Project Clients: The Rowan Group
We've just launched the fourth and final website for The Rowan Group so it seems like a good time to look back and share the story of how we helped the company define their brand strategy.
Established in 1979, Rowan is a family business that has grown into one of Scotland’s leading suppliers of timber and joinery services to the building trade. By 2013 the company offered services under the guise of three distinct brands; Rowan Timber, Rowan Manufacturing and Smith & Frater Kitchens. The three brands operated in isolation and there was no synergy between them.
999 was commissioned to develop a brand strategy that would create a clear architecture between the brands to ensure that each one would do well in their highly competitive marketplaces.
Brand marque and logo development
The Rowan Timber name had a significant amount of authority in the marketplace so it was decided to keep the name. The brand marque, however, was tired, so we modernised it to make it stand out in a marketplace saturated with out-dated brand marques. The new logo took the form of a rowan tree shaped into an abstract R to encourage brand recall if viewed in isolation. A robust slab serif typeface was introduced to reinforce the brand’s strong heritage, authority and reliability in the market.
The bespoke kitchen and joinery markets are both swamped with companies using simple naming conventions. We wanted to take the brands in a different direction to help promote stand-out. Two Latinate words were chosen to represent the kitchen and joinery brands; Optima, which stands for high-class and, Fabro, a shorter version of the word Fabrica, which stands for craftsmanship.
The Fabro logo is focused on a stencil typeface to reinforce materials and precision. The Optima Kitchens logo centres around a monogram to provide the stand out required in the marketplace.
Following the development of the brand strategy, 999 was commissioned to take the brand to market through the creation of four responsive design websites (Rowan Group, Rowan Timber Optima Kitchens and Fabro) and marketing materials such as signage, livery and flyers.
Lewis Macintyre, Design Director in Glasgow said:
The existing Rowan Timber marque did nothing to reflect the modern company that Rowan now is, and indeed the contemporary kitchens, bespoke joinery and timber ranges that they supply. The house of brands approach we took opens up new markets and ensures that trade and consumers reappraise what they have to offer, with the familiar Rowan Group brand still present for reassurance.
- Lewis Macintyre, Design Director
- Katie Gaughan, Designer
- Rhona Scott, Head of Digital
- Craig Ferguson, Digital Designer
- Catherine Watson, Copywriter
Optima Kitchens website on desktop and mobile
Fabro website on desktop and mobile