Two Hong Kong-based design consultants, Rodney Fitch Asia and Envision Integrated Consultancy, have formed a strategic alliance to capitalise on firms' efforts to rethink their images before any economic upturn.
The pair, to be known as Rodney Fitch-Envision, will consolidate resources and costs and bring together Fitch's conceptual strengths in retail design with Envision's implementation skills.
Fitch clients include Park 'N Shop, the Optical Shop and Watsons Wine Merchants, while Envision was responsible for revamping Caltex's retail identity in 20 countries and has worked for Body Shop, South China Brewing and Chinese medicine retailer Eu Yan Sang.
It is also working on the new hi-tech city of Purajaya in Malaysia, developing signage for government buildings.
Terry Waterhouse, managing director of the combined group, said the recession was demonstrating to retailers how consumers tend to lose focus on products to which they may previously have been loyal and become more concerned with price.
'It's in companies' interests to invest in building their brands and maintaining customer awareness of them,' Mr Waterhouse said. 'Retail brands only last three to five years. They constantly need to be rejuvenated.'