APEX REBRANDED: WHEN IMC IS GOING DOWN

Prepared for:
Mr. Md. Iftekharul Amin
Course Instructor
M606: Integrated Marketing Communication

Prepared by:
Group: 14
Md. Mehedi Hasan; MBA 47E, ZR37
Pratik Bhowmik; MBA 47E, ZR41
Aamir Muhammad Imran; MBA 49E, ZR32
Md. Nasrullah; MBA 49E, ZR45


Institute of Business Administration
University of Dhaka
17 January 2014
Apex Rebranded: When IMC is Going Down Group-14 Case Study

APEX REBRANDED: WHEN IMC IS GOING DOWN
f there is one other industry other than RMG that Bangladesh should boast about, it is
obviously the leather footwear industry. This upcoming and promising industry has brought
both name and fame for Bangladesh in home and abroad. And the majority credit has to go to
a fully owned Bangladeshi company who made this possible for Bangladesh, and that is Apex
Adelchi Footwear Ltd.
Apex, as it was locally known as Gallerie Apex, is the country’s largest footwear retailer only trailing
behind Bata. And if we consider domestic and export both, singlehandedly, Apex is the largest
footwear manufacturer of the country. Altogether this company earns yearly around USD150
million from export alone. Being one of the most ethically sound and internationally compliant
factories, within the single compound, Apex runs the biggest factory in the whole of South Asia.
The domestic market however is a different story altogether. The footwear industry inside
Bangladesh is largely unorganized and the consumers are not at all brand conscious. As a result, we
see handful of brands operating in the industry in large scale. And the rest are all boutique brands.
It’s around USD500 million market in the domestic footwear operation in Bangladesh, about 84%
of which is unbranded. Apex holding the 2nd position with 6% share of the pie.
The story of Apex in Bangladeshi footwear market is a story with lots of twists and turns. The local
operation was never supposed to happen. It was a mere accident that Apex started its local wing
back in 2001. The idea was to test the market with one shop with the products from the export
market and see if this works. The formula was never expected to be a hit. But people had bought
into it like anything. And after that Apex started expanding its retail chain all around the country.
And as we stand today, in 2014, Apex is operating 170 retail outlets and over 400 dealer shops in 64
districts with a yearly revenue of USD40 million.
All these years, Apex was a company who used to operate in a sales oriented approach. Marketing
tools were barely used because the market itself was not matured enough. So the requirement was
not really there. But stepping into 2010, the company realized that marketing is a must then. And so
they hired a full-fledged marketing team to run the show. The approach of selling shoes started to
I
Apex Rebranded: When IMC is Going Down Group-14 Case Study
take different shapes. Newer elements of marketing tools were in application each year. And it was
2013 when everything became very interesting.
The idea was floating within the Marketing Department for quite some time then. The idea of
changing the logo – everybody agreed that this should be done without further delay.
The idea came into being when the Marketing Head, one day discussed the idea with the team in a
meeting. He said, “The Company is growing big now. This is high time we refreshed the logo”. The
idea quickly got accepted from the Board of Directors and soon the team set out to work.
Apex hired a fully-equipped creative agency to do the design of the logo. A brief was prepared and
given as a guideline to the agency. Before going into the brief let’s take a look what was wrong with
the then current logo.
The corporate logo seen in the shop signage and other communications was wrong in a number of
ways. The problem started when Apex conducted an exit survey for some other purpose and people
could not even say the name right. Then the Apex management started thinking what is so
complicated with the name that people can’t say it right. Then another survey was designed and
conducted on the people’s perception of the logo. The results were very astounding. In 80% cases,
people couldn’t even recognize that the name is “Gallerie Apex”. Most of these people remember it
as “Apex” or “Apex Gallerie”.
Second problem is with the structure of the logo. It came out very clear that the structure is very
complicated. It’s a two liner logo with boxed pattern and can’t be read easily from distance. And last
but not the least it appeared very masculine with the box pattern and bold font. So the brief to the
agency was very clear and simple – create a logo that is simple, short, clear, unisex in nature and to
lose the “Gallerie”.
As per the brief the agency submitted multiple options of the logo. But it was never easy to reach a
consensus on a logo of such magnitude. Failing to reach a decision, the management decided to go
back to the actual consumers to get a decision. Hence Apex pulled in a reputed Qualitative Research
firm to do the job for them. The assignment was to test the acceptability of the logo among the
mass consumers. So the two agencies started working joining hand in hand. Logo goes for testing,
customer gives their feedback and creative agency changes accordingly and then it goes for further
testing until Apex got the full proof logo that they always wanted.
Apex Rebranded: When IMC is Going Down Group-14 Case Study
The logo was simpler than anyone could have imagined. And that is where the logo became very
powerful. It is just “Apex” made out of clear red font. The only bit of texture used was in the middle
of the letter “A”. The mid stroke of the “A” was a foot step silhouette in green which can be used
independently as a symbol of the company instead of the complete logo. Altogether the logo stood
in red and green - the color of Bangladesh.
All the preparations for launching the newly born corporate logo was ready. PR and media houses
were well invited to the program. The great idea of changing all the shop signage in one go was also
in the pipeline. The grand launching of the new logo was epic. So was the coverage. But something
happened which was not really expected.
It was two months before the holy Ramadan of 2013 when the new Apex made its way in. The
management was expecting with this much of media attention and refurbished new shops with the
brand new logo would make consumers at least excited to come and see what’s going on inside of
this re-born branded outlet. Unfortunately, such was not the case.
At this point Apex decided to take this logo launching campaign one step further towards Eid. The
new campaign will be in a way celebration of the newly born logo which will be reflected in all
communications and merchandises.
A month long grand campaign was launched based on a CG based family oriented TVC that made
the nation re-think of the media averse footwear company. At all stages of the communication –
both ATL and BTL, the same theme was communicated with the new logo established in big bold
appearance.
2013 Eid target was around USD 13 million which was about 1/3 of the annual target revenue.
Being the biggest window of the season Apex did everything to achieve the target. The media
presence along with the brand new logo accompanied by the festive stores and merchandise – all
was set to catch the show. However, after the Eid review next month, the company found that
target fell short by around USD 1 million. A survey followed by the review also showed lukewarm
response of the new logo to the consumers.
The company top officials sat for further discussion as to what went wrong that made this incredibly
full-proof plan otherwise a failure? Was the campaign too short to back up the new logo? Or was
the choice of media not right?
Apex Rebranded: When IMC is Going Down Group-14 Case Study
What went wrong for which the response of the new Apex logo to the consumers was not as
expected? What could have been done to get the desired result?