Approximately 50 years after its Texan foundation, 7-Eleven hopped across the pond, opening its first European location in Stockholm, Sweden. The year was 1980. Since then, Swedish 7-Eleven has developed differently than its American counterpart. Instead of Slurpees, the Swedes have Slush Puppies and now, instead of bland decorations, the Swedes have this:
Last year, 7-Eleven’s Swedish faction decided to hire BVD for a major re-brand. What they came up with is a wonderful, throw-back design that is warm in its nostalgia, yet modern in its aesthetics. Employing the signature colors of the logo (green, orange and white), BVD created an architectural design that is subtle, yet iconic, and painted its materials in the freshly-striped pattern. To add to this, the agency also reinstated 7-Eleven’s retro font and adorned Swedish shops with its “Kaffe” exemplifier.
Regarding the new stripes, BVD’s Rikard Ahlberg commented on the project: “We used them in a new and more modern way, creating a strong recognizable graphic signal that works in a busy environment.”
Lacking the reputation that the corporation has in the United States, Sweden’s 7-Eleven was able to transform its image into something more enticing and comforting. After all, for Swedes 7-Eleven is advertised as a place that offers 7-course dinners.
For Americans, however, the story is not the same. 7-Eleven has had to clean up its image, so to speak, because it was long associated with gas stations, pit-stops, and the grime that comes with them. Their response was an interior color-scheme starring the infamous hospital-white. On this side of the Atlantic, 7-Eleven coffee cups are arranged by color (neat and orderly based on their size), with the classic logo on the front and some silly white circles around (to give them a touch of creativity, if you want to call it that).
These differences do not signify 7-Eleven’s inability to integrate its marketing, but rather depict that the corporation is doing exactly that. Worldwide, the brand positions itself as its consumer’s friend. Just look at the websites: The U.S. website speaks of constant availability, kind employees, and a clean environment, while the Swedish website highlights the brand’s reliability, day or night. In both cases, 7-Eleven represents a welcoming, trustworthy place that is as amicable as it is responsive. Just like a friend’s shoulder, 7-Eleven is there for you with whatever you need, whenever you need it.
In Sweden’s case, the brand yearned for a make-over, something to help it stand out as a dependable place. With this unique look, Swedish 7-Eleven emulates the passion of the old with the efficacy of the new. The branding may be tailored to the culture at hand, but that is an obvious necessity. What matters is that, in a global overlook, 7-Eleven has managed to respond to consumers’ desires and dislikes in 16 different countries while maintaining its mission throughout.