Shelf Life: Exclusive Books switches branding, focus
Louise Marsland (@Louise_Marsland)’s weekly pick of recent product, packaging and design launches:
- Exclusive Books turns the page with Switch
- USN unveils new packaging, and
- a new Addis product to mop up any mess
A new chapter for Exclusive Books
Following upon the sale of Exclusive Books a year ago to a consortium led by Global Capital in partnership with Benjamin Trisk, Mark Barnes and Simon Sussman, the iconic brand last week launched its new identity, interior and exterior store branding, plus the new in-store coffee-shop brand, the “EB. Café”.
The stated vision for the book retailer is to create bookstores that are destinations in their own right. Switch Design has developed a design inspired by the idea of the colophon, the printer’s logo that appears on the spine of books. The “E” is contained within the “B”, with the curves of the B meant to suggest the spines of a pile of books, with a grammatically correct full-stop punctuating it.
While the words “Exclusive Books” appear alongside, the logo should be instantly recognisable without them.
The new branding was launched last week at the redesigned Exclusive Books store at the newly revamped Rosebank Mall.
Switch executive creative director, Gaby de Abreu, explained: “With so much visual clutter in the market, simplicity with a clever twist is far more impactful than complex images. These type of identities are difficult to design, but the effect is dynamic and timeless… [and] part of a fairly new trend that is difficult to sell to clients.”
Switch worked closely with the architectural and interior design teams to conceptualise a new identity that welcomes customers to a lifestyle destination store. It’s all about diversity — of books, textures, and categories, De Abreu told MarkLives.com.
The new identity talks about the rich tradition of literature and publishing, but it’s expressed in modern, bold, simple lines with the ‘colophon’ concept at the heart of the creative inspiration for the new corporate identity.
“Switch was inspired by a number of factors but predominantly by creating an icon [while] retaining versatility. In order to incorporate the publishing theme with playful intelligence, we decided on mimicking the colophon, which directly translates as ‘finishing touch’. It allowed us to develop an easily recognisable and iconic logo, which is easily adaptable to an endless range of visual executions.
“The different iterations will keep the identity interesting and young, [while] the iconic nature will grow the brand in any environment. Another inspiration was simplicity — people are attracted to, and recognise shapes. We are also able to animate the CI, which allows our media to be extended to mobile and digital.”
According to De Abreu, the logo can retain its distinctive shape and core identity while being adaptable in various colours and permutations to advertise in-store promotions, seasonal changes and topical events: “The ‘E’ within the logo can be created out of coffee beans for the coffee shop, or out of crayons for the children’s section.”
For its part, Exclusive Books wanted a new identity that it could grow with and that everyone could identify with, as well as something that could be pulled through to planned special events, said Trisk, who has returned as CEO of Exclusive Books after an absence of 30 years.
While there are no set dates for the roll-out on subsequent stores, each store will have its own unique personality, based upon its geographic location and community, De Abreu said. “Because of the ultimate simplicity of the logo, the brand comes through strongly while permitting slight changes and details within each store, which will ensure the store is in sync with its surrounds.”
USN weighs in on new look
Sports nutrition brand USN (Ultimate Sports Nutrition) has undergone a global brand relaunch and repositioning, including new packaging and a logo refresh. This includes a rollout of new products globally and the biggest reinvestment in the brand since its launch in 2000.
USN aims to reposition itself to inspire consumers to challenge themselves and push harder to reach personal performance goals. This comes after experiencing global growth, which has made it also necessary to educate consumers about its sports and lifestyle products.
The brand believes the new logo and product look helps to reinforce the brand’s focus on research and superior quality.
Announcing the relaunch, USN CEO, Albé Geldenhuys, commented: “The rebranding process is part of our global brand strategy to unite the USN brand. It will impact more than 48 countries globally, and will allow us to share one voice and global vision.”
New products will also be rolled out in the American and South African markets, to be followed by the UK/European and Australasian markets.
“The USA represents a significant part of the global supplement industry. USN has established working partnerships with the most prominent research, development and manufacturing laboratories in the USA, and as a result we have access to the most pioneering nutritional technology available. This supports our drive for new innovations and continues our quest to formulate and deliver superior quality in every single product,” stated Andrew Beck, USN USA President and CMO.
Swifta mops up
Addis has launched the Swifta Floor Cleaner with various wet and dry mop options. The new product is packaged neatly for on-shelf and usage convenience — from a starter kit to refills for the dry sweeping cloth or disposable wet-mopping cloth.
It is being billed as a floor cleaner that is more effective than both a broom and a mop; is lightweight and easy to use and easy to store; and with the emphasis on efficiency and convenience.
Swifta’s disposable, thick dry sweeping cloth is intended to lock away the dirt using electrostatic action, supposedly making it more hygienic to use than most brooms. It also aims to be “allergy-reducing” as the electrostatic cleaning means more dust is supposed to get trapped in the cloth.
The thick dirt-grabbing ridges and grooves on the dry sweeping cloth should follow the surface of one’s floors to reach surface pores, crevices and grout lines.
To clean up wet spills, Swifta’s disposable wet-mopping cloth traps and dissolves dirt, and locks it away until disposal, promising a streak-free, clean result.
Shelf Life is a weekly column by Louise Marsland on MarkLives. Tweet new product, packaging and design launches to @louise_marsland or email her at louise.marsland at gmail.com. Want to sponsor Shelf Life? Contact us here.
Louise has written about the FMCG, media, marketing and advertising industry for 19 of her more-than-25-year career as a former editor of magazines AdVantage, Marketing Mix and Progressive Retailing, as well as websites Bizcommunity.com and FMCGFiles. Until its cancellation, she edited the weekly Wednesday Media & Marketing Page for The New Age newspaper. She is currently the publishing editor of industry trendwatching portal, TRENDAFRiCA,for consumer insight, research and trends in Africa.
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