In today’s food market, the consumer has never been more empowered in terms of choice and more interested in the source of what they eat, and how it was produced. Yet misinformation and misunderstanding are equally rife so branding for trust is a narrow and winding path which requires real bravery on the part of the brand, yet one full of real reward in the long run if you stick with it.
In 2014 Beefcor had made a critical and strategic decision that they no longer wished to be traded as a commodity, and needed to transform from a wholesale business with a very low public profile to a retail brand exposed in full to the joe and jane public. While that made rebranding the business an obvious decision, it wasn’t something that could be taken lightly and needed to be carefully thought through at every stage of the process.
Luckily the company had done its homework before engaging us, by looking at models in foreign markets (Australia & Middle East). So they were well prepared and came with a clear picture of the brand they wanted to create, something synonymous with both quality and trust. Alongside our own research into the evolving consumer relationship with brands, it was clear that transparency would be key in how the brand was delivered to the public.
- To position the brand as trustworthy. (Branding for trust)
- To leverage, where possible, on the brand's heritage and history, while still needing to be a modern and relevant brand.
- To position the brand as premium and high quality.
We needed to strip the brand down to the bone so to speak. So the approach to the branding was to look at the core of the brand and where it came from. The logo was inspired by a cattle branding iron, evolved in four different variations to make it imminently applicable across a myriad of applications and mediums.
We then developed a visual language for the brand which focused on showcasing the product in it’s rawest form, the black and white colour palette working well with the deep red of the meat. The verbal identity and other branding were about honesty - there is no hiding the fact it’s grain fed beef. This was further backed by knowyourbeef.co.za, the brand playing open cards with the consumer on the product on the shelf.
The temptation to go big and wide very quickly can overstretch a brand very easily, especially one that is making fundamental operational changes. This often comes at the expense of diluting the brand's value and positioning in the marketplace. So like the branding, the brand launch has been very calculated, focusing on strategic elements on the wholesale side first before looking to retail. With the retail rollout being focused on key butcheries (4 in 2016) where quality could be guaranteed, while Beefcor acquainted itself with this new business model.
Despite not going with the big bang approach, the impact of the new brand has been substantial. The demand from independents and chains alike for co-branding has far exceeded any expectations placed by the client. Butcheries that have co-branded have seen a significant increase in demand since launch and the brand’s digital following has grown very well.