What was the scope of their involvement?
We challenged McLean with communicating the brand and product image. At the time, we were mentally preparing for our launch at Walmart. When we approached McLean, they had about 8–12 weeks to complete their work.
From a product standpoint, our goal is to bake delicious chocolate. If it isn’t good chocolate, then it isn’t worth it. McLean helped us discover what else is important to our audience of health-minded individuals. Through research, we found that they tend to search out natural products.
The ingredients make or break a product for them. To stand out, it was important for us to be fair trade, sourcing our chocolate ethically. so that we are sourcing all of those raw chocolate ingredients from small family farms who are getting fair and equitable wages for the work they’re doing. That is important to us as well as the consumer. We also pushed for recyclable packaging to foster a sustainable habit and image.
After talking through those main goals with McLean, they created a list of product attributes that were essential to our image. The next challenge was communicating all of them clearly. Ian (Founder & Creative Director, McLean) and the whole design team did additional infield research, examining the competitive landscape. They focused on getting into the consumer's mindset to inform their designs.
The final design is fun, whimsical, and isn't being used by anyone else. They thought through our priorities, communicating all the points in a way that wouldn't intimidate the passing customer.
What is the team composition?
We worked with Ian, who operated as a strategic design thread. He brought his experience and provided direction. My main point of contact was Angela (Director of Client Services, McLean). We went through the different rounds together, and she would communicate with the design team. There were 3–4 additional designers working on different elements.
How did you come to work with McLean?
I started by looking at other brands' designs and finding out who created them. I started with a list of 7–10 vendors, narrowing it down based on their capabilities and fit for our project. It ended up being McLean's breadth of design experience and their ability to help new brands win in older categories.
Ian has much more package experience than me. When I had ideas he disagreed with, he would explain his stance. Not many partners do that, so I was convinced they would benefit us when I hired them.
How much have you invested in them?
We spent between $30,000–$40,000.
What is the status of this engagement?
We worked on this project with them from April–June 2019.