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Growing authentically, one neighborhood at a time


How could Smart & Final fuel their expansion and unite their diverse audiences with a clear and compelling story?


Funding expansion 

Smart & Final, a West Coast warehouse supermarket chain with 320 stores that generated $4.5B in revenue was preparing for an IPO to fund expansion. They lacked a clearly articulated brand story to fuel that expansion and had fragmented audiences across their two main businesses: warehouse and supermarket.


Even though Smart & Final’s customer base differed between small businesses and community shoppers, their emphasis was to remain committed to all the communities they served. The challenge was turning this diversity of customers from a disadvantage to an advantage.


We worked with the Smart & Final team to uncover the differentiated truth about their business – they were a business steadfast in their desire to remain committed to the communities they serve.


Quest: Nourish communities one neighborhood at a time







A private label with a new purpose

We helped Smart & Final define a new identity and innovation roadmap that put people — from managers to customers to communities — at the heart of every new idea and initiative.


Over the course of several years, and 100 new stores later, Smart & Final looked to invest in new experiences that amplified, not replaced, their hands-on, human touch.





Revenue growth from 2014-2016 (including over 70 new store openings)

The Smart & Final Quest to “nourish communities one neighborhood at a time” focused the role of the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation. This lead to donations exceeding $75,000 for community organizations in 2016.


See more examples of how we’ve helped to transform our clients.