Computer Arts - - Special Report - GOLDEN CAP RE­BRAND BY TAXI STUDIO

In 2012, Fin­land’s old­est cider brand was in dire straits. Hav­ing led its cat­e­gory for decades, Golden Cap was be­ing un­der­cut on price from one di­rec­tion, and couldn’t com­pete with pre­mium brands on the other. Sales fig­ures were dwin­dling and the client, par­ent com­pany Sine­brychoff, wanted to re­verse this slip­page, fast. “Golden Cap had a type­face that was very recog­nis­able,” ex­plains Taxi Studio as­so­ci­ate cre­ative di­rec­tor Jonathan Turner-Rogers, “but the pack was very generic with swooshes, liq­uid splashes and some fruit. It was very pho­to­graphic and didn’t have a lot of ap­petite ap­peal. It could have easily been an own brand.”

With the in­sight that Fin­nish con­sumers are very proud of their her­itage, Taxi Studio dug through the archive of Sine­brychoff to see whether there was some­thing in there that could reawaken the brand and cap­ture the mar­ket’s imag­i­na­tion. The team found that Golden Cap’s in­au­gu­ral bot­tles fea­tured a golden crown cap, and this be­came the key mo­tif of the re­brand. “The pow­er­ful, iconic na­ture of that cap gave us a re­ally strong brand eq­uity and also very sim­ple port­fo­lio nav­i­ga­tion,” says Turner-Rogers. “It al­lowed us to pro­duce some­thing of vis­ual qual­ity across both can and bot­tle – us­ing metal­lic foils on the bot­tle to bring the la­bel to life.”

Turner-Rogers at­tributes the re­brand’s suc­cess to a “badge-brand men­tal­ity” – a strik­ingly sim­ple and bold il­lus­tra­tive style that gave the brand the “cool fac­tor”. The pack­ag­ing’s sim­plic­ity cre­ated dis­tinc­tive brand block­ing on shelf, and the straight­for­ward na­ture of the iden­tity sys­tem also pro­vided a func­tional brand ar­chi­tec­ture that al­lowed easy di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion for new flavours or lim­ited edi­tions, such as jumper-clad Win­ter Berry.

But the bold ap­proach wasn’t loved by all. “When the new brand went into re­search with loyal con­sumers it bombed, but with new con­sumers it flew,” says Turner-Rogers. “How­ever, the client was brave enough to take the de­ci­sion that this re­brand was about the fu­ture.” It worked. With­out pro­mo­tions or an above-the­line cam­paign, over­all sales went up 21 per cent three months af­ter launch, and the £195,000 de­sign bud­get was more than re­cov­ered in this pe­riod.

Since then, fig­ures have stayed com­pet­i­tive. Golden Cap not only grew its mar­ket share, but over­all cider pen­e­tra­tion in Fin­land in­creased by 5.1 per cent, and Taxi was in­vited back to re­brand a large chunk of Sine­brychoff’s port­fo­lio. “The re­ver­sal of Golden Cap’s de­cline is con­sid­ered to be one of our ma­jor suc­cess sto­ries,” says Päivi Koskela, Sine­brychoff’s then brand man­ager. “Thanks to the ex­cep­tional brand work, we now have a prod­uct that has has re-es­tab­lished its po­si­tion as the coun­try’s best-loved cider.”

Taxi Studio found in­spi­ra­tion for Golden Cap’s new pack­ag­ing in its archive, us­ing orig­i­nal de­sign to in­form an il­lus­tra­tive ap­proach that fo­cused on creating a ‘badge brand’ that new cus­tomers would want to buy into.

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