Design that works

A win for Kelly Loves at the FAB Awards this month shows why it matters to benchmark design… ​​​​​​

Remember science lessons at school? We were always taught that to conduct a fair test, only one variable must be removed. Turns out, you can use that approach in design, too. In an industry where measuring creativity can sometimes be a grey area, we believe benchmarking and delivering effectiveness is very much black and white.

Last week, our client Kelly Deli won a FAB Award for the brand identity of its new sister brand Kelly Loves, a range of snacks that brings classic Asian flavours to a Western audience. Within the range is a sparkling drink called Ramune, which saw an immediate 16% uplift in weekly sales as soon as the new packaging hit store shelves. Previously, it had been branded with the manufacturer’s own label. For the launch, the product itself didn’t change, nor did the price. Even the bottle shape remained the same. There was no additional marketing or promotional spend. By removing variables to create a statistically robust like-for-like comparison, we can illustrate design effectiveness, and directly attribute results to the rebrand.

At the start of the project, the client’s ambition was twofold. First, to increase sales of existing core products through a more engaging proposition, better storytelling and greater impact through packaging. Second, to introduce new and unfamiliar products to Western markets. Before the brand launch, annual sales totalled €8 million. Two years later, the redesign has resulted in 25% growth – the business is now on track to reach €10 million for 2021. In addition, 26 updated products have been introduced to the range, including kimchi, seaweed snacks and aloe vera juice.

So how did we get there? By working out what made the brand different and telling the story in a compelling way. It became clear that at the heart of this brand was Kelly Deli founder, Kelly Choi. Having grown up in the Far East, she has a passion for the tastes and flavours of her childhood, and wanted to share these with her friends in the West. Only food good enough for her daughter makes it into the family. Our approach was to make Kelly central to the brand.

Earlier this year, in our first newsletter of 2022, we highlighted that one of the three things clients should focus on for the forthcoming year was design effectiveness (Creative Review had added a new category to its annual awards called Creative Effectiveness). Later, in March, the DBA (Design Business Association) unveiled its 8th annual report, What Clients Think 2022. Based on 600 in-depth client interviews, the DBA found that 99% of clients believe the need for exceptional creativity has never been greater. More specifically, the need to cut through creativity to get to its potential power and effectiveness.

Creative ideas have the power to change businesses. If you consider how unlikely it is that a good piece of design – be it a re-brand or new identity – would be completely devoid of aesthetic or emotion, then isn’t effectiveness the ONLY measure worth talking about? ​​​​​​

Fancy a snack? Buy your Kelly Loves products here.

Without create brands that make a difference. Receive our Defining Your Difference pocket guide to your inbox or if you’d like to discuss how your brand can connect with today’s consumers, get in touch on 02070999080 or [email protected]

This article first appeared in The Brief, a fortnightly email with conversations and provocation for leaders and founders of brands. Just sign up here to receive it directly to your inbox – and join the debate.


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