By Aimee Chanthadavong

Franchise retailer Howards Storage World has given its brand a new look, which will be rolled out across its Australian and international stores.

For the last 14 years, the business has been operating under a red, black and blue identity that will now be replaced with a new logo, slogan, colour palette and store fitout.

Speaking to RetailBiz, Dirk Spencer, Howards Storage World CEO, said over a 12 month period, the company conducted consumer and franchisee focus groups which revealed that the brand identity was considered to be “old fashioned, masculine and reflected a discount look”.

“This was exactly the opposite of what we want the Howards brand to portray,” he said.

“From the feedback we received, we commenced developing concepts for the new branding – a contemporary design in order to appeal to a female audience. Once new brand concepts were developed, separate focus groups were conducted in order to obtain feedback on the proposed new brand identity.

“Further adjustments were made before final designs were presented to additional focus groups for final feedback which proved to be extremely positive and very well received.”

Some of the key changes that will be introduced include a curvy logo using a softer colour scheme to acknowledge the brand’s predominantly female shopper; a new slogan ‘simply organised’ to better reflect the orgnaisiation solutions that the business delivers; and the introduction of a customer information and consultation hub called The Organisation Station.

According to Spencer, new branding and store re-fits will have a positive effect on trade.

“Apart from a fresh, bright and contemporary new look, improvements to merchandising, store layout the overall benefit is a better environment for our staff to work in and an improved shopping experience for our customers,” he said.

“Importantly, we also focused attention on providing our franchisees with not only a new and exciting brand, but a less expensive and more efficient store fit-out process than previous models. We’re already seeing positive sales from our newly branded stores, together with positive customer feedback.”

Howards has already commenced the roll-out with the re-fit of stores at Robina, QLD, Bondi, NSW and Port Macquarie, NSW, together with a brand new store at Kotara, NSW.

The new visual identity and implementation process will roll out gradually throughout the network over the coming years in Australia and internationally.