Design BridgeDesign Bridge


Re-establishing coffee credentials

From your daily ritual of ordering an oat Flat White at your local café to using premium coffee capsules for barista-style Cappuccinos at home, whilst the coffee market is growing, instant coffee was in decline and Kenco, one of the UK’s first coffee brands, was losing relevance. Fast. Our brand identity redesign has re-asserted the brand’s coffee heritage and authority – brand perception has been restored, people are buying more from Kenco’s ranges, sales and distribution are up, and our work has been recognised with a XXXX DBA Design Effectiveness Award this year.

In a growing coffee market, Kenco was missing out. The brand had become synonymous with instant coffee but with one third of millennials saying that they would never consider drinking instant, Kenco needed to reassert its authority as a credible coffee company.

Our challenge was to use design to communicate the brand’s heritage and expertise in a way that felt right for consumers today. We needed to go back to Kenco’s roots and re-tell the original brand story, celebrating Kenco’s commitment to high quality and sustainable coffee “for the many”.

Now here’s a question. Did you know that the name “Kenco” actually comes from the original business name, “Kenya Coffee Company”? An important key to unlocking the story, we took the previous logo out of its restrained roundel and elevated the “O” to bring a sense of “company” back to the brand. We’ve also incorporated the date of origin to further celebrate the brand’s heritage and expertise. This new brand mark is confident and is proudly stamped across every single touchpoint.

We have established red as the unifying brand colour to bring the previously fragmented portfolio together, and our champagne gold sky is used across the core ranges to bring extra warmth and richness, borrowing from more premium category codes in a way that still feels right for Kenco. We’ve also retained the iconic mountains and sun rays to tell the story of the origins of the product on pack, but they’ve been re-crafted and now have a much bolder, more contemporary feel that works across the varied portfolio.

One of our favourite parts of the visual story was inspired by a hessian sack of coffee beans often used in the brand’s advertising campaigns. A nod back to the coffee growers, and to the origins and physical journey of the product – from mountain to mug – we’ve introduced new textures inspired by this robust material to add an extra layer of craft and storytelling to the packaging designs.

The new, unified visual identity has been created as a flexible design system that can stretch across ranges and formats. It can live across all brand touchpoints, and has been set up so that it can work for new products and future innovations.

Today every Kenco product stands proudly on shelf, and consumers are able to navigate the ranges much more easily. So much so that it has resulted in a significant uplift in sales – more than doubling the value sales growth in the first 12 months and outperforming category value sales growth, too.

Consumers are buying more products across more ranges, and the brand hit its target of reaching 1 million additional households in 2017. Retailers are also responding well to the new design, and distribution is up 6%.

The perception of Kenco has shifted from what was previously seen as an instant brand, and it has become a key player in the wider coffee market, which has been recognised by the DBA with a XXXX Design Effectiveness Award,

With this new-found confidence that takes pride in its origins, Kenco can continue to grow its offering and retain its position as a credible, quality coffee brand.