London branding group Circle has won a three-way pitch to conceive the brand and retail presence for the launch of the first privately-owned petroleum retail company in Kuwait.
Beating Landor Associates and Minale Tattersfield to the project, Circle is tasked with drawing up a visual identity for the newly-formed Oula brand. Parent company Al Oula – meaning Number One – was formally set up last year, as one of three private petrol companies planned by the Kuwaiti government.
According to Circle director Robert Onion, ‘There are very few opportunities to create new brands from scratch in this sector and this is an opportunity to design a really strong, modern brand that will target young Kuwaiti drivers.’
Al Oula acquired 40 sites from the State-owned Kuwait National Petroleum Company this summer and plans to open an additional 80 sites over the next three years. Circle will produce the format for these stations, introducing services such as car washes and convenience stores that have not yet been seen in Kuwait.
‘This is a big chance to do the basic things that have already been done internationally, but what’s best practice elsewhere will be an absolute revolution there,’ says Circle director Robert Onion. ‘The existing sites are very industrial, based around fuel and lubricants, and the payment system is a one-lane exit and kiosk.’
Initially, a basic menu of services will be installed at the sites, but Onion is looking to innovate the Al Oula offering over time, as well as act as its brand guardian.