‘People either loved the brand or hated it. We want more people to love it,’ says British Shoe brand marketing controller Jane Walker, describing Roland Cartier.
Acting on the back of research showing this love or loathe reaction to Roland Cartier, British Shoe appointed Parker Stratton not so much to polish the brand but more to repackage the whole show. The brand was virtually unchanged since its 1977 launch.
Roland Cartier’s niche – for the dressy market in department store concessions – meant that its appeal needed widening. A new shoe designer and buying team at British Shoe meant that the product was fresh. Now it was down to Parker Stratton.
Consultancy partner Derek Martin says that the mood boards created to illustrate how Roland Cartier came to reach its
present image included such tasty morsels as Sacha Distel and Sobranie Cocktail
Not alienating existing customers (who presumably love Sacha and enjoy pink ciggies) was important, but the revamped identity also had to appeal to the new target customer, ‘whose every moment is a special occasion’, according to Martin. Complementary opposites soon emerged as a key theme.
A checklist of brand values was created, including glamour, sophistication, quality and excitement. Anything produced by Parker Stratton had to hit most of those targets. The R and C monogram, using two close serif and sans serif typefaces, was developed from this process. The graphic identity, packaging, shoe labels, point-of-sale, merchandising systems and other manifestations followed.
Interiors for the in-store concessions and Roland Cartier’s nine stand-alone stores were sub-contracted to Parker Stratton near-neighbour David Bentheim & Company.
The year-long project has led to the opening this month of a revamped store in Altrincham. The interiors continue the opposites theme. There’s a display area and a comfort area, featuring ‘opposite’ materials of wood and glass.
The new look will be rolled out to the other stores and the more difficult arena of department stores. With design fees alone of around 100 000, British Shoe is investing heavily in its premier brand. Sacha would be pleased.