With great power comes great responsibility. Fearless Creativity is a potent force and must be handled with care. When Finnish brewery Sinebrychoff came to us to refresh a few of their flagship brands, we set course for different ends of the evolutionary to revolutionary spectrum.
From evolution to revolution; fine-tuning our approach to deliver a trio of redesigns for our favourite Finnish brewery, reversing the fate of a declining category in the process.
Founded in 1819, Helsinki’s Sinebrychoff is the largest brewery in Northern Europe. First brewed two centuries ago, Koff was the first beer to be delivered by horse; the first distributed to grocery stores and the first to have draughts installed in Finnish bars. Widely recognised as Finland’s ‘first’ beer, the brand had become a victim of its own success in recent years – consumers loved Koff’s market-leading price but lacked brand loyalty for the same reason.
The brief from marketing director was brilliant and simple: “Make the safe choice sexy again”. And to do this, while respecting the brand’s long-standing history, we first needed to clean up Koff’s brand architecture to clearly differentiate the range and accommodate immediate and future NPD.
The next job was to refresh the core brand identity and packaging to make Koff a cool, credible choice for sociable city-dwellers.
We brought the brand’s iconic horses back to life via icon guru Chris Mitchell, who worked his magic, bringing an attitude and confidence back to the pack that perfectly complimented our premium typographic detailing.
Existing packaging for long drink Kurko was deemed too masculine and lacked appeal among target consumers. Somewhere between evolution and revolution was in order; optimising brand equities to make it more modern, witty and relevant to a unisex audience. Kurko’s key equity (the crown logo) had to remain untouched.
Slang for ‘King’, the word ‘Kurko’ is used among friends to give praise. This insight inspired us to create a conversation on-pack.
We developed a proprietary typographic style that flows like friends chatting to each other. Then we ignored the client’s brief by reimagining the crown, adding a touch of wit along the way.
Sometimes revolution is about unearthing the past; so it was with Golden Cap. Finland’s oldest cider brand was in need of a dramatic rethink to make it more accessible to a younger audience, without alienating the brand’s core consumers.
The existing design looked old-fashioned, lacking visibility in the fixture and relevance to the target audience. Sales were falling off fast.
For its 51st birthday, we treated the drink to a radical overhaul. Searching the brand’s archives for historic equities that could be revived and repurposed, we uncovered a beautiful logotype and crown cork device. These two elements were refined and brought together to create a relevant and ownable brand identity, complementing a striking new design system that shouts from the shelves.
Our Golden Cap identity failed twice in research. But both Sinebrychoff and ourselves believed in the concept and we stuck with it anyway.
Fearless persistence paid off – the new look sparked a dramatic 12% sales uplift, propelling Golden Cap back to the No. 1 spot and kick starting a Finnish cider revolution by growing the entire cider category by 5.1%.