Colorama was founded in 2007 as the result of a confederationof three independent retail chains in Scandinavia: Spektrum (Sweden) and Färgtema (Sweden). With 175 retail outlets in Sweden, and a purchasing alliance in Norway and Finland, Colorama is the largest independent retail chain for paint in Northern Europe.
Each store in the Colorama network is owned by the individual store owner. Each owner maintains individual responsibility over marketing and sales,andenjoys democratic influence over the central governance of the retail chain.
In addition to paint and accessories, the Colorama assortment also includes wall paper, flooring and ceramic tiles.
In Sweden alone, the chain is approaching annual sales of 2.5billion SEK (455 Million USD) and operates with the vision to be Scandinavians leading retail chain of paint.
Unified under a one-brand umbrella, Colorama believes in a disciplined approach to branding, where brand consistency is critical to success, including the implementation of central campaigns, cross network use of manuals, training and ability to distribute content seamlessly across operations.
As Colorama was established over five years ago, the Scandinavian retail chainbegan moving assertively to leverage its size to achieve cost savings through increased buying power, and focusing its marketing efforts to establish Colorama as a national brand with top of mind consumer awareness.
Said a company spokesperson at the inception of Colorama in 2007: “This is a step towards the goal: one single Scandinavian chain. The size is the only thing that matters to the suppliers”
While buying power is one of the immediate and apparent benefits when forming an alliance, there are many other roadblocks to overcome.
For example, a centrally owned company has a board with ultimate voting power and ability to enforce centrally coordinated program. But a network built up from individual stores, with brand legacies and systems of their own, compliance and cooperation can only be achieved by reaching consensus and agreement.
And growing from a multi-branded retail environment to a centrally coordinated mono-brand retail chain doesn’t come without its fair share of headaches.
Immediately at its inception, Colorama put a strong focus on creating an aggressive central branding platform, which included campaigns that included TV, Radio, Media and events.
As many owners of retailchains will testify, brand consistency and…