New brand culture to meet new challenges

Mercabarna is currently in the process of creating its own brand culture with the capacity to effectively communicate the values of the Food Unit, that is to say, the values that identify it and set it apart from the rest. So far this process has already produced one tangible element: the new Mercabarna logo.

The aim is for the entire set of values professed by Mercabarna – which have an important, yet often unrecognised impact on the economy and society – to take root among food sector professionals in Catalonia, Spain and around the world, and also in public opinion.

"For years now, Mercabarna has been well-recognised in the sector, both in Spain and abroad. If we wish to maintain and further promote this competitive position, it is necessary to have a strong brand culture that is adapted to modern times. It is also essential to make the residents of Barcelona and Catalonia aware of it, so that they understand the importance of this Food Unit", explains Mercabarna’s managing director, Josep Tejedo.

A Mercabarna with values
The values of Mercabarna fall into three large groups. One is Mercabarna as an economic driver, both for Barcelona and for Catalonia and Spain. This is attributable to the large concentration of companies (more than 700), services and experience that is found at this market, and which has made it a leader in fresh food. What’s more, Mercabarna also plays a very important role as an entrance for fresh products from all around the world, for sale and redistribution. Likewise, the Food Unit is key to maintaining the abundant and varied local food trade in Catalonia, as well as its local gastronomy and restaurant sector. Also important is Mercabarna’s role in channeling local products.

Mercabarna is also a guarantee of public health, since the products sold there are essential to promoting the Mediterranean diet. This is the second value we wish to make known. This value is also linked to food safety, and this goes hand in hand with the efforts of the Barcelona Public Health Agency at Mercabarna, whose professionals strive to ensure maximum compliance with health and hygiene regulations.
Finally, there is a third value that stresses more social aspects, notably the continued collaboration of Mercabarna with the Food Bank Foundation, the promotion of a healthy diet through the "5 a day" and "Grow with Fish" campaigns aimed at children, which are organised by the Fruit and Vegetable and Fish Wholesalers’ Business Associations, respectively, in conjunction with Mercabarna, and the market’s commitment to the environment (waste recycling, use of renewable energies, water recycling, etc.).

New corporate image
To better communicate these values, the first step was to modernise the Mercabarna logo, making it less institutional and closer to the people. The result is a new image that is both more modern and innovative, replacing that which has identified this Food Unit for the last 20 years.
The new logo is the result of merging the letters M (for market) and B (for Barcelona), intertwined to create a symbol that includes one aspect that has yet to be seen in Mercabarna’s logo: a variety of colours. These colours represent each of the activity sectors that operate at Mercabarna. "This new logo brings together and communicates concepts such as movement, networking, Barcelona, freshness, vitality, modernity, etc. In other words, all the attributes that we want people to have in mind when they think of Mercabarna", explains Tejedo.

Redesign of publications
In addition to creating a new logo, the opportunity was taken to redesign Mercabarna’s periodical publications. One such case was the Informativo de Mercabarna, the magazine that has shared news about this market once a month for the past 27 years. This publication will now have a more modern, fresher appearance, in line with the new logo. It will also become a quarterly publication, which will make it possible to provide more relevant contents presented in greater depth.

As the result of the change in frequency of publication and in order to keep Mercabarna users informed in a timely manner, a new communications tool has also been created. The "Mercabarna actualidad" newsletter will now be sent by email once every 15 days.
This new publication will contain news about Mercabarna, a schedule of events to be held at the market or organised by other institutions, information about training courses, photo galleries, the latest publications by the Food Unit and an overview of Mercabarna in the media. 

Mercabarna publicity campaigns
This new corporate image will support two important campaigns that Mercabarna will carry out between the end of the year and the first quarter of 2014.

One is an international campaign already in its initial phase, aimed primarily at boosting exports from Mercabarna businesses. Following a market study to determine where the best business opportunities lie, different actions and trade missions are now underway, which seek to establish contacts with potential buyers.

The other effort is a branding campaign currently being carried out to inform the public in Barcelona and Catalonia about Mercabarna and its values.