Hellenic Petroleum – EKO
The largest oil company of Greece and among the largest energy groups in South East Europe
Hellenic Petroleum operates 2000 fuel stations in Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Serbia, FYROM and Montenegro under the EKO and BP brands. Kouros has been EKO’s signage partner for more than 20 years and been involved in numerous rebranding rollouts, product introduction campaigns, RVI development projects and retrofitting programmes. Below are the major milestones of our relationship with EKO.
The early years
Our relationship with EKO’s network did not start with EKO but with two fuel retailers that later merged with EKO. It was in the early 90’s that we were selected by ELDA and Mamidakis to develop their retail visual identity elements and roll out the new signage to their networks.
EKO was born in 1984 after the nationalisation of EXXON’s subsidiary, ESSO Pappas. Our relationship with the EKO brand started with its first rebranding in 1996.
A network of 300 stations that was merged with and rebranded to EKO in 1998.
Mamidakis & Co was founded in 1955 and, at its peak, reached 540 service stations in Greece. Kouros developed, manufactured and installed the RVI of the Mamidakis stations until the company’s acquisition from EKO in 1998.
The first major rebranding
In 1996 EKO commissioned Wolff Olins to design its new visual identity and service station concept, named the “blue/red”. Kouros was selected to develop and prototype the stations’ RVI.
Roll-out in Greece
Between 1998-2003 Kouros applies the new signage to more than 800 EKO stations in Greece including the newly acquired Mamidakis network. The project continues even after the introduction of the new Calypso identity in 2004.
During the R&D phase, we turn the designer’s concept drawings into reality. We create the technical drawings, we handcraft the tooling and prototypes, we test, refine and present the prototypes.
In 2002 EKO establishes its Bulgarian subsidiary. Currently EKO Bulgaria operates a network of 80 stations, many of which still use the blue/red RVI. To this day, we produce the signage for the Bulgarian network and deliver it through our subsidiary company, Artius Bulgaria.
In 2004 Kouros was once again appointed to engineer, develop and prototype EKO’s new signage, this time designed by Minale Tattersfield and DASC.
To display the Kalupso RVI prototypes, we create a mockup station by installing two life-sized canopies and fuel dispensing equipment. The mockup stations have been used multiple times to prototype the signage of leading international fuel retailers.
The Kalypso identity is rolled out gradually to EKO’s 1700 stations in Greece. EKO uses a dual identity across its network and we continue to produce and install the blue/red signage.
Forecourt and C-stores
With the Kalypso concept EKO improves the marketing of its non-fuel products and services. We supply EKO with shop fitting and POS solutions such as indoor signage, merchandising stands for its in-store offerings.
Business as usual
Our work for EKO is not limited to complete station refits and the development of new signage concepts. Retrofits, architectural signage, POS merchandising units and product launch signage campaigns are all part of our everyday business with EKO.
A group that employs 3,500 people directly and more than 10,000 indirectly surely needs a lot of real estate for its administrative operations. As a company that offers turnkey, horizontal signage solutions, we don’t just work on EKO’s retail projects but also on wayfinding and architectural signage projects for their training centers and admin buildings.
New product introduction
Over the past decade we have visited thousands of petrol station across Greece many times over to rebrand specific elements or apply new product campaigns in the form of printed graphics, pump island signs and pylon fascia panels.
A pylon attracts the drivers to the station, a fuel sign to the dispensers and a C-store sign gets him inside the point of sale. From there on, it is a matter of in-store promotion to turn a driver into a FMCG customer. Product stands for lubricants, customizable light-boxes and display units for car parts and accessories are some of the solutions we have successfully delivered to EKO.
Hybrids. Friend of foe?
Hybrid cars may be a fuel retailer’s nightmare but luckily we are referring to hybrid signs. In an attempt to assist EKO economize on rebranding costs and apply a uniform RVI across its vast network, we developed a hybrid version of the old and new signage whereby a station’s existing elements are retrofitted with the new identity and upgraded with new equipment.
“With the detail design & the development of two brand identities still being present and making each day interesting and unique, our cooperation, counting already more than twelve years, can only be described with words expressing principles and values:
“Directness – Responsibility – Efficiency”