Just Add Rocketfuel [RF4D]
3D CI* [3D Corporate Identity] with its forward-thinking approach is rapidly defining a new approach to the business of branding. Practical Marketing speaks to Rob Grey of Rocketfuel [RF4D], global 3D CI* guru and pioneer of the 3D CI* concept.
With a global client network that is constantly expanding, Rob Grey of Rocketfuel [RF4D] is clearly doing something right. His is a name well known by ad industry players and brand specialist, with his reputation forged over the last decade by the award-winning success of product identity business Rocketfuel [RF4D]. What sets Rocketfuel [RF4D] apart from the rest is its fascinating spectrum of expertise, which includes integrated input from product designers, industrial designers, fashion designers, engineers, 3D modellers, brand specialists and business experts. These skill sets are offset against a solid base of years of practice in product identity design for commercial transactions – with an ability to respond to buying behavioural patterns in specific environments, a significant contributing factor to the Cape Town-based global trail that Rocketfuel [RF4D] has blazed. Established as an innovative and discriminating businessman, Rob Grey has pioneered 3D CI* strategy and is the world leader in 3D CI* strategy and implementation.
So what is 3D CI*?
3D CI* is a unique business strategy with a far-reaching product identity design vision, which ensures that every element of a brand’s design works intelligently together, from the initial product to the full realm of product line extensions, in order to create maximum return on investment through brand recognition and consumer impact.
The business model of 3D CI* maximises the influence of a brand’s budget and encompasses the forward-thinking business strategic around designing for commercial transactions and leveraging buying behavioural patterns relative to particular consumer environments, for financial gain.
3D CI* Strategy in action
With all eyes on soccer in South Africa in 2010, a good recent example of a recent 3D CI* implementation is the launch of the Ajax Cape Town Fan Store launched in September 2009. The Ajax soccer team are also known as the ‘Urban Warriors’ and the brief to Rocketfuel [RF4D] was to design a fan store to sell Ajax team gear to the soccer teams’ dedicated fan base, as well as to design and incorporate their new local lifestyle brand – appropriately called Urban Warriors – into the store.
Several 3D CI* strategy sessions followed the brief, with brand specific discussions around how Rocketfuel [RF4D] would incorporate three different brand identities: Ajax; Urban Warrior and an additional brand called African Soccer Art, under one roof. The 3D CI* business strategy dealt with key areas: how the design of the outlet could maximise the clubs potential to build their brand; how it could open up new marketing channels to get the brand out there; how to ensure the shops offering visibly consolidated the club’s growing fan base and, critically, generated fantastic sales; while simultaneously setting up a new business opportunity for the club to be easily franchised in the future was a strategic priority.
Getting the ball rolling – 3D CI* Implementation
Following on from 3D CI* strategy, the first phase of the 3D CI* implementation involved Rocketfuel [RF4D] contributing their unique skill set to translating the evolved strategy through the complex process of developing an entire customised product design story for the Ajax brand. This encompassed the store design, the design of the retail and lifestyle products themselves (in this case including a clothing range), the design of packaging variations as well as design options that optimised the point of sales. In this instance, a practical consideration meant that the Ajax store needed to be designed within an existing building structure, but allow for an additional shop extension in 2010 – and, of course, catering to the plan of the outlet being mirrored in future non-identical locations once franchising went ahead. All of this needed to be achieved in a way that ensured the Ajax brand was instantly recognisable and made a significant impact on consumers.
The second phase of Rocketfuel [RF4D’s] 3D CI* implementation involved presenting a customised, inclusive product design story to Ajax, which illustrated the various directions in which the brand could be taken. Rocketfuel [RF4D] presents using 3D photorealistic imagery. This gives clients an incredible advantage in that they don’t have to imagine anything – they know exactly what’s on offer and what the experience of that offer is. This virtual environment empowers a brand to refine their business strategies and decisions, as well as refine the product design to achieve exactly what they’re after, before they’ve spent a cent on manufacturing and roll out in the real world. This is a potent forum for brand direction anticipating several years to be discussed – and a powerful tool for proactively driving market share, while strategically utilising budget. It’s at this stage too that Rocketfuel [RF4D] shows and tells how a 3D shape evokes a higher perceived value amongst consumers than their 2D counterparts, demonstrating how this strategy can be used to impact on price point, which means that the 3D CI* process can pay for itself in return on investment. After a process of consultation with Ajax, and the implementation of some strategic amendments, the all-encompassing 3D CI* product design was perfectly aligned with the brand’s long-term business direction.
Business Roll Out
Not only does Rocketfuel [RF4D] hold 3D CI* as its secret weapon, but its core business is product design, with manufacture outsourced to an extensive, competitively priced global network of tried and tested suppliers. This means that Rocketfuel [RF4D] has a broad range of options to draw on to cater to variances in budget, timing and volume, while also ensuring that innovative design is not left on the drawing board because of the technical limitations of utilising one manufacturing plant. Instead, established local and international relationships allow an all round ‘can do, on time’ approach. The manufacture and set up of the Ajax fan store went smoothly all round, came in on budget, and since opening has already met with great success, becoming a powerful asset that is going from strength to strength.
3D CI* Brand Bibles
Success stories such as the Ajax fan store are increasing the momentum towards a mainstream move from 2D brand bibles to 3D CI*, when it comes to product design. “Currently some brands are using their 2D as a guideline for the 3D CI* development by Rocketfuel [RF4D], while others have already shifted, using the 3D CI* development to lead, and integrating their 2D evolution into this powerful brand direction development,” explains Rob Grey. The writing is on the wall that as 3D CI* becomes increasingly mainstream, having its strengths on the side of your brand will become a competitive necessity, and a standard feature for the implementation of successful brand strategy. Before you know it, 3D CI* brand bibles will be the order of the day. You heard it here first. Don’t get left behind.
How 3D CI* can work for you.
Rob Grey of Rocketfuel [RF4D] works both directly with brands and in collaboration with ad agencies.
- Brand Direct: Rob Grey consults directly with CEO’s and business managers on 3D CI* strategy and implementation. Rob consults at any stage of a brand’s life cycle, also providing advice on business roll out, working within a budget, product going to market and contributing his insight at all strategic levels. Rocketfuel [RF4D] offers the service of comprehensively visiting the existing 2D strategy around brand design and evolving this through 3D CI* strategy.
- Ad Agencies: Rocketfuel [RF4D] collaborates with forward-thinking ad agencies, who are aware of the ‘bolt on’ component that 3D CI* provides which increases the scope of their business, arming agencies to enter into dialogue with their existing and prospective clients at an earlier stage, and helping agencies to extend deals and land new business through the 3D CI* offering.
[Block: Contact details]
Rob Grey / Rocketfuel [RF4D]
Contact: Rob Grey
Phone: 083 293 6789