Building the lifestyle brand of the future
For the past thirty years, the Alhokair family name has been synonymous with fashion and retail in Saudi Arabia. As the owner of the Arabian Centers, the largest malls in the country, they’re also the regional franchise arm for many well-known brands including Zara, Cinnabon and Decathlon. With multi-billion-dollar B2B and B2C business lines and two publicly traded companies under a holding company, the company is a true Saudi success story.
However, the changing nature of how customers shop, consume entertainment and socialize, coupled with Saudi Arabia’s increasingly young, digital-savvy population, meant the entire Alhokair portfolio needed to evolve. Further, the many brands within the portfolio were fragmented; they needed uniformity to help seize the opportunities emerging in the world’s fastest growing G20 market. In short, Alhokair sought to streamline and unify its story with a new strategy, name, personality, voice and identity, with the goal to become a go-to lifestyle brand in the markets it serves.
Enter Lippincott. We worked hand in hand with the brand to build a new masterbrand architecture that would allow it to connect more deeply with consumers across all aspects of its customer journey, while streamlining how its business and brand partners work with it. One company, one relationship—with endless lifestyle and business growth opportunities.
Our guiding insight was that in order to fit into peoples’ lifestyles, you have to help them live more authentically. We centered the brand strategy on this idea: bringing the best brands from around the world into the hands and hearts of the end consumer, all with a focus on “living your authentic self.” This brand positioning is a rallying cry for the modern Saudi and regional consumer while nodding to both the social importance of shopping centers and the connection offered through digital interaction.
This idea was a springboard across all facets of the brand experience, including the creation of a name. We knew we needed something that was grounded in the story of the brand, was easy for native Arabic speakers to say but also set the brand for international and digital growth. Cenomi is a coined term, fusing the Greek origins for “new” with a shorthand treatment for “me.” It evokes ideas of discovery and inspiration, all deeply focused on celebrating the authenticity that is you, the individual. Quite literally, the name signifies Cenomi is the place you come to discover the “new me.”
The visual system further builds on this idea; the new logo is assertive and approachable, with a framing device around the “mi” that acts as an invitation for customers to discover themselves. You “step” into the logo to reveal more of yourself. The brand expression features this frame throughout as a focal point, emphasizing that no matter what touchpoint you engage, you are at the center of everything Cenomi does.
This symbolism is as important for the consumer as it is for the B2B aspects of the brand. By building a brand hyper-focused on the end-consumer, it allows Cenomi to share with its tenants, property development and brand partners the deep, rich, consumer insight it gleans through deepening its connection with them. In sharing this insight, there’s greater footfall to malls, greater engagement on digital, deeper loyalty all resulting in longer tenancies and greater brand performance.
Challenging the norms of Middle Eastern branding, the main color is a standout, energetic fuchsia, which celebrates creativity and champions individual authenticity. This is met with the remaining identity that has a very balanced and sophisticated tone, showing the reverence for the brand’s past with the excitement of its future potential. It is truly a brand reimagined to win in the increasingly modern and youthful markets of Saudi, the GCC, North Africa and Eastern Europe.
Cenomi officially launched to the world on December 6, 2022 and is one of the brightest private beacons shining out from the ever-more-open Saudi Arabian market. A brand from Saudi, for Saudi, for the world.