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Rebranding and new retail concept for Akademika's bookstores

Photo: Pål Laukli


Increase in annual turnover from NOK 150 to 215 million.

Challenge – new competition
The industry-wide agreement which guaranteed Akademika the exclusive right to sell university textbooks terminated in 2003. Up until then the bookstore chain enjoyed an almost complete monopoly, without any need to focus on marketing or developing its stores. When, suddenly overnight, the other major bookstores were able to compete with Akademika on an equal footing, the company realised that it lagged far behind in terms of being a professional retail operator.

Solution – putting the market on red alert
The repositioning of Akademika as a brand started completely from scratch. Only the actual name "Akademika" was retained, while a new visual identity was developed. It focused on the core business: textbooks. Akademika was made to evolve from being a store selling textbooks to the few into a place offering inspiration to everyone. Akademika went from playing a passive role to adopting an active, challenging one. The new, distinctive and meaningful profile emblazoned all the graphical promotional material both outside and inside stores, which were arranged as dynamic sources of knowledge. 

Result – profitable in every area
The new Akademika went from operating at a loss and facing the threat of closure to generating a profit. Its turnover rose from NOK 150 million to NOK 215 million. The number of stores has increased from three to nine, and the number of employees from 80 to 120. Having once been a niche bookstore for the few, it has now become a professional bookstore chain selling textbooks to everyone. Its new position is underlined by its high customer satisfaction rating. The new identity and retail concept are described by the company's management as a real gem for Akademika and the wider campaign.

Category: Design management – branding – sales and communication

Company: Akademika AS

Design: Mission Design

Award / year: Design Effect Award - 2009

Category: Recipients

PUBLISHED 09.10.2009 15:12

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