Case Study by Brent Roth RGD, Creative Director, Graphics at Perennial Inc.
Rudolph’s Bakery is proud of its artisan tradition and delicious breads. As a family-run business with an entrepreneurial spirit, the company found itself in a highly competitive and undifferentiated market. Rudolph's and all of its competitors offered similar products, in similar packaging, sold in the same retail environment.
Given the company's lack of consumer marketing funds, Rudolph’s viewed its packaging as the best avenue to differentiate its brand and stand out from the competition. Over time, this packaging had evolved into an inconsistent muddled brand statement that needed to be updated.
Rudolph’s approached Perennial in 2013 to help differentiate the brand at retail through a new line of packaging.
Prior to developing a new look for the packaging, Rudolph’s needed a clear articulation of the brand. Perennial Inc. thoroughly researched the market before making recommendations for the brand positioning. This stage of the process included:
- A national and international 'deep dive' into the best in-class consumer packaging.
- A competitive audit and positioning map.
- A complete audit of Rudolph’s packaging.
The competitive audit focused primarily on local competition but evolved to include national brands and products outside of the specialty bread market. This research, combined with consumer behaviour and media data from the Print Measurement Bureau, helped clarify the proposed brand position.
This analysis culminated in a succinct, differentiated and unifying brand positioning statement:
To people who love hearty breads, Rudolph’s is the baker that makes the most delicious rye bread because it is made from German sour dough with no sugar.
Emotionally the brand had to convey the company’s values of honesty, hard working, confidence and authenticity.
Three concepts were created, each with a different area of focus, ranging from the traditional, authentic brand to a revolutionary take on classic values. The recommended option offered a sophisticated tone of voice while staying true to the brand’s German origins.
All three concepts incorporated a new logo and added a sense of modernity which enhanced shelf presence for the product and highlighted the revamped branding.
The four stages of the design process took nine months with an average of nine weeks for each stage.
A creative brief issued at the beginning of the process functioned as the blueprint for creative development, answering the following questions:
- What is the business objective?
- Why are we doing this?
- What is brand positioning?
- Who are we talking with?
- What do they currently think and feel about the brand?
- What do we want them to think and feel about the brand?
- What is the proposition that we need to tell them to have them think and feel that way about the brand?
- Why should they believe us?
The client was deeply involved in every step of the process from brand articulation to concept development and launch. Feedback throughout the journey was clear and concise.
Given the small budget for the project, Rudolph’s relied on the experience of the Perennial team and its insights group for research from secondary sources and critical analysis.
Client and sales force feedback has been extremely positive; the client believes Perennial Inc. exceeded expectations.
“After being approached by a number of small marketing agencies none resonated with us or took the time to understand us like Perennial. A friend suggested we reach out to Perennial but we were reluctant given our size. Once we met Chris Lund, he and his firm impressed us with their grocery and packaging knowledge and they shared work done with both small and large clients. We felt reassured we wouldn’t be ignored and we weren’t.
It’s hard to be a small business competing against the reach and depth of the majors, but Perennial did a spectacular job of rebranding Rudolph's with the same heft of a national brand. After a thorough positioning review, Perennial delivered clean, memorable and brilliantly executed design. When rebranding you only get one kick at the can, which is exciting and terrifying at the same time, but I don't think we could have worked with a better team. Professionally handled from start to completion.”
- Julia Marsh, Rudolph's Bakery
- Before any work begins, the brand must be clearly articulated and universally agreed-upon.
- A client-approved creative brief is the best tool to ensure alignment between the client and design team.
- Open and ongoing communication is a must to manage expectations.
- Do not underestimate the time and resources required, especially in the early stages of brand clarification and research.
- Going into a project, it is important to have a clear, holistic understanding of your organization's needs and think about them from a brand perspective.
- All clients, but especially entrepreneurial clients, should be involved in every step of the process. There should be a focus on co-creation with lots of feedback and back-and-forth with the design team.
- Be aware of ‘scope creep’ - make sure the deliverables identified at the beginning of the process don't evolve beyond what was initially agreed upon.
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