Plaza REIT was a brand story waiting (and worthy) to be told.
Plaza (Retail) REIT (TSE: PLZ.UN) was an anonymous brand in a category under scrutiny. As a Retail REIT, Plaza inherits all the dynamics of the category – concern about rising interest rates, retail supply vs demand, and the e-commerce movement.
But to not know Plaza is to not know that they are unlike any other Retail REIT in their behaviour, strategy, and successful track record. And herein lies the dilemma... Those who know Plaza, love them. Those who don’t – really don’t.
It was time Plaza stepped into the limelight and proudly claim its place.
The Plaza story is rich, differentiating, and satisfies a clear distinct gap in the market. Plaza brings value and convenience to markets other Retail REITS do not.
With an expertise in transforming what others deem unfixable or unworthy of being remedied, Plaza applies its’ creativity, ingenuity and years of knowledge to create value, relationships, and prosperity where they no longer exist.
Our mandate was to rebrand Plaza through an in-depth strategy and discovery process in order to inform the new visual identity.
Our approach was to visually communicate the essence of what the company actually did: Transform spaces and places. This was achieved through a series of gradual weight shifts within the characters of the word-mark. Together, they form a movement or 'transformation' from left to right.
Many brands treat their business cards like an afterthought. Plaza, on the other hand, viewed them as a calling card reflecting their new brand image.A simple and curved die-cut corner was all this business card design needed to create a fresh and modern look.
A robust brand standards guide made brand implementation easy.
Beyond listing the do's and don'ts of logo and font usage, this guide went a step further. Before the user got to any of that information, the new brand story unfolded over three spreads.
Launching the new brand identity to employees was important.
Typically, it's tough to keep a project of this scope discreet. So instead, Plaza sent an email to every employee explaining why they were changing – their logo at least... Everything else, like how Plaza conducts business remained the same. Why mess with a good thing?
The website had many stakeholders. All who used the site differently.
Investors wanted timely and accurate financial information in the form of reports and financial tables. Leasing customers needed to access property databases, site-plans and retail vacancies. And employees wanted to feel valued and recognized within the pages of the site. Our solution was a simple WordPress platform with Google Street View Map plugins for the property pages and dynamic financial tables within the Investor Relations page. Most important, however, was the need for the experience to deliver against Plaza's new brand strategy and visual style. The tone and voice of the brand was equally important. We wanted to capture the simple and colloquial nature of the brand, so we kept it honest but precise – just like how Plaza conducts its affairs.
As in the way Plaza's site loads with an optimistic, blue sky, it ends in the footer with something that is symbolic of all transformations: Good, honest dirt!
Credits: Frank Casera – Creative Director & Lead Designer, Tina Fernandez – Strategy, Dean Moore – Account Management, Stephen Thut – Digital Design & Production, Rita Chan – Studio Production, and Bryan Mills Limited.