With the beginning of summer upon us what better way is there to blog than to discuss Ice-Cream? and with the close of the world cup last week it seems equally fitting to talk about branding and retail design. Nestled in the centre of The Chelsea Farmers Market is Dri Dri, the current incarnation of a burgeoning brand of traditional Italian Gelato cafes in Britain´s capital. The company has developed a strong identity in the city, not just through its delicious treats, but through its clean, vibrant branding and use of pop up shops and hand carts to sell its Ice Cream. These stores are designed with a strong understanding of the British people. Invoking summer traditions of windy beaches and patchy sunshine, it´s tuned to how they think ice-cream should be consumed. 9000km away however, the company has a sister store buried in the streets of São Paulo, Brazil and in this environment, the brand needs to tell a very different story.
The Chelsea market permanent stall is a good example of this britishness, the cafe itself enhances the beach chalet aesthetic of the exterior. Using paler colours and pink tones in the colour scheme. The use of pale wood inside gives a seaside feel, and clear company graphics on the windows bind the concept together.
This Kensington mall pop-up shop gives a welcoming approach to a customer, the yellow reflections from the floor panels give a bright, sunny warmth to the cafe. The Beach Umbrella murals on the wall help provide an aspirational window to passers by – a portal to the beach trips of their childhood. Given its position near a busy commuter tube station, there isn’t much coincidence as to why the shop is designed in this way.
This stall shows the use of beach chalet patterns to help inform the mindset of the customer. Simple painted wood beams and a classic yellow and white colour scheme reminding would-be ice cream eaters that this cafe should be treated like it’s at the beach.
These concept sketches of beach chalets define what Dri Dri are trying to encapsulate in their British market. The connection between the beach, summer, and chalets to Gelato. This helps set the colour scheme of the brand, the design of their stores and the presentation of their products.
Brazilians however; Take the sun for granted, there is less need to evoke and explain to the customer that ‘this cafe is a sunny beach` in a country with a far more tropical climate. So the design of the store needs to try a different approach to draw customers, the subtle mosaic ice cream near the entrance provides a clever indication of the cafe’s contents as well as a directional arrow towards the building itself. The sign over the doorway also helps to illustrate this fact that this isn’t England too, much more Brazilian cool than British beach chalet. This time, the constant adherence to the pink and yellow of the British stores has gone and a different set of colours can be used. This store displays itself as a fresh new approach to what would more typically be an ice cream cafe.
Inside, the cafe still retains elements from the British stores but they become toned down to create a less evocative but still appealing design and more tuned to what Brazilians want and need. The basic layout remains however the graphic elements on the wall take on a more handmade feel. The menus and serving dishes remain to retain the integrity of the brand.
Dri Dri provides a great example to us all how an in-depth knowledge of the target audience and future customers is important when designing branded environments internationally. On the one side a company needs to think on a local scale to draw and collect its clientele, Dri Dri has shown this by being in-touch with the ideals of two very different nationalities. But as a company it´s branding needs to be clear and transferable enough present itself in similar ways across all global platforms.