Post COVID, PP had undertaken a large pan India consumer & channel partners’ study ; to discover the soul of brand RIYA- India’s leading perfume brand in general trade. The project was appropriately titled ‘RIYA Brand Astitva Study’.
After months of fieldwork and analysis, PP marketing research firm Prastut Consulting distilled the brand essence that pivoted the design strategy and its execution by HB Designovations
In RIYA’s ‘Discovery to Design Journey’ panel discussion, Ms. Soumini Basu, Leading Marketer, Ms. Sangeeta Agarwal, Founder Director, Prastut Consulting and Mr. Tuhin Verma & Ms Nidhi Verma, Founder Partners at HB Designovations LLP – who led the discovery to design journey of RIYA’s new identity.
RIYA IS A STRONG BRAND AMONG THE INDIAN BUDGET PERFUME USERS, THEY HAVE LOVED THE BRAND FOR DECADES, WHAT ARE THE PRIMARY EMOTIONS THIS REBRANDING ACTIVITY OF RIYA MIGHT INSTIL AMONG ITS TG?
PP Lead: Trust is the foremost emotion. The fact that quarter of a century old trusted brand RIYA is changing with times is good news for consumer and all stakeholders. Today’s consumer is well exposed to global media in fashion, beauty and fragrances space. Their own sense of higher self and happiness is the most powerful change in Indian society. The new logo echoes the same consumer change sentiment in society.
Sangeeta: RIYA consumers have been introduced to the brand through a trusted family member or friend. They have seen it being used in their homes. Any change in the logo should be taking forward the strong legacy of the brand in a subtle and dignified manner. The new logo embodies these values through the design, font, colour and spacing used. It is not imposing; it is not bold or too over powering.
Tuhin: At the heart of every brand is the desire to expand its universe of customers. For brands like RIYA which have a rich heritage and respect in the mind-space, heritage should not work as a deterrent for change. Behaviour towards brands keep changing when customers move up their own ladder (in life). Therefore, brands need to keep analysing their operating environments, their value propositions, reasons to believe and belong; and evolve as per the trends, expectations and desirability factors. Success is not in the destination but in the journey.
Keeping this in mind the RIYA brand re-designing activity was undertaken. To further accentuate the confidence in the brand, expand its appeal-quotient, enlarge its customer universe and create refined brand experiences.
WHAT ARE THE PRIMARY BUSINESS OBJECTIVES YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS REBRANDING ACTIVITY AMONG YOUR TARGET SEGMENT?
PP Lead: RIYA has been present on Internet for quite some time and has been able to attract ecommerce shoppers quite well. This was long overdue to be acknowledged by the company and authoritatively present the brand in a completely new avatar on social media as well as ecommerce platforms. Fashion, beauty and fragrances’ shoppers will surely be served more of RIYA’s good value for money products to offer true joy in its experience.
Sangeeta: The new logo is well suited to the digital consumer. Its artistic and modern design elements lend it a true class. The logo will stand out distinctly in the ecommerce space.
WHAT ARE THE CORE VALUES OF THE BRAND "RIYA" THAT YOU WANT IN YOUR BRAND COMMUNICATIONS WITH ITS NEW IDENTITY?
Sangeeta: Balancing of the inner world with the outer world results in happiness and brilliance that lasts which is in essence – the brand Astitva – radiance – the RIYA user radiate true happiness that fills up their world and those who are with them with joyfulness.
Tuhin: RIYA’s Brand Essence has always been centred around “Radiance – A Brightness to radiate inside and out” which fills the lives of its users, makes them shine brighter, brings out their inner spark and manifests in spreading these vibes far and wide. Radiance is the feeling customers get when they interact with RIYA brands. We would like to retain this core of the brand while adding new enjoyable qualities like vibrancy, energy, positivity and Tarang into it that further strengthen the brand value proposition.
RIYA brand communication will have the quotient of Shining Spirit, Positive Mood, having a positive Tarang when living life on own terms.
WHAT COULD BE THE BUSINESS IMPLICATIONS THAT THE NEW IDENTITY WILL HAVE FOR RIYA?
PP Lead: RIYA wants to grow 2.5 X in next eight quarters after successful completion of FY23. We believe the new identity will start the makeover process, launch series of new fragrance collections, gift ideas for different emotions on different consumption occasions; continue to appeal to our core constituency of mass market consumers
Tuhin: Historically RIYA has been a general trade marketed brand with big onus on the super stockists’ and channel partners for reach and availability. However, the next era of brand marketing demands online presence and digital marketing of brands. In view of this and being part of the expanding online universe, it is only beneficial that RIYA takes this re-imagination and re-defining turn. Limitless opportunities as they say, RIYA should be prepared to reach far and appease a whole new generation of online shoppers.
OFTEN REBRANDING ACTIVITIES LEADS TO MARKET CONFUSIONS REGARDING THE IDENTITY OF THE BRANDS ESPECIALLY FOR BRANDS AS WIDESPREAD IN DISTRIBUTION SUCH AS YOURS. WHAT ARE THE STEPS THE BRAND IS TAKING TO KEEP THE LOVE ALIVE AMONG THE USERS WHO HAVE LOVED THE OLD IDENTITY OF THE BRAND FOR DECADES?
PP Lead: This is a very good question as we believe that one must respect the current brand assets in terms of visual identity and packaging language. Therefore, we have cautiously strategized design brief onwards, a process wherein the idea is evolution with modernity without pretending to be disruptive or esoteric ; or faking to be premium or luxury fragrance brand. You would notice that the typography looks almost the same but has little more (social) spacing and smooth rounded edges to evoke more fluidity and a move-on attitude.
Sangeeta: Any drastic change in the logo would take away from the power of the legacy brand. The logo should reflect simplicity, elegance and regality associated with any legacy. The new logo is able to protect these core values of the brand.
Tuhin: We have not changed anything. We still retain the RIYA word mark. However, the word mark is thoughtfully corrected to incorporate modernism, balance, simplicity and adequate spacing. The aspects of joy and reverence in the light of vitality and positivity have led to finer corrections like rounding off the letter edges and smoothening of the appearance.
RIYA is now also in colour, which means the brand has a new dimension in colour. We call it ‘KesaRIYA’ – the color of joy, vitality, purity, energy and positivity.
WHAT ARE THE VALUES OF THE DESIGN AND BRANDING ASPECT OF THE NEW IDENTITY THAT IT WANTS TO CONVEY?
Sangeeta: A calm countenance or an exuberant look both denote beauty and happiness. RIYA brand essence stands for the complete spectrum from calm to exuberance. The new identity fully encompasses a calmness as well as a dynamism through its spaces, fonts, design and colour.
Nidhi: For the last 25+ years RIYA has been recognized only by its work mark. In the fragrance and fashion business it has been widely observed that brands have a supporting visual identity – a symbolism either as acronym or any abstract interpretation of the brand essence or values. Further, there has been inconsistency in RIYA word mark applications with regards to colour, orientation or placement positions in its primary usage which is Packaging Design.
However, as RIYA prepares for the future, it has been empowered by Design Sense. It has been ensured that the brand identity sheds its past weaknesses and adopts new aspects of modernism by virtue of Design that strengthen its presence with every usage and application.
RIYA going forward is not just a name any longer. It is a symbol of “Radiating Happiness Inside Out” with the right balance in life. In Hindi we call it ‘Raunak Charitra’. RIYA will now be recognized and remembered by a Visual Identity besides its word mark. The RIYA Visual Identity has been thoughtfully crafted to symbolize Indian culture, timelessness, purity, beauty and versatility; bringing new aesthetics and dimension to the brands’ style. The geometricity and the mandalic form in the RIYA visual identity represents supreme quality and continuity. -
HOW IS IT ANY DIFFERENT FROM THE OLD DESIGN AESTHETICS THE BRAND HAS BEEN USING FOR YEARS?
Font: Aharoni Bold
Letter R works as the source of inspiration.
A symbol of Radiating Happiness with true balance in Life.
A mandalic form representing Indian origins, timelessness, purity, beauty and versatility. Geometricity brings out the Quality and Continuity.
BELIEF ~ 4 R’s
R – Radiance
R – Rapture
R – Refreshing
R – Revel
Sangeeta: Festival revelry is an integral part in the lives of the RIYA TG. RIYA consumers are enraptured by its unique fragrance that lasts for a long time (one of the prime drivers for using RIYA)
WHY DO YOU THINK THE LOYAL USERS OF BRAND RIYA WILL LOVE THE NEW IDENTITY?
PP Lead: Loyal users always felt extremely delighted to use RIYA perfumes for the quality of fragrance and its value proposition. The new identity essentially is an evolution instead of dramatic change and therefore they will be quite happy with its smoother, fluid typography; the new logo expresses blossoming of the fragrance as well as their own personality. The old logo was literally depicting the first letter ‘R’ with a beautiful Peacock feather dropping down. We believe that served its purpose and needed a contemporary design perspective.
Tuhin: There was never any dissatisfaction observed or recorded with RIYA word mark among its loyal customers. However, in preparation for the next era of consumerism and consumption, the offline to online transition mode; it was pertinent to reimagine the brand in a modern context. Reimagining with meaningful quotients adds strength to its verbal and non-verbal expressions. The change is thoughtful and purpose driven hence there would be no reason to not love the new identity. In fact, the change gives more reasons for the loyal customers to recognize, remember and rejoice the RIYA brand experience.
WHAT ARE THE MODERN ASPECTS IN DESIGN AND EMOTIONS THAT YOU HAVE TRIED TO INCORPORATE WITHIN THE NEW IDENTITY?
PP Lead: Young Indian consumer is liberal, open-minded in her world views. With desires to express herself in many ways in a free open environment, and to bring alive her non-linear persona, she is in the right zone at the moment. In the world of multitasking & stressed lifestyles in technology age, new RIYA logo design expresses the joy in multidimensional energy of its consumer.
Sangeeta: The RIYA TG leads an active lifestyle – he/she are at the forefront of social and religious festivities; they adopt the latest fashion trends and always leave an impression on others. The logo brings out the multi-dimensional personality of the TG clearly.
Tuhin: The business of personal body fragrances is growing by the hour. People are having more reasons today to wear different fragrances, different fragrances for different times of the day, different occasions and different reasons. People are going out, exploring the world, socializing and working at the same time, celebrating moments with friends and family; all this is a new phenomenon. From being a grooming product, they have expanded their horizon into mood enhancers. Capturing these emotions with finesse was a big challenge and a factor of desirability. Secondly, fragrance and perfume brands have always considered minimalism, simplicity and elegance as the key assets of their branding design. The RIYA brand identity has been visualized keeping these factors in mind.