London-based design agency, Straight Forward, designed the rebranding for the premium nut brand, Squirrel. The new branding system puts the product back into the center of the messaging while still highlighting the high-end aspect of the brand. Plus, the new packaging system appropriately appeals to a younger generation of consumers while still maintaining its premium, gift-giving nature.
We were asked to reinvent this premium nut brand while celebrating its legacy and heritage, ensuring it appealed to Gen Next and the food obsessed – it also had to be gift-worthy, drive taste appeal by hero-ing the exquisite flavours, ingredients, and creation methods.
The category is crowded and noisy, therefore the ambition was to give the brand some white space to enable it to thrive.
A challenge was to create a brand that gets consumers to revaluate what they think – nuts are challenging in terms of preconcerted ideas and not an obvious gift product – a key consideration was to ensure the brand became a real contender against other gifts like wine, flowers, chocolates.
The positioning needed to be purpose focused and reinforce the brands sustainability messages and actions – protecting the wonder in the world brought to life through partnerships to protect habitats and wildlife.
A master brand identity and positioning were identified and developed. Key to the positioning was putting the nut back into the centre of the story while borrowing from fashion for the architectural principles considering signature, collection, diffusions, and high-end couture taste sensations.
With archetype, tone of voice, creative principles all in place it was important to bring the brand to life and allow it a personality beyond the luxury taste appeal.
The brand already had a great name and an impressive history of ephemera, so it was possible to confidentially borrow from its rich back catalogue pulling forward iconography. The new positioning was brought to life by updating the squirrel character and introducing a name, Zip.
The name comes from a piece of confectionery introduced in 1926 called zippers and alludes to how dynamic the character is zipping around the packaging. Plus, they join an impressive list of non-binary fictional characters.
The original squirrel was drawn a long time ago and has been scanned, beaten, vectorised with all the care and love of the drawing lost. Although the reimagined brand is built upon the heritage of the illustration style, it was important to allow movement and to bring the curiosity of the brand to life through the squirrel roaming freely around the packaging.
Squirrel’s new packaging is designed to offer the customer a premium experience from shelf through to eating, incorporating the brand’s origin story, the nuts and their ingredients, and an explorer’s map to guide the consumer through the brand experience. The unpackaging is an elaborate experience which has layers of reveal, and no two packs are the same.