After landing a spot on ABC’s Shark Tank, a food brand capitalizes on that success by elevating its branding and package design
When your brand is growing rapidly, it’s easy to assume you are doing everything right. But there may be no better time for a rebranding strategy.
Brazi Bites, which launched in 2010 and makes Brazilian cheese bread, saw its sales skyrocket after an appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank in 2015. But CEO and co-founder Junea Rocha realized that the branding was not keeping up with the demand after customers had difficulty finding the product in stores.
“Suddenly we went from being a small regional brand into being a national brand that was getting a lot of attention,” Rocha says. “I knew from my experience being in retail that the branding was not keeping up with the growth, just from comparing and being out there and listening, and hearing that our fans had a hard time finding the product.
Frosty conditions challenge visibility
Brazi Bites are sold in the freezer section, which is a challenging retail space, says Barney Hughes, founder and strategic director at Hughes Design, which helped Rocha rebrand the product. He explains, “Generally freezers tend to have poor lighting and frosty windows. You don’t necessarily get a lot of facings, so you have to work really hard with very few facings. ”
The original packaging was light yellow, which made it hard to spot behind the freezer doors. Hughes Design worked with Brazi Bites to choose a different, vibrant color for each of the four flavors.
“We introduced a flood of color that helped communicate not only the different flavors but also a festive and fun Brazilian heritage,” says Hughes. The initial plan was to only improve the packaging, but the collaboration turned into a complete redesign.
“When we approached Hughes Design we were thinking we would keep our logo and the goal was to make the product pop,” says Rocha. “When we started working together to explore the brand identity we decided to also overhaul the logo.”
“We were very determined to have an upbeat spirit, something that was bold and somewhat casual, because although they are a premium-tasting, premium-manufactured product, we want them to be very casual and approachable, much like bagel bites,” he explains. “We wanted to get into that mindset, which is why we chose a color like purple, which is a little bit unusual. When put on a white background, it was able to marry with all the different bright-colored packaging and still feel consistent.”
Rocha says the new design helped the company grow more rapidly because the package now was more noticeable through the freezer windows. “It’s hard to pinpoint a single thing when you are growing this much, but I can say that in 2016 alone, we grew over 450 %, and that was the year we rebranded,” says Rocha.
Retailers also were happy with the result. Rocha says that Brazi Bites’ biggest buyer, Costco, is using the packaging as an example of how new brands can make their product stand out.
Improving more than just the package design
But the visual identity was not the only improvement from the old packaging. Brazi Bites launched a complete rebranding strategy. The tagline changed from “Love your food” to “Snack Time, Dinner Time, Any Time.” The word Gluten Free, which was less visible on the original packaging, is now in bold yellow caps at the top of the package because it is one of the product’s biggest competitive advantages. Some customers were surprised to learn that the product was gluten-free because they had not noticed that on the old packaging, says Rocha.
The back of the bag highlights both the ingredients and Rocha’s motivation for starting the company. Hughes Design says it was important to emphasize these factors because consumers today look for authenticity, both in the product itself and the company. Brazi Bites contain only a handful of natural ingredients. The back of the bag clearly communicates this with a photo showing the raw ingredients. It also tells the story of how Rocha created the company from a family recipe because she could not find any Brazilian cheese bread in the United States.
“We wanted to make sure it came off as a personal presentation of her ethnic background, her family recipe, her heritage,” says Hughes. “We are proud of the fact that this is authentic. This isn’t some big, old food manufacturer capitalizing on a trend. They are creating a trend.”