How to create a strong brand identity. The Campari case

2023-05-31 10:00:38

In an increasingly competitive market, focusing on a strong brand identity is essential to stand out from the competition and capture the attention of the target audience. But how can you create a unique and memorable brand identity? What are the key steps to build a clear, coherent and recognizable image at all levels?

Let’s go deeper into the topic by retracing the history of Campari, together with Fabio MolinaroRobilant’s partner and creative director who designed the latest restyling of this iconic brand.

The origins of Campari and the Red Passion aperitif

Under the guidance of his fiery passion, in 1860 Gaspare Campari invents a blend so distinctive and revolutionary that it has never been modified and that still today keeps its original composition and recipe intact.

In the years to come, the “Red Passion” continues to inspire its founder, making the brand grow more and more. This is how in 1867 Gaspare chose a characteristic restaurant in the new Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the cultural epicenter of Milan, as a reference point for his activity. The bar, brightly overlooking the iconic Piazza Duomo, is called Campari coffee.

Photograph of the Camparino in the Gallery – 1925

In 1915, as a tribute to his father’s Caffè Campari, Davide opened the doors of Camparino in Gallery. Revolutionizing the way Bitter is tasted and introducing Red Passion to all Milanese patrons. As David Campari spreads the aperitif, still today, an all-Italian moment of sociality par excellence. The aperitif becomes synonymous with meeting, knowledge and the pleasure of being together.

The iconic Sprite wrapped in an orange peel designed by Leonetto Cappiello in 1920.

In the 30s, it comes Campari Soda: the authentic and label-free aperitif, created by Davide Campari, with a splash of seltzer. It is sparkling and lively, served in a specially designed conical glass to enhance its taste and aromatic notes. This Milanese habit gradually spread throughout Italy.

The exceptional intuition reaches its peak when Davide Campari decides to combine Campari and seltzer in a bottle designed by the futurist Fortunate Depero.

Depero designed the bottle by simply turning the shape of the glass of Bitter – 1932 upside down

Still today, without labels like then: because labels often talk about us, but not for us. The aperitif is the perfect time to let go and free yourself from conventions and frills.

The connection with the city of Milan

Further consecration of the already solid link between Campari and the city of Milan comes with the choice by the brand to entrust Bruno Munari the redesign of the company logo.

In 1964, Munari designed a closely related poster for Campari at the opening of the first underground line in Milan. The M1, the “red line” inaugurated in November of the same year, connected Piazza Duomo to the Campari factory in Sesto San Giovanni.

campari bruno munari

Its visual effectiveness, even if glimpsed fleetingly from the subway car, remains intact, offering a kaleidoscopic and curious look at the contemporary city. The fundamental idea of ​​the manifesto is that of a potentially infinitely extendable montage. A serial iteration that is inspired by the mobility conceptwithout interruptions.

A continuous flow of images: Munari signals precisely the element of continuity of the brand, retracing the long and prestigious history through the comparison of the lettering history of the company, passing from the iconic posters of Hohenstein and Dudovich, Cappiello and Deperojust to name a few.

In Munari’s graphic project the results of his artistic research converge, projected into a new urban context. The poster for Campari therefore becomes a unique and innovative representation of the brand’s identity, in perfect connection with the city of Milan.

New brand and product identity for Campari

This year Campari is presenting itself on international markets with a new brand identity. The result is a sculptural and iconic synthesis of all the constituent elements the roots, identity and future of the quintessential Italian aperitif.

The bottle has been completely redesigned by the branding firm Robilant to fulfill its role of undisputed protagonist in bars all over the world.


With an elegant majesty, its glass body is enriched by a refined and significant canneté motif, a detail that recalls the late deco style and is inspired by the rich Milanese architectureincluding the famous Camparino in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, where it all began.

The label, reduced in size to highlight the Campari red, places all the attention on the “Campari Milano” signature, inseparably sanctioning the bond with its founder and creator, Davide.

The material richness and compositional depth of the label can only be grasped by observing it carefully.

The new identity it also lives outside the iconic bitter, while maintaining a perfect synergy with it.

rebranding campari

The new Brand Visual Identity system gives form and substance to that refined and cosmopolitan attitude which characterizes the brand and which is now expressed in all its facets.

READ ALSO: Fanta launches a sparkling new global identity

The crucial elements for creating a strong identity

Just as our personal identity makes us unique, the identity of a brand represents that mix of special ingredients that allows the company to stand out on the market. Campari has always had a strong and memorable identity, without equal, imbued with charm and seduction.

Consistency, creativity but above all values. Today the most recognized and successful brands worldwide are those that have a strong genetic code, which customers can recognize from afar.

«Moreover, audacity has always been an intrinsic characteristic of Campari, which since its first identity has stood out for its drive towards the avant-garde: the relevance of a leading brand at such levels is measured and preserved also through the ability to anticipate the times, to go further, to be authentically yourself in a free and conscious way” tells Fabio Molinarocreative director of Robilant who signed the project.

A brand identity doesn’t have to be staticbut must continually evolve to adapt to new trends, values ​​and company culture.

This depth of facets finds justice on the label, where Davide Campari Milano becomes a brand and the print finishes, appreciable only at a close look, become an open story of a beauty that needs to be discovered.

The inspiration behind Campari’s latest redesign

But how do you ensure consistency in all corporate communications and materials?

«From a brand strategy point of view, when you know who you are and where you’re going, there’s no room for flaws». continues Molinaro. «You have to be good at putting everything well “in focus” upstream. Then there’s the design. An identity that knows how to become alphabet and visual language, guarantees impact, identity, coherence and, last but not least, scene».

Packaging represents the very essence of the communication of a brand and a product: it contains the entire story, however articulated and complex, of a company and of all the hidden stories that are hidden within it.

This story is summarized in an iconic essencecapable of speaking directly to people’s emotions.

In the case of Campari, more than for other brands, much of its strength lies in the bottle itself, a fundamental element that makes up entire “walls” and shelves in almost every bar in the world.

Among the elements that have influenced the rebranding we find the origins of Campari, those of its founder and the powerful link with the city of Milan: «We imagined Davide Campari at the beginning of his adventure closed in those rooms overlooking the square and we let ourselves be guided by that same energy, by that initiative, by that enthusiasm. We got carried away by the dream of a man with a vision» adds Molinaro.

Observing the famous Camparino in the Gallery (from the point of view of the man who started it all) made it possible to explore the history of the brand in a new wayrediscovering its link with the architecture and the cultural fabric in which it is set.

To this is added thebelonging to the city and the profound sharing of this “citizenship” between the Milanese brand agency Robilant and Campari.


«It was natural to transform something so deeply rooted in our identity into design: a tribute to the elegant beauty of Milan, highly sought after but never loud, sometimes hidden in its marvelous courtyards» concludes Fabio Molinaro.

READ ALSO: Martini launches an AI-generated campaign

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