Saffron - Eight Inc.

Saffron.
Challenging the status quo.

Introduction

Looking to expand their retail business into Southern Europe, Rompetrol – a Romanian petroleum company, wanted to create a new brand of fueling stations to position themselves as a leader in refueling services. Working with branding consultant Saffron, we created Litro – a new concept in service stations.

Refueling is traditionally seen as a commodity activity – one that doesn’t rank very high on our list of great experiences. We sought to bring humanity to Litro by creating a branded experience that is dramatically different from the competition, and infinitely friendlier. By going beyond the basic necessities and creating added value for customers through the services and amenities offered.

During the first 3 weeks after the new stations were unveiled, Litro retail sales increased by 300% when compared to Rompetrol sales. This later stabilized to an 80% increase.

Rompetrol – Litro

Litro shifts the perception of a fueling station from that of a bland, utilitarian (and sometimes scary) structure to a place that is welcoming, friendly and engaging.

The streamlined canopy is reduced to its thinnest profile possible. Made of a stressed skin structure, similar to that of an aircraft wing, the cantilevered canopy floats above the station. A soft, ambient glow of light washes the underside of the canopy and slowly changes color, echoing the aurora borealis. We imagined an ethereal destination visible from afar that invites customers to stop and take a break from the road.

The experience is designed to be simpler, easier and friendlier for customers. Lighting plays an important role in setting the playful tone and identity of the brand, but also serves to create a safer, more comfortable environment. Efficient circulation, clear visibility and wayfinding make for a smooth entry and quick exit from the pump for those looking to get in and out in a hurry. For those customers looking to relax and recharge themselves, the Litro store offers superior products and services, including cafe, exterior terrace, and free wifi.

Brand Identity

Most gas stations look and feel the same today as they did 50 years ago. The same canopy, same pumps, same box of a convenience store…just a different size and different logo on top.

There is little that differentiates the brand selling the fuel or the brand of the convenience store; both brands are also often disconnected. Our objective was not only to create a unified brand identity and experience across all services, but one that was distinctly Litro.

We took a playful approach to what is usually a gritty experience by injecting a more cheerful feel with a fresh look and bright colors. The name Litro comes from a liter of gas and makes  subtle reference to the brand’s Romanian roots. Used in the service station architecture and other brand assets as both a 2D graphic and 3-dimensional sculpture, the energy droplet logo takes on a lively personality of its own, changing colors and patterns from one application to the next.