What was the scope of their involvement?
Gelcomm reviewed the branding we were using and told us that it didn’t meet the sophistication and quality of our product. Our branding overemphasized the health element, and Gelcomm told us to replace it immediately. We were resistant given that it wasn’t a small investment, even though their pricing was more reasonable than most. The first step of the engagement was to architect our message on the existing branding, but I asked them for a redesign a couple of months in.
The next step was a scan of what the market looked like and what the competition was doing. Gelcomm provided us with a range of branding personality palettes. They segmented the market. We looked at what brands were doing in both the healthy and the decadent markets. Gelcomm gave us a palette or personality board of other products that were out there and told us which directions we could go. They did a good job of reflecting the personalities of the brands out there, in terms of color palette, messaging type, or packaging architecture.
We had nine SKUs, which is a lot for a small company. The products were in different parts of the day’s food requirement and in different parts of the store. We needed to have a brand personality for each, and we have a lot of messaging because the health benefits of the products are extensive. The clean-label market was the crossroads of 4–5 exclusionary lifestyles, such as gluten-free and sugar-free. The messaging is complicated, with many different certifications. Gelcomm was quick in developing that messaging, which was helpful for launching to a lot of stores. We completed the first phase deciding on the basic brand and label architecture.
It was an incredibly collaborative process. Gelcomm came up with four approaches and personalities on the market, and I wanted to blend three of them. There was back and forth discussion at a senior level with Patricio (Owner and CEO, Gelcomm) and his partner. We came up with a collaborative presentation, both at a high level, in terms of basic brand structure and personality, down to details about fonts and graphics subtleties.
What is the team composition?
We had an account manager who handled the engagement side including paperwork and scheduling. I worked with Patricio on some of the day-to-day things. There was a senior graphic design person in place basically running the team and that’s whom I dealt with on a regular basis. Patricio was always around, which made a big difference. I received senior attention.
How did you come to work with Gelcomm?
We saw them and a lot of branding and marketing companies at a natural products trade show called Expo West. We also received a referral for Gelcomm. What they’d done for other companies resonated with me. Most of the other companies were set in their own processes, while Gelcomm seemed a lot more flexible. They related to us in a more personal way, and their principals were involved. They were also more flexible in terms of pricing. They stood out to me because of their commitment. Their website was unique, catchy, and personal.
How much have you invested with them?
We ended up coming in under $20,000, including all the initial label work.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with Gelcomm in March 2015. By June 2015, we realized that we needed rebranding. We launched the project that month, and we completed the first phase in August of that year.