Concrete

is a creative brand agency.

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For Joe Fresh, becoming Canada’s largest apparel brand was clearly just the starting point. Founded in 2006, the company quickly grew to over 350 locations throughout the country, offering stylish and accessible lifestyle fashion collections for women, men and children. However, in 2014 the retailer announced plans for a global expansion, with 225 stores to open in 29 countries across four continents…

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Despite the wild popularity of classic Italian ‘apperitivi rossi’ there aren’t many alternatives on the market to the old standards. This led a group of entrepreneurs – wine merchant Joel Clarke, wine enthusiast Brian Bickley, bartender Owen Walker, sommelier Cassandra Mosher, restaurateur (and resident Italian translator) Francesco Laudini, and Concrete’s own Chief Creative Officer Diti Katona – to create an alternative. Their search led them to the Italian alpine town of Trento and a collaboration with the Cappelletti family – a century-old Italian maker of fine spirits. Multiple formulation taste tests and several thousands of kilometers later, a new product was born…

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If your image of a McDonald’s restaurant is one of neon-yellow, bright-red interiors with industrial steel chairs, you need to pay them a revisit.

The iconic brand is undertaking a global initiative of redesigning all its restaurants. The goal is to enhance the diner experience  – whether it’s families with children or business people having an informal meeting…

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Positive brand recognition is the gold standard for any retailer, but familiarity can ultimately limit a company’s ability to grow and innovate. Long-time customers come to expect a repeat performance of their past shopping experiences, while potential new customers, familiar with the brand but lacking actual buying experience with its products, may bypass the retailer altogether.

The management of Mountain Equipment Co-op, an iconic Canadian retailer of outdoor recreation clothing and gear, faced these and other challenges as it sought to increase its market share, and share of wallet. Founded in Vancouver in 1971 by a small group of mountaineering enthusiasts, the co-op had grown to a national retailer serving…

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ING Direct Canada, an online retail bank, won over many consumers by offering an innovative and progressive alternative for Canadians who value simplicity, flexibility and accessibility in their banking. When Scotiabank acquired ING Direct in 2012, the purchase agreement stipulated a name change. The new parent company would have to take this familiar challenger brand back to market with an equally compelling brand message to set ING apart in the highly competitive Canadian banking market.

In November 2013, after working in partnership with John St. Advertising and Lexicon, ING Direct announced their new name: Tangerine. The unconventional name reflected the company’s unique, fresh approach to banking, attributes that were further emphasized by the…

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Dr. Nicholas Perricone knows what he’s talking about. Ask him about the benefits of watercress and he will deliver an encyclopedic soliloquy about the detoxifying powers of this often overlooked salad green. A board-certified dermatologist and the author of the landmark Wrinkle Cure and other New York Times bestsellers, Dr. Perricone launched a line of skincare products in 1997 based on his extensive research. The line quickly defined the “Doctor Brand” category, rejecting the prevailing hope-in-a-jar ethos. A dedicated following was born.

After steadily climbing sales, the brand launched a new look in 2008. Glass jars and bottles yielded to plastic containers, and the brand’s signature brown colour was replaced by a myriad of fashion-inspired pastels. Sales immediately sagged and Concrete was…

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Keilhauer, a leading manufacturer of high-end, design-savvy office furniture, has been a client for over 20 years. Concrete has produced numerous innovative marketing campaigns to differentiate the company’s products in a crowded North American market.

For 2014, the marketing focus was Keilhauer’s 15-year relationship with EOOS. Keilhauer was the first North American manufacturer to recognize the potential of the Viennese industrial design team and engaged them to create the innovative task chair Sguig in 1997. Since then the two companies have collaborated on…

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BITE Beauty is a line of lip products made from entirely natural, food-grade ingredients, including resveratrol, the health-boosting, antioxidant component found in red wine. Each application of BITE delivers a micro-dose of antioxidants that assist the body in the fight against free radicals. In fact, Bite is so healthy, you can eat it.

Unfortunately, organic lipstick and makeup brands have become associated with poor colours, reduced wearability, and a distinct lack of sex appeal. When Concrete was brought in by long-time client Susanne Lang Fragrance (SLF) to brand and launch this new beauty venture, we felt that the “organic” or “natural” angle was getting tired and wouldn’t work as a driver  for a new lip brand. Because SLF was able to achieve vibrant reds and plums with BITE, we positioned the brand…

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Canadian fashion designer Lida Baday discovered her passion for luxurious fabrics, old world craftsmanship and fine detailing in childhood, when she spent many an hour watching her mother, a custom dressmaker, at work. In 1987 she launched Lida Baday, a fashion label renowned for its beautiful, meticulously tailored clothing that captures the essence of the discerning, modern women. Lida’s collections are sold in luxury boutiques and retailers around the world, including Saks Fifth Avenue…

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Mark McEwan is no ordinary chef. He’s got four bustling restaurants, a high-end catering business, a thriving reality-TV career and a 20,000-foot gourmet food store. Renowned as Toronto’s preeminent chef, he is an equally adept entrepreneur.

When McEwan announced he was planning his take on rustic Italian food, he approached Concrete to create the visual identity. Located in a non-descript, beige box of a space in a newly built open mall, the visual brand was vital in imparting a sense of lively authenticity to the new restaurant.

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In 2010, Unitron, a global producer of hearing aids, tasked Concrete with launching a new product line. However, in the process of planning the launch, Concrete identified a strategic brand issue and recommended an overall brand analysis, with the aim of strengthening Unitron’s position in the marketplace.

After a comprehensive research and exploration process, Concrete isolated a core brand problem…

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