Branding & Packaging
Inside Danone, a mega-CPG corporation focused primarily on the dairy category, a passion project was ignited by a lone R&D scientist. He had stumbled upon a cold-brew coffee recipe that was slowly generating buzz throughout the organization.
Management agreed to take a chance on launching a single-serve version of the java but was treating the line almost like a start-up, supporting the brand with a barebones budget and nominal resources. We needed to build a differentiated brand -- having no coffee credibility and no real story -- just the name STōK.
We spent time analyzing our biggest competitor, the giant green mermaid, and were able to unearth a significant opportunity. This brand didn’t have a strong connection with a core group of caffeine guzzlers -- young males. And brilliantly, these same guys were also the primary target of convenience stores, the optimal channel for a single serve drink.
When it came to positioning, we knew that our soon-to-be tribe wouldn’t resonate with the idea of the product being hero; we would need to carve out a differentiated space in the coffee category that was uniquely about them.
01 | Positioning
We leaned in to what our young males enjoyed doing - tinkering, creating, building - and resolved to celebrate the makers and give them the fuel they needed to keep going.
02 | Packaging
We knew our single serve coffee would be going head-to-head with the brash energy drinks and delicate frappuccinos found in c-store. So we selected a bold but refined color palette that would disrupt on shelf and appeal to our arguably narrow target. We incorporated a no-frills typeface and a black-and-white illustration style to channel the simplicity of our cold brew. And, of course, our now signature lighting bolt conveyed the energy our makers needed.
While the STōK design was tailored specifically for our tribe, we uncovered it was actually aspirational to a much broader audience. Even mom planned on purchasing our brew.