The length and breadth of Italy, wherever you may go, you will encounter Conad. This is the country's most ubiquitous food store, part of the fabric of Italian life. Sometimes its familiarity means its virtues – such as its own brands – are undervalued.
At the top of its food offer, Conad presents its exclusive Sapori & Dintorni, products and producers which exemplify the provenance and quality of Italian food. It was this own brand range that Conad management selected to investigate the potential benefits of a brand story for its business.
Thus brandstory came to explore the Conad culture, its geography, structure, standards and stakeholders. And, above all, the provenance and diversity of its own brands’ products. What was overwhelmingly clear to the outside observer, sometimes forgotten by the prophet in his own country, was that these Sapori & Dintorni foods perfectly expressed that hallmark of Italian culture – which Conad itself embodied – its sheer diversity. (As one gastronome puts it: “Order béarnaise sauce in 200 French restaurants and you will get exactly the same sauce 200 times. Ask for bolognese sauce in 200 Italian restaurants and you will get 200 different versions of ragu.”)
A celebration of diversity was created, a competition amongst Conad’s myriad suppliers, and a story of their never-ending quest for perfect expressions of quality and provenance. The story was symbolised by a prize for the competition winner: a pure ivory sculpture of Conad’s simple logo, the margherita flower.
Once this storiella was narrated amongst Conad’s inner circle, and its symbolism fully appreciated, brandstory was asked to develop the story across all the company’s own brand ranges. In this way Conad has begun to define its culture and values for all its stakeholders, and explain why what is good about Italy, in all its diversity, is precisely what is good about Conad.
But that is another chapter …