas, different characters representing different lifestyles in a big city. From health-conscious Victor to new mom Natalia to pensioner Zoya. And then we asked ourselves, what would make all of them walk or drive an extra mile or two to a grocery shop? The answer was farm fresh food – a common thing on Russian open markets, but not so much in chain shops.
The chain-to-be obviously needed a name. With a clear-cut concept, it came pretty easily: Mozhno Est, which means “You Can Eat This”. And although there’s a promise of wholesome food in it, we went further. The value proposition is built on food selection and personal service that helps people live healthier lives. The brand needed to become a quality statement for shoppers, and let them show off where they shop as well.
The foundations of the new brand are a reliable supply of farm fresh goods and service. The people on the ground are not staff – they are hosts, like the shopkeepers of old. They have to know the value of their store and be experts in the goods they are selling. They have to know where different products come from. To have staff like that, means that it can’t be like working in a giant supermarket. So the brand owner set a clear target: MozhnoEst was going to become the best employer in the retail industry. We couldn’t have been happier with his ambition.
Once we figured out the name, a comprehensive identity system for a shop had to be built. We had to find a balance between making it feel like more than just another grocery chain, while avoiding the elitist trap. Accessible became the key word for the service concept. MozhnoEst makes shopping for farm fresh produce easy and convenient. The benchmark was the cosy market feel of a delicatessen shop. MozhnoEst had to become the obvious answer to the question: “Where can I find the freshest bread, veggies and milk?”
The shop had to be easy to enter and the staff easy to talk to. Both the in-shop communication and staff are well articulated, telling stories and explaining the origin of food: where it comes from, who grows it, when was it harvested, what makes it special. This also meant that staff had to feel good, and look good, with easy-to-wear shop clothes that are contemporary, comfortable, stylish and make them look like hosts rather than warehouse workers. This was complimented with conversation 101 lessons, to make sure interaction was easy and un-forced.
By the end of 2018, our client had opened 5 test shops in St.Petersburg. These are meant to be live prototypes, testing both individual locations as well as how the concept works as a chain. There are more shops in the pipeline. We’re looking forward to hearing about the results.
Private label identity and toolset