US organic food giant Whole Foods Market has revealed the first glimpse of its much anticipated retail launch into the UK, with the completion of its brand positioning by design consultancy Boxer.
Whole Foods’ internal design department is working alongside Texas-based architect Bottino Grund Architects to develop the interior of its first UK natural food supermarket. The store, which will open at the Barker Buildings on London’s Kensington High Street this summer, will cover 7400m2 and offer its own range of organic, locally obtained products, restaurants, cafés and a brewery.
Boxer won the repositioning business in November 2006, following a pitch against an undisclosed number of US and UK consultancies. It was tasked with translating the Whole Foods Market retail offer to the UK and driving differentiation from the existing supermarkets.
In response, the consultancy has introduced the strapline, ‘It is not something we do, it is everything we do’, which will appear across the store windows, prior to opening, as a teaser.
This will be rolled out later to feature in-store, on all advertising, the website and some packaging.
According to Giles Poyner, business development director at Boxer, the positioning will drive heritage and show the company’s authority.
He says, ‘Having seen its operation in the US, it’s clear that Whole Foods Market is more than just a retailer; it is a way of thinking. There are literally hundreds of brand stories that illustrate Whole Foods Market’s commitment to ethical food sourcing and retailing. It was up to us to translate this to a UK market, while driving differentiation between them and the organic ranges that are so ubiquitous in most supermarkets now.’
The positioning was developed to work in tandem with the company’s brand strapline, ‘Whole foods, whole people, whole planet’, which has been adopted globally, but means very little to the UK market.
Martin Tripp, creative director at Boxer, says, ‘The use of a strong brand proposition that encapsulated the heritage and equity of the brand was key to our thinking. Our line became the centre of the creative process. Once this was set, the creative was there to underpin and convey the tone of the unique culture and service ethic.’
WHOLE FOODS HISTORY
• Whole Foods Market was founded in Austin, Texas and the original store opened in 1980 with a staff of 19
• The company expanded into the UK with the acquisition of organic supermarket Fresh and Wild in January 2004
• WFM now has 191 stores in North America and the UK, many of which are companies in their own right, with 39 000 employees
• Summer 2007 – WFM’s UK superstore will open on Kensington High Street in London