Yale unlocks its brand future

Yale is set to unveil a retail concept by 20/20 and new packaging by Bloom. The lock manufacturer is seeking to reposition itself as a consumerfacing brand before diversifying into other product areas including safes and personal alarms. Yale’s Swedish parent Assa Abloy engaged Bloom and 20/20 in April, after they comp eted jointly in a six-way credentials pitch against three Swedish and two British design groups. Bloom began collaborating with 20/20 on retail packaging projects earlier this year.


Assa Abloy briefed 20/20 and Bloom to ‘avoid fear-based marketing, which is so often used in this category’. Yale is ditching its tagline, ‘The world’s favourite lock’, in favour of ‘Securing your favourite things’. Bloom managing director Jill Marshall says, ‘Yale is moving away from being just about locks. It wants to exude a more positive and optimistic approach, so we emphasised the big yellow logo, which looks like the sun, to let the packaging communicate this.’


Assa Abloy vice-president of design Sean Carney says, ‘Typically, you find locksmiths tucked away in Underground stations and alleys, but we want to take the category into the high street and major shopping malls.’


20/20 has designed wall installations for the UK market, and is developing a shop-in-shop concept for Asia. South Africa is Yale’s biggest market – its widespread security problems have allowed the company to open dedicated shops in malls and on high streets. The company intends to roll out its shop-in-shop format in Asia next year. While Swedish consultancy Grow designed the original concept, 20/20 is reinterpreting it for the Asian market.


Regarding Yale’s UK strategy, Carney says, ‘We are working closely with B&Q, Homebase and Focus, as well as Tesco, Woolworths, Boots and WH Smith. B&Q is particularly careful about maintaining its own branding instore, so it is only with careful negotiation that we will fully develop our retail concepts in the UK’.


The current visual identity was revamped by Grow in 2005.


UNLOCKING YALE’S PAST
• Founded in 1868 in New York by Welsh immigrant Linus Yale
• The company patented the cylinder pin-tumbler lock, and in 1879 began manufacturing its staple product, the padlock
• The company was bought in 2000 by Swedish rival Assa Abloy
• Yale is now expanding its product range to include safes, personal alarms and security system control panels
• With dedicated stores in South Africa, Yale plans to roll out shop-in-shops in Asia and walls in the UK, designed by 20/20
• Bloom is redesigning the packaging for Yale’s product portfolio

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