Dongsuh Foods Design & Branding KANU by Interbrand Group


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Industry Coffee, Tea, Breakfast Drinks, Cafe
Media Design & Branding
Market South Korea
Agency Interbrand Group
Creative Director Uzin Hwang
Designer Hongjun Park, Saerom Park
Released September 2011

Credits & Description

Category: i. Own Label and Private Label brands
Product/Service: KANU PACKAGING
Creative Director: Uzin Hwang (Interbrand)
Designer: Hongjun Park (Interbrand)
Designer: Saerom Park (Interbrand)
Media placement: 1 Box Set Coffee/Mug Etc - Cafes - 9 September, 2011
Media placement: 2 Sets Of 5 Coffee Boxes In Card Display Box - Cafes - 9 September, 2011
Media placement: 2 Sets Of 3 Boxes In Card Display Box - Cafes - 9 September, 2011
Media placement: 1 Carrier Bag - Cafes - 9 September, 2011

Describe the brief from the client
Cheap, mass-produced products had long dominated the instant coffee business in Korea. However, due to the recent trend in healthy food consumption, the demand for high-quality coffee had risen among consumers. In response to this market change, Korea’s largest instant coffee maker, DongSuh Foods set its sights on carving out a niche for value-driven shoppers by expanding its instant coffee market. Consequently, DongSuh Foods asked us to develop a brand that would help it successfully launch a new category for instant coffee and create top-of-mind awareness in the marketplace.

Describe the challenges and key objectives

Our challenge was to differentiate and leverage KANU from an already crowded market. Following our market intelligence on shopper insight in retail environment and instant coffee market trend, it was apparent that shoppers expected emotional benefits as exclusiveness from the premium products. By noticing that yellow and red was dominant on the current instant coffee shelf, we found out that the choice of colour and shape should be strategically made in creating and delivering a strong impression. Moreover, we needed to position KANU as a younger, trendy, and premium brand as opposed to the current instant coffee packaging.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
Based on the concept of ‘the smallest café in the world’, we focused on communicating KANU’s brand idea through careful treatment of visual elements on packaging. To convey its core value to the target audience intuitively, we eliminated the design elements that might harm KANU’s impact. Accordingly, any clichés that the current instant coffee brands possessed - red and yellow background, busy and explanatory visual elements - were disregarded to make an impression on the shelf. In this way, the final design with clean lines and minimal and modular black box, reinforced the values that KANU delivers- simplicity in life, convenience, and high-quality.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
KANU quickly gained the attention of distributors and media. Its launch and consumer reception in Korea was extremely positive. The visual identity and packaging instantly positioned the brand and created consumer interest. With KANU’s successful debut, Dongsuh Foods sold 1.5m units in just half a month after its launch. Such robust sales prompted the company to raise its sales goal from KRW6bn to KRW12bn in 2011, which was a 200% increase in the initial sales expectation. KANU won Granprix in Package & Container Design category at 2011’s It-Award.