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Satisfying the appetite for great food brands

With increased pressure on food and drink companies, the effectiveness of their brand design has never been so important.

Great branding engages people, builds trust and customer loyalty. It adds equity and value and can help companies remain resilient during tougher times. When the stakes are so high your brand design better be good.

The power of branding

Strong brand equity and reputation fuels customer loyalty and have been the hallmarks of businesses that have weathered the Covid storm. This has been as true for large global and national brands as it has for smaller independents. A compelling brand that resonates with their audience, has permission to adapt to changing situations. They can do this by diversifying a product offering, the brand experience or their delivery channels. A strong brand gives a company options.

Consistency is king

Many restaurants quickly moved to take-away or curb side pick-up options, while a fair few launched new formats, and this brand extension activity has been exciting. It’s important that the ‘at home’ offer truly reflects the restaurant experience and the sense of place. A mismatch of high-end restaurant and off the shelf take-away amenities can harm loyalty.

Our work with The Wolesley, one of London’s most iconic restaurants, was focused on developing a collection of food gifts and take-way offerings.

The project started with a comprehensive understanding of the brand experience that the original restaurant delivered and remained grounded in their heritage and glamour. The famous art deco décor, including an exact replica of the floor tiles, comes to life in the exquisite packaging. Hints of red, from the Chinese tea urns seen in the restaurant, are used to create pace and punctuation across the collection.

The products are of the highest quality, but the added delight comes from buying a piece of The Wolesley brand, a keepsake that will be cherished through secondary uses.

The Wolesley collection represents design that is rooted in a place, with high production values that match the seamless service you’d receive in the restaurant. It is authentic, luxurious and distinct in its market.

Creating connections

It’s not enough to be liked. If your brand isn’t loved then it’s going to get forgotten about pretty quickly. During a time when customers were insecure, known brands, particularly local ones and those that were supporting their communities, faired best. Spar’s partnership with Eat 17 is a great example of this.

Always a step ahead and challenging the big brands, Eat 17’s highstreet-altering convenience store concept perfectly balances access to big brands whilst championing local producers and providing a hub for the community. Eat 17 pride themselves on providing honest food for local folk. It takes considerable pride in it’s place, shouting about the provenance of it’s food and drink. It was on hand to support the local community through Covid, quickly adding new products – from fruit and veg boxes to increased take away options working with local business wherever possible.

In our work with Eat 17 we focused on bringing their mantra, ‘Not Your Average Store’ to life. We wanted to celebrate their diverse offering, sense of community and creativity by producing the house of Eat 17 which became the central motif from which the brand identity, website, signage, uniforms, packaging, menus and much more were created. The branding celebrates local characters and connections, it is personality rich and feels hand-made.

Scarcity brings value

Covid reminded us that when we can’t have something we want it more. We’re seeing more limited-edition products on shelf, members clubs, pop-up outdoor restaurants and subscription services, because we place a value on rarity. Brands that have been nimble and quick to create these initiatives have seen great results.

Staying front of mind

A valuable brand is understood and sets a business apart from its competition. Our new world has created expectations that we can get anything we want, anywhere, anytime and anyway we choose. Brands need to understand those expectations and know when to zag while other people zig. It’s the same with brand design, know the norms and then know when to break them. Even the most iconic, well-known companies need to constantly tweak, refresh and take the temperature of their brand and marketing.


By Katja Thielen

Founder of Together Design As a daughter of a winemaker, Katja has a natural affinity with food and drink brands.

Instagram: @togetherdesign

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