When it opened its doors August 1, 1962, it became the first indoor mall in the entire state of Pennsylvania bringing along two unique features—a pretty large bird cage and glass-enclosed elevator (hard to imagine now, but this was a novelty back then).
Northway Mall’s Fall from Grace
Northway Mall experienced thriving success from 1962 until about 1986. What was the change? Well, Ross Park Mall opened right down the street—which to this day is the dominant competitor in the area— and anchor tenants began leaving. With vigorous competition located two miles down the street, and the consistent loss of tenants, the downfall began.
Within the last decade, the mall’s fate was accelerated as they eliminated the main interior and as tenants continued heading out. The beginning of the end seemed to occur when Borders, a key tenant, announced they were closing all of their stores and that the Northway Mall location would be going down with the ship.
A few years ago, the fatal blow was dealt when Dicks Sporting Goods announced it was moving down the street to McCandless Crossings, another competitive shopping destination down the road.
Or so we thought.
The Power of Rebranding
Rebranding is a powerful force that can turn the tide of an organization or movement.
On a written and visual level, a rebrand tears everything apart to ground level and begins the full development once again. Here’s a sample of what a rebrand process can look like and how we run it:
- Brand Challenge (identifying where the brand is broken)
- Narrative Audit, Evaluation and Rewriting
- Visual Identity Audit, Evaluating and Redesign
- Style Rule Documentation
- New Corporate Identity Build Out
- Old Corporate Identity Clean Out and New Brand Integration
When done properly, a rebrand can turn everything around and renew faith with the public.
A Rebrand Has to Happen Organizationally As Well
What’s important to consider, however, is that you can fix the written and visual representation of a brand, have an impressive social media presence, awesome public relations campaigns going on and more, but if the organization at its core hasn’t fixed what caused the downfall to begin with then it’s only a matter of time until everything comes crashing down once again.
For example, if your organization failed because of the way it treated and trained its employees then that must be fixed in tandem with the rebrand.
The Northway Mall Rebrand—The Block Northway
Should You Hire a Real Estate Branding Agency? If So, Who?
It’s been announced that Northway Mall will be receiving an entire line up of exciting new tenants including Nordstrom Rack and quite a few fun restaurants. Throughout this revival, they’ll also be renovating the building to bring it back to fighting shape to compete with the buzzing North Hills area.
With all of this going on, they’ve also launched the rebrand of Northway Mall. What they’ve done is taken the concept of reviving the mall’s stores and appearance and integrated it with messaging and visual identity efforts.
So what have they achieved exactly? They’ve fixed the underlying problem from an organizational standpoint (lack of destinations and visual appeal) and propelled it forward with a refreshed identity.
Meet The Block Northway, and incredibly inspiring rebrand with a lot behind it.
Why This Rebrand is Working
The Rebrand Recognizes History …
During this process, they could’ve very easily eliminated Northway from all identity pieces, but they consciously chose not to and brought it along for the ride.
We can’t forget that Northway still has a long history reaching back 50+ years.
… But Points to the Future
History is important, yes, but what’s coming is even more important in this case.
The rebrand does an excellent job at creating excitement for what’s on its way.
The Rebrand Relates to the Community
The Block Northway rebrand has recognized and grabbed hold of the feeling of the community when it comes to Northway Mall.
As you can imagine, people truly feel like the mall has lost its chance at survival and its appeal. The answer to that mindset in this rebrand is genius.
“We’re getting our mojo back.”
Is there any better way to state it? Exciting new tenants and development equals a serious mojo revival!
It’s also not an arrogant message. It didn’t assert that they’ve got their mojo back, but that they’re earning it with everything they’re doing.
The community has lost its trust in Northway Mall, so the rebrand recognizes that and says that they’re getting their mojo back.
Again, earning—not assuming.
The Rebrand Has Created Opportunity for Rebirth
It would’ve been one thing to announce that Northway Mall was getting new retail and restaurant opportunities, but the name Northway Mall itself has been tarnished over the decades due to its fall from grace.
By transforming the identity and renaming it, its given these new places a fresh start and the entire location a rebirth with a lot of momentum.
Keep an Eye on This One
Be sure to keep an eye on this inspiring rebrand. There is a lot of development yet to happen, so there’s a lot of activity to monitor.