1. Understanding the brand: The joy of fruit
Chiquita is famous for its bananas, and consumers fondly recall the blue sticker and ‘Miss Chiquita’ icon. But trying to grow the business and innovate the brand around these equities alone was proving a major challenge for the European division.
Under the guidance of Director of Business Development Chris Pieterse, the brand articulated a mission to re-connect consumers with ‘the joy of great-tasting fruit’. This was built on Chiquita’s 100-year heritage and its reputation for consistently providing the best-tasting bananas.
2. Understanding the consumer: Fond memories
In a landmark research study across key European markets, consumers gave us a clear picture of their associations with the brand and its product, at both a rational and a deeper emotional level. Consuming a Chiquita banana is strongly linked to warm childhood memories of one of your first real foods.
3. Defining the task: Getting streetwise
From the rich information about consumer relationships with Chiquita, we constructed a brand story that built on the established memories and feelings, but also created space for fruitful innovation. This was essential to enable Chiquita to imagine new consumer needs, new products, formats and distribution channels.
It fell to an existing innovation to showcase the new strategy - Chiquita’s growing chain of ‘fruit bars’. Situated in busy shopping streets and travel hubs, these small shops or kiosks sell a wide variety of fresh fruit, juices, smoothies and fruit-based breakfast and lunch items.
Our challenge was to transform these retail units from ‘corporate’ and often rather sterile places into a three-dimensional manifestation of Chiquita’s new promise.
4. Creating: The urban oasis
A Chiquita Fruit bar became ‘an oasis in the urban jungle’, with new branding, exterior and interior design, signage and menus.
This retail environment became the inspiration for the brand identity in general, and led to us developing a brand guideline for communication of the brand across all media.
Whilst we weren’t invited to redesign the banana (joint holder with the egg of nature’s perfect package award), we did get to create a new design for Chiquita’s iconic banana box, loved across the world by flea-market stall-holders and students moving house.
Our POS designs brought the ‘urban oasis’ concept to the supermarket, and we also worked on a wide variety of product and marketing initiatives, including fresh fruit snacks and smoothies.
5. Believing: Top banana
Chris Pieterse comments: “We found Osborne Pike to be an extremely able and responsive design partner across the whole scope of our business.
Although we hired them initially to work on a packaging project, this soon developed into the redesign of our ‘Chiquita Fruit Bar’ shops and kiosks, brand innovation projects, and ultimately a whole new look and feel for brand communication, captured in a simple to use guideline that local teams actually want to use.
What’s more, implementation of the new identity system has resulted in sales growth for Chiquita bananas in a very challenging market”.