Cepsa is one of Spain’s largest industrial groups operating for over 80 years. In recent years it has become a major player in the global energy market. Yet it is their petrol stations that are the crucial touch-point that connects the brand with society. During the brand strategy process Saffron identified the highly technical and service orientated aspects of Cepsa as being the essence of its brand, so we encapsulated them in the brand idea “Adaptable Energeering”.
The conundrum then was how to communicate this, so creating a new and relevant service station concept seemed essential to:
- Improve the experience to be really service oriented;
- Reduce the cost of maintenance through using the latest technology;
- Create visual impact and represent Cepsa in a new and meaningful way.
Saffron, together with partners Tangerine and Malka & Portús went through rethinking every brand touch point that customers interact with within the station: canopy, shop, pumps, lighting and signage.
The forecourt canopy was transformed through using a high tech ETFE material that is self-cleaning, lightweight and recyclable. Its structure is assembled in a modular fashion to be adapted to varied station formats. ETFE’s 100% transparency delivers a reduction in the use of artificial lighting thereby reducing station costs. The innovative plastic cushions also transform the forecourt into a light and airy place.
At night, flooded with a red glow, ETFE cushions turn the canopy into the jewel of the concept. The bright red cladding of the C-store building also reinforces the beacon effect of the station, gently drawing travellers in.
With Tangerine we revised the interaction that a customer should have at the refuelling island to improve the experience and thus proposed a vision for the future. Proposed improvements, subject to Cepsa’s decision to implement them, include separating the display from the pump to allow a more intuitive and natural refuelling operation. Ultimately, should such improvements be implemented, customers would be able to view the shop attendant on-screen and know that their pump has been engaged.
The signage system, inspired by Cepsa’s logo shapes and angles, complements the powerful visual language of this state-of-the-art service station. This reflects a powerful collaboration from brand, architecture, product and service design.