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Coley Porter Bell's recent successes.

Coley Porter Bell's Recent Successes

Coley Porter Bell has designed a brand identity for the new Chillington tea range. With over a century of growing and selling tea behind them, the Chillington Corp are making their first move into the growing speciality tea market with their own branded range of pure and blended teas.

The speciality tea market is dominated by brands which emphasize the heritage and authenticity of the supplier. Working closely with Jeremy Maynard, managing director of Langdons, Chillington's tea and coffee retailing arm, the design consultancy aimed to position the new range of products to appeal primarily to young women who express their individuality and discernment through the products they buy.

Group creative director Simon John met this brief by emphasizing the fashionable female appeal more than the heritage of the company.

'Coley Porter Bell has created a really distinctive brand for us by focusing specifically on the target market and their values. The design communicates high quality, while providing clear re-assurance of Chillington's reputation as a long established tea company, without overstating it', says Mr Maynard.

The packaging features a sophisticated female image, while the caddy seal and back-of-pack copy tell the Chillington story. Each caddy has its own batch number printed on the seal as an extra assurance of monitored quality.

The teas are being sold initially through independents, up-market grocers and delicatessens. 'The new brand captures the appeal of the tea equivalent of cafe society', says Mr John.

Masterchoice Teas

Masterchoice is the unique premium private brand created for the US retailer A and P by the design consultancy. Masterchoice is a product range that grows month by month and it includes fine foods from pasta to ice cream and olive oil to peeled tomatoes. Each product competes on price and quality with the leader in each sector.

There are three ranges of Masterchoice tea - the blends, the pure teas and the herbal teas. With packaging shape and design specially created for the three ranges, each is distinctive in its own right.

This high standard of private label design is new to the US market and its success over the first year in more than a thousand A and P owned stores testifies to the fact that American consumers are looking for better quality and added value.

Coley Porter Bell's designs for the Masterchoice teas are not only successful in commercial terms but also in terms of creativity. The fine tea range was amongst the very few British entries that won the coveted Clio Gold Awards in the US packaging section in 1989.

Their Work with Jacksons

Coley Porter Bell have been working with Jacksons of Piccadilly to develop an interesting packaging concept aimed at the hot drinks market - a fruit infusion called Fruit Cup.

The idea was originally conceived in response to the recent swing, at the younger end of the tea drinkers market, towards herbal varieties. Jacksons, who already have a strong image and recognised heritage, saw an opportunity to offer the consumer a hot drink with a difference - it would be made entirely from dried fresh fruit.

Alison Cane, assistant creative director, designed each pack to incorporate a continuous illustration that uses flat colour to support bright visual imagery. Each pack is colour coded for flavour, and strong black panelling on each pack further reinforces the sharpness of the image. The pack imagery and consumer belief in Jacksons as a brand will undoubtedly ensure a visible shelf presence for this drinks product.

Much earlier, Jacksons relaunched their range of speciality teas but the steps taken then are still very relevant. This move was the first in a drive planned to make the brand the major name in this fast expanding sector of the tea market.

Jacksons was acquired by Fitch Lovell in mid-1985 and since then they have been working under their subsidiary, The Foodfinders, on a programme which will improve the brand's position in the UK marketplace.

Within two weeks of the takeover, a brief to create a completely new range of pack designs was given to two creative consultancies.

A broad range of pack concepts was considered and researched in a bid to find a fresh new image that would combine the heritage of Jacksons' 180 year history of tea trading with the aspirations of today's quality and cost conscious purchaser. The designs were researched not just against each other but also against current competition. The chosen designs, presented by Coley Porter Bell, were then refined until the consumers clearly preferred them to anything else seen on the retail shelves.

Says Peter Reddyhoff, Jackson's marketing director, 'The tea market in Britain has reached maturity and is now declining slightly year on year. Despite this background, speciality teas continue to grow at more than 10 percent a year as the consumer looks for added value and superior quality. We know we can offer this quality but we have been aware for some time that our presentation was no longer a good enough complement to the tea it contained. We were often losing out on impulse purchases. We undoubtedly have the most prestigious name in the speciality sector, so the most obvious way to start building on this was to find packaging that would be right for today and suit our heritage.'

The result achieved by the consultancy's designs were so convincing that Jacksons believe the new packs will lead to an uplift in business.

The packs have a sophisticated and traditional appeal, using a dark grey striped background with the Jackson's signature to create a new brand identity. Each of the nine blends is distinguished by a different colour scheme and atmospheric illustration.

Colin Porter, the design director heading the project, aimed to meet Jacksons' objective of creating an attractive and competitive range for the premium end of the supermarket and grocer market. The kind of results obtained from research for pack preference were three times stronger than those for anything else currently on the shelf. This data was repeated when customers were asked which brand of tea they would buy if all speciality products on the shelf were priced at a similar level. Once again the response to our final designs, at 76 percent, was exceptional, says Mr Porter.

Peter Reddyhoff explained the vital importance of packaging within this market; 'The continued growth in demand for speciality products means that packaging has to work very hard at the point of sale if it is going to continue bringing new users into the market. This is vital not only for manufacturers like Jacksons but also for retailers who are keen for the market to continue growing at its current rate of 10-15 percent, as margins on premium products are much higher than those on mainstreams brands.

'It is for this reason that we have chosen packaging as the first item for attention in our drive to increase growth of the Jacksons' brand

"Preplanning our relaunch, we commissioned a large scale research programme and this showed that, despite very strong growth in coffee drinking, tea drinking still remains Britain's favourite hot beverage, with 96 percent of the population enjoying tea every day. Average consumption, at 5.7 cups a day, demonstrates the importance of the total market, while growth in speciality volume shows how vital our segment is.

'At 76 percent, the intention expressed to buy our newly designed packs was twice as high as our nearest competitor. With results like these, attributable to the immensely valuable input of Coley Porter Bell, we believe the new design and brand identity will have an immediate effect on our sales.'

Coley Porter Bell are to be found at 4 Flitcroft Street, London WC2.

PHOTO : Masterchoice packs with their unusual shape

PHOTO : New Chillington packs
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Publication:Food Trade Review
Date:Jan 1, 1990
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