Colchester’s Number One, Culver Square

The Challenge 

Culver Square is an open-air shopping scheme located in the heart of Colchester town centre.  Although the centre is the largest shopping centre in the town, because of its unique layout and lack of roof, it is difficult for shoppers to identify which shops form part of the shopping centre. The majority of visitors do not associate Culver Square as a shopping centre but as part of the town centre.

The challenge Toolbox Group faced was to position Culver Square as the front of mind and first choice for family shopping in Colchester through community integration, innovative events and campaigns, town centre partnerships and active retailer relations.

The Solution 

The idea was for Culver Square to be the number one choice for the shoppers of Colchester so developed ‘What’s on in the Square’ – the square acting as the central point/heart of Colchester where customers can shop, meet friends for a coffee and where the whole family can be entertained. Culver Square needed to be the go-to place for the trusted brands required, plus a fun experience for different members of the family. The heart of the community and central place for events taking place in Colchester town centre.

The How

  • A new brand creative was developed to reflect the fun and friendly personality through the use of vibrant colours, bold typography and engaging imagery.
  • A square is used to create a series of patterns and shapes that cleverly interact with another image, whether this be a person or a product.
  • But the square is more than just a creative tool.  It is used to represent the central point in Colchester where you can shop, meet friends for a coffee and where the whole family can be entertained.
  • In the Square became the theme of every campaign, event and competition that took place at Culver Square
    • Style Destination in the Square
    • Sandcastles in the Square
    • Bricks in the Square
  • #intheSquare was used for all social media posts;
    • #GiftideasintheSquare
    • #SummerstyleintheSquare
    • #loveisintheSquare
  • Competitions using orange squares were developed where shoppers had to find the squares hidden in the centre or use them as frames for photographs.
  • The orange squares are used to take flat lay photographs of products to make it easy to identify them as being from Culver Square.
  • Orange Squares were used in the local towns to promote Culver Square.

Make it Measurable 


Objective Result 2018 Results 2019 Difference Y1 Difference Y2
Increase website visitors by 5% YOY +13.16% YOY +6.7% YOY +8.16% +1.7%
Increase social media followers by 5% YOY +18.3% YOY +5.2% +13.3% +0.2%
Drive social Media engagement up by 20% YOY +71% YOY +32% +51% +12%
Encourage over 3,000 people to engage with #inthesquare each year 3,350 5,562 +11.66% +85%
Drive footfall at events increasing 5% YOY +9% average event footfall increase +13% average event footfall increase +4% +8%