A brand that has been around for over 40 years will follow a responsible transition in its evolution. Italtile embarked on a bold transformation.
When new directorship took over in 2008, the money crunch crisis had well and truly bitten. These are not generally the loveliest times for retail. Italtile, operating in a slightly more well-heeled market, weathered the storm better than most. Construction and renovation had slowed and budgets were under severe pressure. But for those who appreciate a premium quality product, there is value for money in buying up rather than down.
Given the economic circumstance, a repositioning of the brand was not just a brave move. It was a tactically competitive coup. Most retailers in the category hunkered down for a long hibernation. Italtile upped their game and got on with business.
And a completely refreshed business it is. Five years on, Amraj Dursan, Italtile marketing manager comments: “Our customer base has broadened to include homemakers who believe in the best, but never thought they could afford it. Our new look has changed that. We’ve always been a little exclusive, but now we’re exclusive to everyone. It’s about finding the design exclusivity that fits your pocket. We’ve successfully moved from a business-centric positioning – ‘The style, the passion’ to ‘Live beautifully’ – a customer-centric offering.”
With engaging humour and pertinent, feature-benefit communications, the new Italtile branding has unpacked both the product and the showroom to the customer. The experience is now more open and accessible. Adds Dursan, “We created a great launch pad. We’re now certainly seeing the benefits of capitalizing on our new brand.”
The most recent showroom to “Live beautifully” is Italtile Boksburg. You already get a sense of heightened energy as you approach the entrance. Simple, bright signage points the way. Pull into a parking bay and the happy customer engagement already begins with a variety of tongue-in-cheek messages. It’s a warm, welcoming personality that immediately sets the shopper at ease.
Step inside and you get an immediate 360-degree view of everything on offer, from any point in the showroom. Aisle upon aisle of lifestyle installation gives you an immediate, tangible connection with the latest design innovations and trending looks. You get instant attention from a knowledgeable showroom consultant. But if you happen to be browsing, you will find practical, informative brand and product messaging throughout the displays. You are empowered to understand product intrinsics and find your way intuitively through the looks or designs that best suit your project and wallet.
Regional showrooms in Nelspruit, Boksburg, Bryanston, Menlyn, Umhlanga, Cape Town and Somerset West have brought new impetus to both the residential and professional projects market. In fact, retailers outside of the category have been known to visit an Italtile showroom as a benchmark case study in shopping experience.
The business continues to forge encouraging, double-digit growth. Blast Brand Catalyst’s rejuvenation of Italtile doesn’t just ‘live beautifully’. It works beautifully, too.
Established in 2001, Blast Brand Catalysts is a hybrid studio/agency that crosses the specialist disciplines of brand identity development and advertising. Design and advertising have dedicated skillsets and objectives. But working to a singular, longer-term strategic projection at the outset will factor market and media competitiveness as well as category differentiation. There is also an immediate, fluid transition from brand inception to activation.
Blast Brand Catalysts researches, strategises, designs, applies, implements, evolves and invigorates with proven, follow-through calibre. The tightly talented team gets it done, gets it done well, and gets the very next thing done even better.