To the top of branding agencies through acquisitions

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From competitors to friends

Strong brands stand out and strengthen the company's operating profit and market value. The creators of brand images, the former competitors, Juha Heljakka (right), Chairman of the Board of Brand ID Group, and Harri Rusanen, the Chief Executive Officer of Fenix Sign, have become co-workers through the acquisition. They now sit on the same side of the table and reflect on the latest trends in branding.

TEXT: Maiju Junko PHOTOS: Marius Tikkanen 

Brand ID Group from Pori acquired Hyvinkää-based Fenix Sign and is now one of Finland's leading brand production companies. Combining the businesses of these two strong players now offers customers an even wider service, more motivated professionals, functional products and creative solutions close to the customer, anywhere in Finland.

Breadth and depth pays off

JUHA: Companies cherish their brand more carefully than before. So at the heart of all our activities is helping the customer bring out their message and mood in the best possible way. We are building the desired image with them, offering the best experts, equipment and solutions.

Previously, the look of the company meant mainly a glowing neon sign on the roof of the business premises. Today, successful companies present their message widely. Comprehensive branding covers everything from environmental construction to store marketing, from safety markings to packaging solutions. We operate on the most visible surfaces of the premises.

HARRI: We have been successfully serving large Finnish retail chains for decades. They are mainly about the store look and the implementation of store marketing. However, even though it is a chain, the store premises are never identical. Our expertise is to take the look, colours and images pure and unchanged to various different store spaces.

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Even more comfortable store spaces

HARRI: There is clearly a desire for more diversity and interesting interior solutions in retail. Retail companies want to consider their customers and offer more choice. In addition to low-cost products, local specialities and trendy products are also highlighted, and Shop-in-Shops are built.

JUHA: That is true. In most cases, the starting point is an empty hall that needs to be made functional and attractive. We need to make it look like the brand. For example, lowered ceilings change the space and create an atmosphere. Interesting displays and campaign materials will catch the eye of the consumers and increase sales. We also pay attention to the use of lights.  

Restaurants inside shops is a trend

People spend more and more time in stores.

HARRI: One clear trend from abroad is that the line between a store and a restaurant is blurring. Food is purchased as ready-to-eat meals to take home or enjoy on the spot. Cozy cafés, sushi sales points and restaurants are being built in the stores.

JUHA: Distinctiveness is needed, and the companies' own identity is emphasised. This requires the branding partner to have the ability to develop and transform, as well as the courage to fulfill hopes and propose something new. Experientiality is achieved, for example, with special prints and large-format prints’ production. We have recently invested heavily in these areas.

Packaging strengthens the image

High-quality printed and manufactured product packaging will lead to a purchase decision more certainly than poorly designed. Quality is achieved through a combination of good design, high-quality material and printing. Corrugated cardboard with its versatile properties works in almost any use. With digital cutting technology, we work wonders.

JUHA: With the launch of the iPhone, Apple revolutionised more than just the phone industry. In the past, fine packaging was almost the exclusive prerogative of French luxury goods. Apple produced quality packaging for consumer products and thus available to everyone. This is a model example of how you want to tie all aspects to one brand image. Packaging communicates the same values as the product itself. High-quality packaging is an integral part of the brand. The packaging with high-quality store displays stand out.

More environmentally friendly

According to the experience of Juha and Harri, customers pay more and more attention to ethics, environmental values and product recyclability. Brand ID has its own responsible and transparent environmental system. 

JUHA: You can clearly see the positive awakening. Customers are aware that environmental friendliness does not mean a higher price and there are many options and choices. Customers add value to their operations by demonstrating that they have switched to environmentally friendly and recyclable products.

HARRI: The issue is increasingly being raised in calls for tenders. In the retail sector, alternatives are often sought from recyclable PET plastics or environmentally friendly materials, among others.

DID YOU KNOW? As early as 2004, Brand ID introduced a detailed, certified environmental management system ISO 14001. The environmental balance sheet closely monitors, for example, energy consumption and environmental impact.

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The acquisition brought a new boost, both Juha Heljakka (left) and Harri Rusanen say with a smile. "Our principle is well articulated in the slogan Together for growth". At a general level, we also believe in the growth of the trade sector. We are now better able to respond to that." 

Brand ID Group

Industry: store and brand appearances, packaging and industrial graphics

Founded: in 1982, changed its name to Brand ID Oy in 2007

Registered office: Pori

Turnover in 2020: Brand ID EUR 15 million and Fenix Sign EUR 10 million

Turnover forecast in 2021: EUR 28 million

Net profit: 1.047 million (2020)

employees: 150 

WE DEVELOP AND LEAD WITH KAIZEN

Brand ID Oy is developed and managed with the Kaizen philosophy. Long-term strategic goals are broken down into easy-to-address, short-term goals. The teams monitor the indicators and the achievement of goals independently.