The Challenge of Re-Branding an Award-Winning Restaurant

Client: Fabbrica

It was the first Neopolitan Pizzeria in Calcutta and the first 3 or 4 in the country. They had gathered great repute for their pizzas and were established in the city. They were being constantly contacted for collaborations in other parts of East India as well. Multiple awards now adorned their beautiful walls and seemingly, nothing more could be done to enhance this ground-breaking restaurant. Yet, alongside its ambitious and insatiable Founder, we set out to do exactly that.

Fabbrica was the first of its kind in Kolkata and on an elite list in India.

Over multiple conversations with Naman Dhandhania, one of the three maverick partners at Fabbrica Della Pizza (as it was then known), we deconstructed the journey of this successful eatery and received an insiders opinion on what incremental value could be brought to the outlet. We found the following:

  1. The name whilst interesting was not tailored or communicated around a larger story, and the name did have a strong story for its Founders.
  2. The Brand Recall for the identity was non-existent beyond the name or interiors. There was no brand language that allowed breathing room and digital engagement for the restaurant. 
  3. The Pizzeria was now moving to an Osteria format by introducing more authentic Italian dishes and need repositioning.
  4. The Founders had big plans and ambitions for the brand but were feeling like the brand was missing an edge. 

We decided to not spread ourselves too thin and focus on the brand envisioning a long-term brand strategy.

We hoped to build a brand that could be applied and extended without exhausting its ethos or vibe. This did not come without challenges though – we were working a re-branding project with existing interiors and perceptions of the brand. Here are some of the primary boundaries we operated under:

  1. The interiors could not be altered much and the space was colourful, limiting the use of colours as well as making the bulls-eye that much smaller. 
  2. The brand had to simultaneously manage an upward shift in brand positioning with its shift to an Osteria format. 
  3. The Pizzeria vibe was casual with tickable/disposable menus and little design cohesiveness across applications. We had to also bring forth a behavioural change among an existing loyal clientele.
  4. The brand was already delivering upon a very strong promise – excellent food. They had won multiple awards for it! We had to keep in mind to never let the focus shift off what truly brought the customer through the door.

We started with attention to detail and analysed every touchpoint or element that made Fabbrica what it was – colours in the space, interior vibes, food reviews, uniqueness in cuisine and loyal patronage. We started with our mood board of the existing space and found in it the hint of the bougainvillaea pink, which was dispersed in the decor of wood, pastel brick, green shrubbery and blue windows/doors.

It seems obvious now, but the pink blended perfectly into the environ to be missed at a glance.

The large frontage provided ample natural light and gave the space a freshness to it. The choice of colour (pink) seemed like a bold choice to the Team at Fabbrica but we assured them it would fit the identity perfectly.

The name too proved to be a bone of contention for the team as the established goodwill around Fabbrica Della Pizza seemed invaluable. Our recommendation was to select the most memorable and meaningful word in the phrase – Fabbrica. It uplifted the identity immediately to that of an Osteria and simultaneously allowed us to build a signature brand. All stakeholders battled with this suggestion for days before deciding to take the plunge. The brand was now ready to be re-interpreted, and the brand story ready to make an impact.

Extracting Fabbrica’s ethos was the first and most integral step into this braver and bolder identity.

We decided to create a logo architecture that put forth a more stylish and premium front in order to escalate the brand image. Yet we insisted that it be intriguing and engaging. We wanted to include the existing perception of excellent pizzas in the identity but on our own terms. The beauty of handmade Napoli pizzas is that they’re never perfect circles, rather oddly shaped, adding to it the very important message of what made the cuisine fresh, authentic, and humane – each pie especially prepared for its patron. A subtle message that we had hoped mystified the imperfect circle and urged one to discover the brand story of authenticity and artisanality.

Fabbrica in Italian parlance means workshop or factory. It has a very fabrication-ish, handworked, artisanal ring to it. That’s how we imagined the brand, here’s the story we wrote for them:

Walking down any street in Naples, you could peer into an Osteria and catch a glimpse of their little Fabbrica (or workshop) inside. People of all ages, generally related by blood, hard at work preparing their soulful, pure, understated culinary masterpieces.

Our Fabbrica, is an homage to those that uphold the integrity of their cuisine. We are just like that little window, which you peer through in the bustle of Kolkata to get a faint yet authentic visual of living & eating Italian.

Fabbrica – Originale Napoli, recreates the Napoli spirit just as Nonna would serve her little bambinos on Sunday afternoon.

Ah, La Dolce Vita! 

Our ethos for the brand gravitated towards the artisanal, hand-made, authenticity-driven direction with the rustic Italian village interiors demanding that the new brand blend seamlessly. We ensured that our efforts reflected what the brand values were. Each touchpoint was carefully crafted to delight the customer – the entry facade, the catchphrase on the door, the textured paper menus for a tactile connection, the feedback forms as well as all digital communication.

We’re proud to have worked with Fabbrica and its visionary Founding team – individuals who trusted us with the power to shape their brand’s identity. We constantly receive accolades from the team regarding compliments that they recieve for their brand. It leaves us with extended vigor to energize our next brand, just as we have with Fabbrica.

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