Yizheng Stationery is a market leader in children's eraser in China. This experience centre, though grounded in this category, is not targeted at children. This is part of a broader B2B communications brand building framework.
一正文具是中国儿童橡皮品类的市场领导者，但这个体验馆不是针对孩子们。这是一个整体 B2B 品牌策划框架的一部份。
Project Background / 项目背景
As manufacturers in China transit from OEM, ODM to being brand owners, the founders need to embark on the often unfamiliar process of brand building. This process of building their brands from scratch is an onerous task, and with so much to do, knowing where to start, and subsequent project phasing is key. Here we decided to embark on B2B communications first, before tackling B2C touchpoints. It is more direct, and cost effective, without taking too much time tackling market segmentation and product line architecture issues. Especially important for small medium enterprises (SMEs), is for the brand consultants to deliver in as quick a time frame as possible a solid response and ROI for the inception phase. Only then will the SME be confident enough to embark on the next phase in the long process of brand building.
中国的制造业都在转型中，从代工、代设计、到经营自己的品牌。创始人到了这个阶段，知道这是唯一能够提高附加值的办法，但往往是茫然的。从零开始打造一个品牌，不只是做什么的问题，精力和经费经费都是有限的，先做什么是更重要的问题。在个项目我们从 B2B 的品牌沟通做起。相对于B2C, 这是简单的，关于要传达的信息，选择的沟通媒介，需要的推广费用。更重要的是，针对于民营企业，品牌策划方需要最快的速度让甲方看到成效，才能更有信心得在漫长的品牌建立的旅程上信心满满得再跨出一步。
Spatial Layout / 区域分布
This experience centre is situated in the factory, it is meant to be part of an entire sales journey. As such, the spatial layout and circulation is meant to enhance this experiential journey. Upon arrival, they past through the lobby, enter the experience centre and turn left into conference area. Here they rest, freshen up take a drink, and watch the brand video. Thereafter, they leave to visit the factory, to see for themselves the level of automation and production sophistication. Re-entering the space, they turn right, passing into the concept tunnel, and into the retail mockup area. It is important for business partners to understand the diversity of their product range. The journey continues into the experience zone and back to the conference room where the client will address further questions and conclude the business discussion.
Our Approach / 我们的出发点
In this phase, we left the logo largely untouched. Our aim is to bring the brand to life, making it relevant to both their partners and consumers eventually. Corporate brand experience centres targeted at business partners traditionally has many exhibition boards with lengthy paragraphs just talking about their manufacturing prowess and production capabilities. Truthfully, this type of execution puts people to sleep, and what it does is deliver messaging on a very crude level. Our approach therefore is to deliver a visual spectacle; impress, intrigue and they will want to know more.
Our Concept / 我们的概念
In terms of brand communications, we ground the overall concept on the user level. In this age category, even if the child is the end user, the parent is the gatekeeper. The former typically only cares about whether how attractive the product is, the latter however, are the ones we are targeting in terms of messaging.
We all have good and bad memories from our childhood. But as we grow older, the bad ones tend to fade, leaving the good ones. This is the empowering message that we wish to convey to the parents and for them to tell their children. Everything has two sides to it. If we manage to overcome the short term difficulty, the reward is often life long. Once we overcome the unfamilarity of making friends, the resulting friendship could last a lifetime. From this concept, we developed five posters.
在品牌沟通层面，我们还是把重心放在最后受众和用户那里。亲子品类，虽然用户是孩子，沟通对象却是父母。因为前者只在乎东西好看、可爱，后者会在意更多，也有能力解析品牌层面的各种属性。这也为了后续市场端 2C 层面的沟通开个头，垫个基石。
每个人在儿时记忆里都有好的和不好的回忆。但很奇妙，我们都会慢慢把不好的擦掉，留下好的。我们希望父母能把这种正面激励的信息告诉孩子。事情都有两面，克服了眼前的困难，往往获得都是一辈子的。克服了陌生，就可能获得陪伴自己后半生的友情。所以就有了 “擦得掉／擦不去” 这个概念。因为一正橡皮擦已经不只是一种功能的满足，更多是一种情感的共鸣。我们为此创造了不同的 “擦不掉／擦得去” 的海报，视频是基于一个主题的展开版。
Concept Tunnel / 概念通道
Spatially, the tunnel is not only a transitional space. The 5 key posters are placed along the tunnel walls at a 15 degree angle (consistent with the incline in the logo). A line that shifts from black to shining white cuts the posters in half, emphasizing the two sides of the same story. This line is the spatial embodiment of the idea of what is erased away and what is not. Turning the corner the line ends at opposite sides of the tunnel, cutting across a black painting and a white painting. Looking forward and backward in the tunnel is like looking into the future and back at the past. With the right encouragement, we walk towards the white painting, and see the growth we have attained, only to turn back to realise we have overcome these obstacles that are on the black painting.
从空间角度，这个通道不只是起到一个空间转换的作用。这通道的墙上斜挂着这五福主题海报。15 度斜度来自 logo 原用的倾斜度。一条黑渐变到白色发光的线，贯穿了这些海报，分割了这些事情的两面。这条线就是主题 “擦得掉／擦不去” 的线。这条线再沿着通道墙折回通道两端。这两端分别有两幅画，白的 “擦不去” 的，和黑的 “擦得掉” 的。这像一个时间隧道，有了正确的引导，往前看，就看到了自己的各种擦不去的成长。回头看，原来克服了这么多困难，都被擦掉了。
《 White Painting / 擦不去 》
《 Black Painting / 擦得掉 》
Experience Area ／ 体验区
Many manufacturers likes to talk about how great they are. This is not only unconvincing, it is a sign of low self-esteem and lack of confidence, much like a person you meet who likes to brag. In initial discussions with the client, we reached the alignment that we will not talk, but actually demonstrate with real actions. The retail mockup area shows impressive product range. The acrylic wall displays an overwhelming numbers of erasers of all shapes and colours. How then do we demonstrate brand innovation, creativity, and constant pursuit of excellence? This is where we came up with delightful solutions.
Rubber Light Installation ／ 橡皮灯光装置
We installed two rubber light installations. One is a play on shadow, another on colour. White rubber blocks protrude from the wall in seemingly random fashion, only when the light is turned on do the Yizheng chinese characters come into being. In the second we used light reflected off coloured rubber blocks to compose a painting with light. Both are dramatized by the before after effect in the storytelling with light.
《 Shadow Light Installation / 光的脚印 》
《 Coloured Light Installation / 斑斓 》
Rubber Pendant Lights + Podium / 橡皮吊灯和站台
Besides the light play, we wanted to make something surprising for which rubber is suited for yet seldom considered. We experimented with making rubber light fixtures, and after numerous prototyping rounds, they turned out amazingly well. It took a while to get the right mix of both rigidity and translucency in the white and black rubber tubes. We made 3 sets of these rubber chandeliers, and they are configured differently elevation wise. But from a bottom looking up, it spells the chinese characters of Yizheng, being a mirror image of the wooden blocks on the podium below.
Product Showcase Acrylic Wall ／ 产品橱窗亚克力墙
Scent Library ／ 香味图书馆
Here, we want to showcase the fact that Yizheng products uses food quality colouring and scent additives. Safety is especially important to parents. We placed the erasers in jars, and for the guests to open them and smell. This adds a level of interactivity without the message being too in your face.
《 Scent Library / 香味图书馆 》
儿时时空胶囊 ／ Childhood Time Capsule
In our consumer interviews, we found that Yizheng erasers were not just functional, really they are like companions to the children. We set up here a rotating exhibit, for parents to share the items that made an emotional connection with their children. And on the labels, we printed the names of parents and kids, as well as the story behind the exhibit. Each exhibit is a time capsule, a snapshot in time, left here on loan.
《 Childhood Time Capsule / 儿时时空胶囊 》
Retail Mockup Area / 零售模拟区
Conference Room / 洽谈区
There's More! / 还有呢！
This is just one part of the branding project.
For more, pls see our other project, Yizheng Brand Video.
This was a project that involved many amazing people in different places working together. Say hi everyone!
Client: Yizheng Stationery, www.yzstationery.com
Overall Concept, Interior, Graphic Design: United Design Practice (Beijing), www.uniteddesignpractice.com
Animation & Illustration: Seenvision (Beijing), www.seenvision.net
Music Composition: Tze Toh (Singapore), www.tzetoh.org
Construction & Engineering: NFH (Shanghai), www.newfuhe.com
Lighting Design: Light Collab (Singapore), www.lightcollab.com
Photography: Shawn Koh (Beijing), www.fengstudios.com