Following the user-centric approach that has always distinguished us, we have taken up some of the topics covered in our Food-Z research. The article frames 5 restaurant trends associated with as many moments of consumption, focusing on a world in constant evolution in which brand identity plays an increasingly crucial role.

Accessible cool: eating experiences that are cool, yet accessible.

There are three main drivers that lead 2021 consumers to choose a particular restaurant: perceived quality, the restaurant’s image, and affinity with the consumer’s identity.

The union of the first two drivers leads us to identify the first trend: Accessible cool. This is a type of format that is accessible to the majority of people but is seen by users as a fairly luxurious experience, thanks to significant attention to image and perceived quality. Accessible cool is the link between a classic restaurant and fast food, characterised by informal service and quick delivery.

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Hekfanchai, Milanese bing-shi, showcases original Hong-Kong street food in Milan, accompanied by the new dishes created by the Hong-Kong-born chef Kin Cheung, one of the most internationally popular names in Hong-Kong cuisine, and is offering something new: a cocktail list that is characterised by a fusion of East and West, studied by the bartender Francesco Menozzi. Everything is at truly reasonable prices. 

Pick Up Point: a new strategy to pick up clients “on the go”

Over recent months and bolstered by the pandemic and the consequential need to focus on open-air eating, venues have literally populated the city’s streets, squares and pavements of Italy like never before.

With this passage of the restaurant experience from indoors to outdoors, one trend that we believe will become ever more important is that of the “Pick Up Point”; a strategic use of external spaces to intercept passing customers through the use of stations or by literally “opening up” the restaurant to the outside.

The result is coffee and drinking stations, literal satellite points outside the establishment that offer take-away experiences, avoiding the long queues that today’s consumers, impatient and conscious of social distancing, may find stressful. Opening up one’s restaurant to the outside, allowing consumers to explore the venue’s offerings in a direct and interactive manner, translates into a more inclusive attitude towards customers.

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The Terrazza Aperol recently inaugurated in Venice seems to have immediately followed the trend: just outside the bar it is possible to find a drinking station ready to serve take-away and strolling drinks, useful for intercepting “on the go” consumers. 

All-in-one: Fast, quality and healthy dishes

On our journey exploring trends in the restaurant sector, we now finally come to the inside of the venue, and in particular to the moment of choosing the food.

As we also saw in FOODZ, people are ever increasingly attentive to what they eat, and exaggerating with food is seen as an exception. This is why the “All-in-One” formula is gaining in popularity; single dishes accompanied at most by a starter and a side dish, with balanced and clear calorie content and often international in style. This allows everyone to enjoy a quick, quality and healthy meal.

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For example, Poke House, after having gone beyond national borders – 30 venues in Italy, Portugal and Spain – decided to return home with its tenth opening in Milan, in the Porta Venezia district. Customisable low-calorie Poke bowls that are quick to make and contain top-quality ingredients. 

Eatertainment: restaurants as venues for entertainment, for an experience that goes beyond food.

Nowadays, people don’t go out just to eat. Our research effectively demonstrates the social importance of food, which is even higher than that of its gastronomic qualities, in response to social pressure to “go out and do something in the evening”. Food is good “material”, which is why, in a venue, the brand, its history and its values can be a subject of conversation; a central aspect when seeing restaurants as brands.

For this very reason, restaurants that follow the trend of “Eatertainment”, offering entertainment services, will capture the attention and the curiosity of consumers. It is therefore fundamental for restaurateurs to identify their target market, in order to be able to design experiences that are in line with that market’s needs and desires. We have discussed this matter in further detail in our FoodZ research, which can be seen here.

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In this light, one promising proposal is the format “The 3rd Spot”, which is due to open in the next few months. “Our aim is to encapsulate the positive energy that characterises dining and open-air experiences, which have made a significant contribution to this year’s positive memories. The idea is extremely simple; following an entire life spent working and two years spent at home, we all need a third place where we can feel good and where we can get away from it all” – stated Josh Rossmeisl, founder of The 3rd Spot. 

Digital programmes and services aimed at building customer loyalty

We have come to the final chapter in our restaurant experience. The subject here is “Digital Loyalty”, a fundamental concept in the restaurant sector (that of loyalty), revisited in a modern key thanks to new technology and new services present in the world of gastronomy. In the future, restaurants will be able to introduce loyalty programmes to reward returning customers; these will, in fact, be given the opportunity to become “virtual regulars”, consequently accessing a series of advantages and awards provided by the restaurants themselves.

It is a trend in line with the aim of small- and medium-sized restaurant businesses to strengthen the bond with their customers over distance. Restaurateurs will be able to create their own personal loyalty programmes (in line with their brand and the expectations of their target) and set out the main characteristics. Physical cards, proprietary applications, delivery platforms… there are countless methods, and they can be valorised through the creativity of the restaurateurs.

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Uber Eats builds loyalty with its new Restaurant Loyalty service; in the future, all users and restaurants with the Uber Eats app will be able to introduce loyalty programmes to reward all the customers who continue to return.

Giulio Vescovi, Strategic Designer at CBA

After one and a half years of smart working, most of the people at CBA are gradually returning to life at the agency. The remote working experience has shown us that a balance between working from home and presence in the office makes it possible to enjoy the benefits of both methods: on one hand, the concentration guaranteed by smart working, on the other, the constant interchange of ideas facilitated by daily life at the agency. The new normal will therefore comprise a balance between these two different ways of working, with the objective of bringing added value both to our projects and to the lives of us all.

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Leading Italian crisps and snack company San Carlo is present in over 30 countries with a range of premium crisps in dedicated packaging, available in plain and other flavours.

After its debut with the positioning campaign “A Bite of Style”, the first strategic step with a specifically Milanese focus, the international San Carlo range needed to develop its identity and communicate its Italian DNA with a less sophisticated approach that would be more relevant and relatable for the international consumer, finding a point of contact with the more consolidated image of Italy abroad.

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In order to achieve this, we designed a lively and colourful identity that celebrates iconic Italian destinations and our cheerful and sunny attitude to daily life.

San Carlo will whisk you away to monuments steeped in history, country landscapes or the coastlines that the whole world envies.

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Each illustration conveys a specific moment connected to the destination, such as an aperitivo in Milan or a gondola tour in Venice, all combined with bright colours.

The characters depict consumption of the product with an ironic approach, never taking themselves too seriously, in the Italian way.

We immediately thought of Riccardo Guasco for this task because his style perfectly expresses the Italian character that we wish to communicate.

One of the most typical moments in Italian life is the aperitivo, especially after work; it is an unmissable moment for the Milanese and even better when in Piazza Duomo.
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No, non è l’introduzione al prossimo capitolo di Star Wars, ma un progetto molto concreto che riguarda le nuove opportunità degli investimenti nello spazio.
Negli ultimi anni i progressi in campo tecnologico hanno fatto passi da gigante, rendendo possibili progetti prima inimmaginabili. Questo scenario ha attirato l’attenzione di tanti brand, che vedono nello spazio una nuova frontiera per creare business e nuove forme di comunicazione.

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È così che nasce Ogilvy Orbiter il nuovo servizio di consulenza creato da Ogilvy Consulting, in partnership con Wired Italia, con lo scopo di guidare tutti quei brand che non vogliono limitarsi a guardare le stelle, ma che vogliono raggiungerle, verso l’immenso universo di opportunità che la New Space Economy ha da offrire.

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Questo ambizioso progetto, presentato lo scorso 26 gennaio sulle piattaforme social di Ogilvy e Wired, ci ha visti coinvolti come partner nella definizione dell’identità visiva, sottolineando la grande sinergia presente tra le diverse realtà dell’universo WPP.

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So we thought that celebrating the start of the new year using our imagination could be a good way of looking forward to 2021, hoping for a more serene year, generous in satisfaction, because we strongly believe that curiosity, ingenuity and creativity can be the methods used for the creation of a better world.

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When we consider an object, a work of art, a person, a landscape, as beautiful, our judgement reveals something that we can ‘feel’ but that at the same time we are unable to define.

Beauty is a quality capable of satisfying our soul by means of our senses, becoming something worthy of contemplation and a means of expanding our imagination.

As designers we are constantly searching for it; we believe that it can be found everywhere, you just have to learn how to discover it!

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Today we are living our daily lives mainly in our homes, and it is here that we have searched for beauty, discovering details in the simplicity of everyday objects in order to bring a new narrative into existence.

By accessing the link, you can look through the gallery that we have created, and you can likewise use your imagination to discover new viewpoints.

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You can also download your favourite images and utilise them to personalise your devices (computers, smartphones, tablets).

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In questi giorni debutta sugli scaffali della GD e in TV Amemì, il nuovo brand Galbani pensato apposta per i bambini.

Abbiamo accompagnato Galbani nel percorso di progettazione di un brand completamente nuovo a partire dall’analisi dei bisogni delle mamme, in continua evoluzione per la necessità di bilanciare il desiderio di fornire il giusto nutrimento e soddisfare la voglia di divertimento e gusto dei propri figli.

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Amemì trasporta tutta la fiducia e l’esperienza di Galbani nel mondo divertente e colorato dei bambini, a partire dal naming che abbiamo sviluppato: un brand name semplice e altamente memorabile, ma ricco di riferimenti al linguaggio dei più piccoli e al loro modo di esprimere desiderio e piacere, imperfetto ma assolutamente efficace!

L’identità della marca ne rispecchia pienamente la promessa di genuinità e coinvolgimento verso i bambini, riprendendo il principale asset visivo del mother brand (il tovagliato che ritroviamo come filo conduttore in tutti i sub-brand) e arricchendolo con elementi che danno vita a un paesaggio abitato da tanti personaggi golosi e ammiccanti: i prodotti, che diventano veri e propri character di un universo che potrebbe essere nato dal disegno di un bambino.

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Un linguaggio distintivo e riconoscibile, pronto per declinarsi sui diversi touchpoint e per creare una vera e propria esperienza per i suoi piccoli consumatori.

The representation of emotions was one of the first forms of visual expression, and it has evolved with the times. From the masks of classic theatre to smartphone emojis, humans have always tried to represent the intangibility of emotions through signs that could be easily interpreted.

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Taking our cue from this primary need, we have made our own attempt to represent positive emotions, drawing inspiration from the work of Bruno Munari in the book “Alla faccia”.

he choice of linocutting was not casual; it allowed us to work in an artisan manner, expressing the authentic spirit of the emotions we sought to express. The group project, which involved all of our staff, saw us working on two fronts. One group focused on producing a figurative translation, while the other was involved in a more abstract interpretation. The combination of the two styles led to the creation of a variegated expressive alphabet, which we have used to create 200 unique cards.

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Every year, the heads of the CBA agencies throughout the network gather for three days of work, discussion and idea sharing. The 2019 edition was hosted and organised by our Italian office.

The title we have given the event well encapsulates what makes our network unique, but also the spirit in which we approached these three days of work: ONE, Open Network Experience

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Indeed, the various CBA agencies all have different backgrounds, work in different markets, with different clients, and over time have developed different skills and merits. Being able to open up to the rest of the network in order to share innovative ideas, experiments and strategies is an effective way of making the whole of CBA more open, curious and flexible. Setting aside just a few, intensive days for this moment of exchange has given rise to a wonderful, stimulating experience for colleagues who came from all over the world to Milan.

Some highlights from the three days:

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Experimental branding

The Brazilian team told us about their observation of the correlation between companies adopting “experimental” practices and their greater economic growth. This means that branding, which has always been a force for change and exploration, must also seek out tools to support the companies in carrying out such experiments, to challenge the status quo and find a new way to do business and innovate.

CBA Brazil does this by combining strategy and execution in one integrated, fast and repeated process: trial, test, modify, test again and launch. By analysing how the companies work, CBA has identified 5 drivers that can guide the client in developing a more experimental, and therefore more successful, approach: being more open and willing to exchange information; empowering people to take risks and accept failures; the practice of creating solution prototypes to enhance the learning process; guiding resources towards a more practical execution (of their tasks) and a more personal experience of their mission.

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Useful design with Critical Imprint

The French team has suggested a new focalisation from the specific point of view of CBA. It will allow us to better understand, from the inside, how to improve our ability to make an impact for our clients through design and branding.

This is how Critical Imprint began, a CBA framework that makes us even more relevant for our clients, as it presents a new outlook which always manages to align the brand with an honest, positive and inclusive mission.

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CBA in Cina

China is a huge nation that is developing at an incredible speed. However, according to Isabelle Pascal (CBA Shanghai) and Margaux Lhermitte (CBA Paris), who have been working and living in the country for years, China first of all represents an extraordinary network of human relationships (关系guanxì) that connect Chinese people, cities and communities scattered around the world. This is why CBA in China represents a platform, a place and a way of working together to create business innovation and a positive impact. It is a network that connects those abroad who want to do business in China and, on the other end of the spectrum, those from China who want to open up to the world. This has proved to be a winning formula, as we know that the concepts of collaboration and co-creation are embedded in the minds (or rather the hearts, 心xin, the organ responsible for thought according to traditional Chinese culture) of the Chinese people, who are now increasingly more aware of and sensitive to topics related to environmental sustainability.

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New ways of collaborating

The CBA team from the United States showed us how you can really begin to adopt new work methods which have less impact on the environment and which are also cheaper, without giving up the benefits of co-design, something that is crucial in our industry.

This has transported us from Design Sprints to Sprint Mode, whereby the process has been adapted to make our clients’ lives simpler. Remote co-design makes decisive insights that are necessary for decision-making come to light more quickly, with no one feeling they can’t express themselves. What’s more, with the right group of experts in the team you can reach solutions faster. This is also made possible by replacing the classic brief with an initial meeting with our client where we obtain all the key information for formulating the Sprint Mode stage. We also make our lives easier with internally developed tools such as ArchetipeGame, an actual board game that, using a series of leading questions, allows the client to go through their current positioning in detail.

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At the end of the meeting we celebrated the event by organizing a party in our Milan office.

È risaputo che la plastica, pur essendo un’invenzione miracolosa nata dalla creatività dell’uomo, non sta avendo un impatto positivo sul nostro pianeta.

Secondo il World Wide Fund ( sono 8 milioni le tonnellate di plastica che finiscono ogni anno negli oceani, e se nessuno prenderà provvedimenti presto ci saranno più rifiuti che pesci. Questo, oltre a influenzare il benessere dei nostri mari e delle loro creature, condiziona negativamente anche la superficie terrestre.

Il numero di aziende che si sono rese conto di questo problema sta aumentando. Grandi colossi della moda, della finanza e del largo consumo hanno deciso di aderire al New Plastics Economy Global Commitment ( lanciato da Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Il progetto ha lo scopo di ridurre l’inquinamento attraverso diverse iniziative organizzate in tutto il mondo. Anche WPP, il più grande gruppo al mondo dedicato ai servizi di comunicazione di cui siamo parte, ha aderito al progetto.

Questo impegno si traduce in piccoli gesti quotidiani che ogni organizzazione può mettere in atto. Secondo Mark Read, CEO di WPP: “Il nostro settore ha il forte potere collettivo di apportare cambiamenti in meglio, ma i nostri sforzi devono iniziare da casa. Togliere la plastica da Wire & Plastic Products eliminando gradualmente la plastica monouso nei nostri uffici è solo il primo step.”

CBA si è posta l’obiettivo di compiere scelte orientate alla responsabilità, per dare il proprio contributo a un futuro più sostenibile e diventare promotore di comportamenti virtuosi, ispirando clienti e partner. Con il progetto “Plastic Free” puntiamo a eliminare progressivamente la plastica usa e getta dagli uffici, sostituendola con prodotti riciclabili o a impatto zero.

Abbiamo smesso di utilizzare la plastica monouso durante gli eventi, gli incontri e le riunioni con i clienti: posate, bicchieri e bottiglie di plastica sono scomparsi, sostituiti da vetro, metallo e ceramica.

Si è scelto di installare un erogatore collegato direttamente alla rete idrica in grado di sostituire le bottiglie attualmente utilizzate, garantendo allo stesso tempo la distribuzione di acqua di qualità.
L’introduzione del dispenser ha incentivato l’utilizzo da parte di tutti i collaboratori di borracce e brocche riutilizzabili, dimostrazione di come scelte di questo tipo conducano a una forte sensibilizzazione collettiva.

Questo è solo il primo passo di CBA per incentivare la sostenibilità nell’ufficio e per dare il buon esempio agli ospiti che tutti i giorni vengono a trovarci.

Link citazione Mark Read:

Come innovare negli established market? Quali brand stanno dando vita alla cosiddetta “Direct to Consumer Revolution”? Qual è la ricetta del loro successo?

Come innovare negli established market? Quali brand stanno dando vita alla cosiddetta “Direct to Consumer Revolution”? Qual è la ricetta del loro successo?

È da queste domande che è nato il nuovo capitolo di IMG, la ricerca promossa da CBA che indaga i nuovi trend per affrontare le sfide progettuali quotidiane e che abbiamo discusso, insieme ai nostri clienti, Giovedì 11 Aprile 2019 nella nostra sede.

Abbiamo esplorato le possibili risposte a partire da due prospettive: i consumatori e ibrand. Cosa si aspettano i consumatori? Quali sono i loro comportamenti? Come stannocambiando le loro aspettative in qualità di utenti online? Cosa dobbiamo fare per riusciread essere all’altezza delle loro aspirazioni e come stupirli?

Insieme ai nostri colleghi di Mediacom abbiamo guardato all’universo online per capirecome si comportano gli utenti. Come acquistano, quali le loro aspettative, chi sono. Se finoa qualche anno fa il ricorso ai canali digital per fare acquisti era focalizzato sulla suacomponente frictionless (risparmio di tempo, di soldi, di sforzo) oggi entra in gioco unanuova componente, più emozionale. “Saving” ed “Emotional” sono i due assi della matriceche ci permettono di descrivere l’universo dei purchase behavior degli utenti online. Per“innovare” non è sufficiente focalizzarsi sui benefici più empirici dell’acquisto online(progettando e-commerce che puntino esclusivamente su questi aspetti), ma conoscere afondo gli utenti comunicando in modo altrettanto efficace ai loro bisogni “emozionali”.

Dall’altra parte come stanno innovando I brand? Chi sono i nuovi player? Come si comportano? Come stanno abbracciando l’innovazione? Attraverso quali strumenti?

Abbiamo guardato ai Direct to consumer brand, nuovi player nativi digitali che integranoverticalmente la value chain e ridefiniscono i confini di alcune industry specifiche. La ricetta del successo sembra non catalizzare gli sforzi (solo) sull’innovazione di prodotto masul servizio, l’esperienza, la comunicazione, il portfolio e il modello di business. Guardarecon occhi e prospettive nuove il mercato per riuscire ad innovare diventa sempre piùcruciale.

Abbiamo poi avuto il piacere di estendere la conversazione ai nostri ospiti: Barbara Freti(Nike), Chiara Brunelli (GroupM), Stefano Cavaleri (Foorban) e Carlo Battaglino (Lirecento).

Questo approccio all’innovazione è prerogativa solo dei brand “nativi digitali”?

“Noi ci siamo focalizzati su due parole chiave: mobile first (70%) e consumatore al centro.Se non consociamo il nostro consumatore a fondo non sappiamo come saperloapprocciare. Non basta aprire un sito. Il consumatore vive delle esperienze fluide”commenta Barbara Freti (Nike).

“Bisogna massimizzare i risultati tramite la contaminazione” prosegue Chiara Brunelli(GroupM). “Dobbiamo traghettare gli utenti sul canale digitale sapendo dove e comeandare a prenderli. Gli established sono avvantaggiati perché hanno un sacco di punti dicontatto che oggi non sfruttano”.

Ma quali sono le sfide per i Direct to consumer brand?

“Le sfide sono far passare lʼemozione quando sei digital. Controllare il processo è la base.Focalizzarsi sullʼesperienza dallʼinizio alla fine, dal sacchetto al pacchetto” racconta StefanoCavaleri (Foorban).

“Essere nativi digitali non vuol dire (solo) vendere online ma saper essere multicanale”commenta Carlo Battaglino (Lirecento).

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E cosa devono fare invece le catene retail per non essere bypassate?

“Devono dare al consumatore una motivazione diversa per andare da loro. Il prodotto celʼhanno tutti. Come faccio a convincere il consumatore? Devo creare esperienze distintive. Spesso l’approccio “Less is more” è quello vincente, meglio pochi prodotti ma giusti esaper lasciar perdere qualcosa in cui un tuo competitor è più forte” chiude Barbara Freti(Nike).