A successful franchisee of two restaurant brand concepts decided it was time for him and a partner to explore building their own experience. Levantine/Middle Eastern cuisine in a fast casual format was the vision. They teamed up with Vigor to put their vision into reality.
Starting with a clean slate is always an excellent opportunity. With little competition in the Atlanta market, and a team of restaurant veterans behind the helm the challenge was focused and attainable.
The new restaurant had only cuisine to focus their efforts on. They were passionate about bringing this cuisine to the Atlanta market, but doing it in a way that would make it hard for others to grab market share away from them. By using Vigor’s proprietary restaurant branding process, the team was able to dig deep into what made the owner’s so passionate about Levantine food. For them eating the food was akin to visiting one of the legendary marketplaces in the Middle East and Levantine area. These marketplaces were full of spices, colors, aromas, textures, and energy not found anywhere else. In this emotion was where the passionate purpose was found.
The brand’s passionate purpose, a flavorful journey through Eastern Mediterranean cuisine, set a laser site on instilling the Middle Eastern marketplace as the epicenter of the brand. We needed to take this marketplace idea and modernize it into a restaurant experience unlike any other.
Starting with the restaurant’s brand name, the Vigor team got to work on deeper research on the marketplaces historical and modern. These marketplaces went by other names: bazaars, tsouks, and markets. Throughout history there have been many of them, but the most renowned was a tsouk in Damascus called Bezorya (sic). By combining the tsouks name with a more common term, Bazaar, the Vigor team had created a name that was easy to say, spell, and remember. Bazaria was born.
The more tedious challenge was to create a way to explain the cuisine without saying “Levantine” or “Middle Eastern.” Levantine was a relatively unknown geography to the Atlanta market, and Middle Eastern had negative connotations and feelings that could’ve deterred people from trying the new restaurant concept. Our solution was to list out the three major menu items of which the team was most proud: pita bread, kebabs, and shawarma.
The key insights, research, and passionate purpose all fueled the design of an identifying mark that captured the bazaar experience in a fresh, distinctive way. A series of charms were designed and positioned into a circle surrounding a hand-drawn script typeface that would become the visual battle-cry for Bazaria. These charms also created a visual language the brand could own.
The brand color palette was a pastel version of common colors of spices found in Middle Eastern tsouks. It translated well into other marketing and design elements including interiors, advertising and website.
With the selection of suggested brand typography as the final touch, the Vigor team furnished Bazaria with all the elements necessary to go to market, activate their brand, and start operating with a fresh, vibrant, memorable brand identity and purpose.