Kuwait National Petroleum Company is relaunching its branding and forecourt environments, following an 18-month overhaul by London design consultancy Minale Tattersfield & Partners.
The consultancy was appointed to the work after winning a three-way tender against a UK and a US consultancy in 2003. Led by Minale Tattersfield partner and petroleum brand specialist David Davis, the project includes a redesign of the petrochemical group’s visual identity, as well as all aspects of its station forecourt design and five sets of detailed manuals, covering: design, branding, architecture, engineering and mechanical guidelines.
In the initial stages of the project the consultancy was not briefed to redesign the branding, explains Davis.
‘The brief was originally written by engineers, rather than a marketing team, and didn’t specifically say there was to be a new identity with the rebuilt stations,’ he says. ‘We had to explain to them that the identity can express so many things.’
Owing to its nationalisation by the Kuwaiti government in 1975, KNPC’s current marque feels more institutional rather than consumer-oriented, suggests Davis. Retaining the red flame emblem of the previous identity, the redrawn logo also introduces a green flame to symbolise the company’s environmental aspects.
‘Kuwait was one of the more progressive of the Gulf countries 20 years ago, but the United Arab Emirates has since taken over. The rebrand of a national petroleum company is a chance to catch up,’ adds Davis.
The overhaul, launching this week, comes as the Kuwaiti petroleum retail sector is being part-privatised. KNPC stations now take a more customer-oriented approach, introducing a suite of sub-brands that includes convenience stores, car washes and lubrication services.
According to Davis, the aim is for the specially branded services to generate greater profits from each station. The focus is shifting from the previous notion of a short-stay ‘oil depot’, to somewhere where customers are encouraged to stay. ‘As you privatise the network you need to make it more profitable with these sub-offers,’ says Davis.
Minale Tattersfield also produced site layouts for KNPC’s attended services and self-service applications. It ran the project from its existing office in Kuwait City.
Kuwait National Petroleum Company
â€¢ KNPC was co-owned by the Kuwaiti government and the private sector until 1975, when the government took full control
â€¢ In 1980, KNPC was put into the hands of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, which is state-owned
â€¢ Now parts of the KNPC retail network are being privatised
â€¢ KNPC is a sister company to the Q8 petrochemical group