Redefining a Category

The Maple Guild Brand Launch (2017 ADDY Winner - Gold)

Challenge

The Maple Guild was up against a serious challenge. Most people don’t even know that maple syrup has a flavor—today’s grocery store shelves are packed with maple products that taste nothing more than “sweet.”

While they had a solid plan for production, The Maple Guild needed support to launch a nationwide brand and get products to market. LMO set out to create a distinct look and feel for their products, to differentiate them on crowded shelves and set them apart as being true maple.

Solution

After establishing The Maple Guild's core brand attributes, we used Applied Creativity to develop a set of guiding principles. Next, we surveyed competing maple brands and found that most leaned heavily on traditional maple syrup symbolism, such as log cabins and forested landscapes. As a category disruptor, we knew we had to get away from this familiar imagery.

The Maple Guild has a broad range of products, including syrup, water, tea, cream and more. To unify the brand, we developed a simple and elegant design system with a logo that was flexible, consistent and recognizable. For the sample kit, we maintained a tie to the natural aspects of the product, wrapping the bottles in kraft paper printed with descriptors like “organic,” “natural” and “American.”

LMO created a microsite to serve as the short-term digital home for The Maple Guild. Our strategy was to:

  1. Establish a high impact homepage, showcasing the Vermont countryside and production statistics
  2. Create a simple navigation with three clear calls to action
  3. Use custom illustrations to convey an organic feel
  4. Design a flexible product page
  5. Ensure the customer can easily contact The Maple Guild from any page

Results

The Maple Guild is already gaining traction in the marketplace, with major distributors picking up their products.

Kroger is about to run their Maple Cream as a private label product. Ahold (Giant and Peapod) is going to run their salted caramel infused maple syrup as their Limited Time Original in 2017. Earthfare, an organic food supermarket with 36 locations, has agreed to pricing for their original maple syrup, bourbon aged syrup, vanilla infused syrup, maple cream, and maple vinegar as part of their new HandPicked label.

LMO has become an integral member of The Maple Guild team - we are fully invested in pushing their growth forward, not just as their agency of record, but as a true partner.

 

2017 ADDY Winner - Gold

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