Have you ever wondered what happens to a broken washing machine or fridge after you return it to the electro-waste collection point? They just add to the size of the local landfill. We produce about 47 million tons of such waste every year.
These statistics have affected the awareness of equipment consumers. We can see it clearly in one of the most important consumer trends of recent years – “zero waste” – an attempt to reduce to the minimum the amount of waste in all areas of life. Environmental awareness in society is growing. We limit consumerism and try to protect the environment by focusing on better quality products. It also brings measurable benefits to our pockets.
Another trend is “the right to repair”. It forces manufacturers to extend the life of household appliances and audio-visual equipment and to provide information on spare parts and repair. By promoting repairs, we have a chance to reduce the number of new equipment purchased, and thus reduce the number of potential e-waste.
These values are close to North – a Koszalin-based company, which has been promoting home repairs since 2009 and encouraging people to give their equipment a “second life”. North was set up as a small family business. The commitment of the owners and later the growing team lead to a huge development. Having started as a local company, they became the largest online shop with spare parts for household appliances and electronics in Poland, as well as an advisor and expert within their Advice Base. Currently, the online and brick-and-mortar shop offers 12 million parts.
When we met for the first time, we knew that we were dealing with a client who is aware of their own value and position. North wanted to give its customers much more than just a wide range of parts and an efficient hotline. They felt they needed to be more than just a “parts vendor” and move up to more strategic thinking about its brand, in order to show its true value. That’s why the first priority was to define North’s identity, which was the basis for creating a strategy for a strong and recognizable brand.
In this task, we have joined forces with the MeltingPot team, which is co-responsible for the strategic stage. The time of our cooperation meant many hours of conversations and workshop work. Analyzing the environment in which it operates, trends, competition, current audiences and forms of communication, gave us knowledge about areas that require special attention and may prove to be essential in building a stable brand. It also involved looking for the unique brand values and the challenges it faces. Based on the analysis of purchasing trends and preferences in different groups, we identified four major customer groups. We were able to determine how, what and to whom North speaks as a brand.
The result of the process is a clearly defined brand strategy and positioning which supports its functioning in different areas of activity.
North is a brand that has a clever CSR, which is consistent with the principles it adheres to. By promoting the slogan “Repair! Don’t throw away.”, it inspires its audiences to give their own household appliances and electronics a “second life”, because then they can serve longer, and we get both the satisfaction and savings from it. In a broader perspective, it fosters the environment and limits the generation of waste. North is a leader that not only creates the market, but also educates. Apart from the tangible benefits, it gives its customers an emotional value to identify with.
The creative part of the project was preceded by further meetings, internal consultations, benchmarking and trend analysis. We wanted to make sure that the narrative would be consistent on all levels, from the graphic sphere to the language the brand uses to communicate with its audiences.
The arrow-marker accompanies the North logo basically from the very beginning. We have used its visual capital in the new logo as well. The company’s e-shop offers over 12 million spare parts, so we decided to show this abundance of choice and flexibility in the logo. The basic sign is flexible – in place of the arrow, you can use different figures and colours. Their message is simple – replace and repair.
The figures are also used in layouts. The rich colour palette creates a warm, authentic and dynamic atmosphere of the identification. Photos and emotions also play an important role here. We wanted to create a friendly atmosphere and use a type of language that will make the technical world of appliance repair feel cosier. Thanks to the user-friendly Advice Base, taking care of the house becomes easy, which is perfectly reflected in the key message: “The house is in your hands”.
The designed communication tools are intuitive, which allows North to use them effectively in their brand work. And whether it is a meticulously crafted advertising campaign or a layout created within minutes, the new identification system not only builds the brand in everyday communication, but also surprises you with something new.
North’s natural environment is the internet. That’s why we wanted our customers to be sure right away that it’s an internet-based company, even if their first encounter with it was offline.
After 6 months, we can already see whether the whole process was necessary, whether it helped or not. As far as the visual side of the project is concerned, we are surely consistent in all the communication channels with clients – and it is something we care about a lot. There is no more: “Put a smiley face there,” “How about a dragon?” or “I think red looks better here”. Thanks to the identification system, we saved a lot of time.
Based on the company strategy, a marketing plan has been developed and is systematically implemented. Of course, we modify it so that we can react to the constantly changing environment. But we have a base, thanks to which we know what, and to whom, we want to say.
I am convinced that this is not our last cooperation with Rio Creativo. We hope it will be in Rio :)