Circle shapes template for Bapco

Branding consultancy Circle is developing a retail network blueprint for the state-owned oil company of Bahrain, Bapco, which will be rolled out next year.

The group is designing a state-of-the-art retail solution that will mark a shift in Bapco’s image from a traditional oil company to ‘a modern retailer with a focus on customer service’, according to Circle director Robert Onion.

Circle’s work will range from the creation of a brand strategy and identity to the architectural elements of the stations and pump islands, as well as designs for convenience store interiors and staff uniforms. Brand and graphic concepts are in development and are expected to be applied throughout the Bapco corporation.

Bahrain, an archipelago of 33 islands in the Arabian Gulf, is looking to improve the image its oil companies present and is keen to operate on a par with the levels of innovation found in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

‘Service stations are the most visible part of its business from a public point of view and are receiving a lot of investment,’ says Onion. Bapco operates around 30 stations, half of which are currently dealer-owned.

Circle is also working on retail branding and design for a 40-strong station network for Woqod, a Qatar fuels marketing company that is 40 per cent owned by Qatar Petroleum. Set for launch in May 2005, the retail concepts extend to the design of a mosque that will be located in a number of the sites.

The Woqod marque (pictured) represents the flower from the locally growing Sidra tree. ‘We always spend at least ten days talking to a range of local people [for these projects]. It is not just a case of importing Western thinking,’ adds Onion.

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