Dodo Pizza China
Branding of an international chain of pizzerias
The Dodo chain currently has 611 pizzerias in 13 countries, including Russia, the UK, China and even Nigeria. The total sales of the chain in 2019 were $314 million. The company is one of the fastest growing brands in the fast food segment in the world (in particular, No. 1 Fastest-Growing Chain in Europe and the Middle East 2018, as well as 3rd Growth Chains to Know, 2018 Globally).
China is the largest food market in the world, but it is also very complex and diverse. It has a huge potential for the development of chain catering. There is a place for both local and Western global concepts and brands. In 2019, food service consumption in China amounted to $670 billion, up 9.4% compared to 2018. Since 2015, the catering sector has been growing faster than GDP and consumption in other industries.
Dodo Pizza has been operating in China since June 2016. The pilot point is located in the city of Hangzhou (9.5 million people). In four years, the company has come a long way, gained experience and knowledge, created a product and a unique pizzeria format adapted to the characteristics of the Chinese market.
Before the start of work, the brand had an uninteresting, dim pizza box design that was irrelevant to the local audience.
Asian style and graphics are very expressive. It has a lot of characters, it is completely different from the European style. I wanted the visual of Dodo Pizza to attract attention with thoughtful details, interesting moves and unusual combinations. It was necessary to unite all points of contact with the brand and support the concept of “the world of amazing pizza”.
We offered to look at the problem from the other side, to figure out why the project “does not take off”, what is wrong with the product, service, whether the choice of the target audience is correct, how people in China perceive the category of pizza. In other words, look at the problem more than just design.
And we chose a complex approach for the Dodo team, but one that guarantees maximum immersion for participants: a full-fledged study of the fast food market in Hangzhou and Shanghai, conducting ethnic tours and strategic workshops, and searching for insights.
We assembled an integrated team, which, together with colleagues from Secret Sauce, included strategists, designers, anthropologists specializing in food, sinologists and specialists in oriental culture.
At the first stage of the project, our Russian team had to dive into the fast food market in China in a short time, conduct expert interviews, talk with sinologists and anthropologists, find out features, insights, etc. Then, already prepared, we flew with part of the team to China study the features of the category on the spot.
When creating the visual concept, we quickly came to the conclusion that in order for the project to turn out to be solid, we need to combine the cafe space and packaging with one idea. For China, both of these channels are important and we need to make a strong impression both here and there.
This idea is perfectly expressed by Pizza & Adventure slogan. Each food benefit is embodied in a certain state: the airy dough literally inspires, lifts you above the hustle and gives lightness. And now we are already soaring in the clouds, looking out the windows of charter flights flying by. All the ingredients are so fresh that they take us into the thickets of the jungle, and the cheese stretches in a long rope that carries us over the waterfall and the noise of the river rushing by.
The process of finding an illustrator has become a separate challenge. After careful ranking, the team selected the best illustrators in the world, those who best met all our criteria. The long list includes 22 people from 12 countries: Russia, Ukraine, Ireland, Great Britain, Spain, Brazil, France, USA, Germany, Italy, Israel and China. As a result, a girl from China named Hao Hao became the illustrator of the project.
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