Wednesday, August 5, 2009
In 1998, three men decided to try out a new business venture by selling pure fruit smoothies at a small music festival. They provided two dustbins for customers to deposit their empty cups, one labelled ‘yes’ the other ‘no’. The question on the sign above the bins read ‘should we give up our jobs to make smoothies?’. By the end of the day, the ‘yes’ bin was overflowing, and the innocent Drinks has grown into an international brand with a turnover of 76 million pounds.
Innocent was formed with the very simple idea that every product contains 100 per cent pure, fresh ingredients and no fruit concentrates. With limited resources Innocent couldn’t afford to hire external agencies to design and develop the company’s look and feel, employing instead one of their friends, Dan Germain as Head of Creative. They had no design knowledge or experience “there user testing was done on people they knew and they emailed there friends with packaging designs’.
Instinct played a big part in development of the packaging, they didn’t have any sophisticated marketing plan, they just wanted to like the way it looked and tasted and for it to stand out on the shelves.
” After consultation with Innocent’s core target market – young, urban professionals (i.e., the group’s friends)- the apple with the halo logo was chosen as the most clearly illustrated Innocents core values.
Innocent has always believed in keeping things simple and straightforward, a strategy which suited the team’s initial lack of experience and knowledge about the design process and developing a brand. For example, the now instantly recognisable ‘apple with halo’ logo was first sketched on a napkin in felt tip pen.
The fun, easy going, no-nonsense approach suited a small start-up that appeared to be flying in the face of the big corporate drinks manufacturers, and yet, even now Innocent has claimed 63 percent share of the £111 million UK smoothie market, the company has managed to maintain the integrity of its brand values, retaining the trust and support of its employees, customers and retail partners.
Innocent refreshed their visual packaging five years after their launch
As more and more products were added to the brand portfolio, a noticeable visual fragmentation was occurring in the range.
Pearlfisher was tasked with refreshing and affirming Innocent’s place as the number one smoothie and providing a platform for visual growth.
The design principles put in place work across the entire range to provide the required consistency but also allow for individual interpretation by the Innocent in-house design team, as they add more products to the range.
I started out on this case study inspired by the way these guys started out there business, and loved their approach to ethical and
Environmental issues, simple design and internationally respected as good employers.
Although I’m saddened by the recent news that Innocent sold 20% stake to US giant Coca Cola for 30 million pounds. Guardian.co.uk, 6 April 2009
Copycats Nudie Fruit Juice Drinks