Newly incorporated Above Food Inc. approached BrandBourg with a mandate that required the agency’s expertise and experience across a broad scope of our branding and design disciplines.
Above Food, a Canadian plant-based food company, was launching its brand into an increasingly crowded, highly dynamic sector of the CPG food industry. With highly visible benchmark brands (Impossible, Beyond Meat) already established and major food companies (Maple Leaf, Hains Celestial, Pinnacle Foods) making significant investment, the need for a compelling, engaging and impactful brand that could rise above the clutter was critical for success.
Moreover, as a startup, Above Food’s branding needs went beyond the typical CPG mandate, since the nascent company was seeking investor funding, attracting new talent, forging customer attraction and galvanizing relationships with vendors and suppliers. Fortunately, this complex branding initiative perfectly aligned with BrandBourg’s vision of brands. We view brands as ecosystems woven by human relationships and believe that a holistic view of a brand as one relevant and inspiring entity for multiple stakeholders has never been more appropriate than it is today.
So how does one find a voice for a brand that is differentiated, compelling and able to break through, especially in the context of a very noisy and congested market?
It starts with an authentic idea, to lay the foundation of a compelling story for all target audiences to be drawn in to and that inspires and informs the development of a powerfully differentiated brand look and feel.
To shape the brand idea, we examine two fundamental considerations, brand message and brand tonality, essentially by answering two key questions: What does the brand want to say? and How does the brand want to say it? On their own, neither brand message nor brand tonality is uniquely differentiating for a brand, but a unique combination of content and voice can create something that is distinct and ownable.
Our archetype-inspired tool helps to identify potential areas for exploration. It is built on the notion that behaviour is motivated by two basic human needs: how we wish to be perceived (expressive needs) and how we wish to be rewarded (gratification needs).
Since needs are innate and universal to the human spirit, the resulting behaviour and personalities that emerge tend to transcend geography, ethnicity, culture and time, making this an effective development tool across any branding assignment.
A behaviour map, defined by the convergence of expressive and gratification needs, uncovers areas for exploring potential personalities, ultimately helping to form the basis of the new brand’s persona.
Above Food’s mission is to make the whole world healthier with genuinely delicious, densely nutritious plant protein–based products. With its unique infrastructure, proprietary supply chain and innovative ingredient technologies, Above Food has positioned itself to disrupt an already turbulent plant-based category. The goal for BrandBourg was to create a brand platform that reflected the bold characteristics of the brand while forming a visual impression that would get noticed, engage and motivate.
Above Food’s new identity and visual language reflect the optimistic, honest and down-to-earth nature of the brand through the use of bold colours, simple language, uncomplicated photographic styling and hand-drawn graphic elements.
BrandBourg created a sub-brand, Eat Up!, which supports Above Food’s vision of disrupting the plant-based world with a highly visible masterbrand across multiple food segments. The strategy behind creating an Eat Up! sub-brand is to facilitate future expansion plans (beverages, baby food, snacks, etc.) while ensuring each new entry continues to build and reinforce brand equity and recognition elements.
The Eat Up! product offering is Above Food’s first market entry, offering consumers a complete range of sustainably farmed, 100% traceable, densely nutritious plant-based products in the whole grain, pizza dough and meat alternative segments.
The name itself is more than an inspiring call to action for consumers. It embodies the optimistic and empowering feeling associated with adopting a diet of plant-based foods, especially one that is from Above Food. With environmentally progressive and sustainable farming practices and 100% seed-to-fork traceability, the Eat Up! brand offers more nutrition, more flavour, more respect for the environment and more transparency – in short, more of what people want.
The simplicity of the design platform allows the uplifting personality of the brand to pop off the package, while spotlighting appetizing food imagery in an honest-to-goodness photographic approach.
BrandBourg completed the design of other key, high-visibility applications such as the website, trade show booth, magazine publication and custom merchandising units. As brand stewards, BrandBourg has also been collaborating with all other agency partners of Above Food to lead the proper deployment of the brand.
"BrandBourg has played a critical role in our entire journey to develop the Above Food brand. They demonstrate true partnership with our organization by always thinking strategically, challenging us, generating fresh, inspired creative and executing with speed, precision and quality. My team is truly grateful to be collaborating with the exceptional team from BrandBourg."Martin Williams, Co-Founder & President, Above Food Inc.
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