P&W has been working with Japanese convenience store chain, Secoma, for 27 years. Over these three decades, P&W has been involved in the creation and development of corporate branding, retail branding, packaging, sub-brands, point of sale and consultation services. With the help of P&W, the Secoma brand remains strongly associated with its excellent wine reputation and commitment to customer satisfaction.
When the first project was briefed to P&W (ranges of German, French and Californian wines) the company’s Chairman, Mr Akao made his strong vision for the brand clear. He wanted to introduce European design styling, which he much admired, into his stores. This design approach has remained important to Seicomart and P&W always keeps this front of mind when undertaking creative projects for the retailer. This strategy consistently provides stand-out from Japanese branded packs in-store and against Seicomart’s biggest competitors, Lawson's and 7-Eleven, which are both heavily influenced by American styling and retail language principles.
P&W is a trusted creative and strategic business partner of Secoma, creating retail brand principles, an array of corporate communications and ensuring engagement with consumers via a wide spectrum of touchpoints. From designing the main Seicomart identity and the corporate identity of Toyotomi (a dairy purchased by Seicomart) to, for the last 12 years, the annual project to redesign Secoma’s Beaujolais Nouveau range, our creative input for the company is remarkably diverse. P&W’s European tone to design has resulted in a strong point of differentiation in the Seicomart shopping experience versus that of its rivals. This includes our packaging designs for the retailer’s ranges of peanuts, popcorn and canned coffee sub-brand, Grandia. Regarding the latter, as canned coffee is huge in Japan (outselling Coca-Cola at stores and vending machines), every two years, P&W redesigns new dynamic cans to grab the attention of shoppers. Grandia always performs extremely well for Seicomart as one of their “hero” sub-brands.
Secoma goes from strength to strength; there are now around 1,200 Seicomart stores with 560,000 shoppers daily. Its heartland is likely to remain in Hokkaido, the agricultural hub of Japan and own-brand launches that P&W has helped bring to fruition, which reflects its principle with increased emphasis on provenance and a unique European design aesthetic.
Our input has helped Seicomart to become one of the Top 10 retailers in the whole of Japan for Beaujolais, a range of limited-edition wines. This is particularly impressive as it only sells its own-brand product range with 90,000 bottles imported by Seicomart every year (which fly off the shelves!).
It is interesting that when businesses and personal principles are aligned with a spirit of mutual respect and trust established, geographical and cultural challenges can be overcome, transcending obstacles.