MozhnoEst – farm produce in a big city
On a saturated Russian grocery market, our client decided to launch a new chain. We put our heads together and researched the consumer habits in big cities to find a niche that needed filling. Because the new (initially unnamed) grocery brand had to stand out and change something in city folks’ lives
The shops were meant to be rather small, less than 200 sq.m. The first most obvious thought was to create a corner shop for well-off locals. We decided to do something completely different.
Let’s go for the quality one can’t find in a corner shop or a hypermarket.
Quality is a broad term, meaning too much and too little. To be specific, we created six different personas, different characters representing different lifestyles in a big city. From a health-conscious Victor to a new mom Natalia to a pensioner Zoya. What would make them all to walk or drive an extra mile or two to a grocery shop? The answer was fresh farm food – a common thing on Russian open markets, but not so much in shop chains.
The chain-to-be needed a name, obviously. With a clear-cut concept, it came pretty easily – Mozhno Est, You Can Eat This. There’s a promise of wholesome food in it, but we went further – the value proposition is built on food selection and good service that helps a citizen to have a healthier life style. The brand became a verification of the quality of food for shoppers – and gave them a chance to show it off to others as well.
Two corner stones of the new brand were a reliable supply – and service. The people on the ground were not staff, they were hosts, like the shopkeepers of old. They had to know the value of their venue and be the experts in produce they were selling. They had to know where a product comes from. The brand owner set a clear target: Mozhno Est wants to become the the best employer in the retail industry. We could only concur to this ambition.
Once we figured out the name, a comprehensive identity system for a shop had to be built. We had to find a balance – it had to feel more than just another chain grocery shop. But it also had to avoid the elitist trap – accessible is the key word for the service concept. Mozhno Est makes shopping for fresh farm produce easy, convenient and not too expensive – the benchmark was a cosy market feel in a specialist shop premises. It had to become the obvious answer to a question: “Where can I find the freshest bread, veggies and milk?”
The shop had to be easy to enter and easy to talk to. Both the in-shop communication and staff have to be well articulated, telling stories and revealing the origin of food – where it comes from, who grows it, when was it harvested, what makes it special. That meant also how the staff felt – starting from easy-to-wear uniforms to conversation 101. The identity has the tools to be applied on own branded products. The brand had to be vocal even beyond the premises.
By the end of 2018, the 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 excited to learn the results.