Purity of Purpose

It takes a well-crafted advertising, marketing and design strategy for a brand to breakthrough from being a challenger - disruptive, breaking codes and challenging a category, to an icon - something beloved, lasting and definitive. And I think Honest Tea is a brand that's making an impressive leap.

Going back a step, do you remember when you made a statement by drinking Snapple? You didn't choose Coke or Pepsi at the local 7 Eleven, but opted for tea -- a decisive move to choose something natural, healthy that had a conscience. Since then, shifts in tastes, the growing tea market, and a better understanding of nutritional data have deteriorated the 'it factor' that Snapple once had. Now the statement, healthy beverage choices are more along the lines of Kombucha, Ito En natural teas, HoneyDrop (a Pearlfisher client) and Honest Tea - perhaps Snapple's most direct descendent.

Honest Tea has an ethos of total transparency that touches on their packaging, marketing, advertising and ingredients. With a commitment to organic teas and sustainability, Honest garnered a faithful following and managed to maintain integrity while quickly extending their product line to flavors outside of the box, like Superfruit Punch and Mocha Cacao. With a 2010 marketing campaign, Honest asserted it's brand awareness - they set up Honest Tea displays in urban markets with a request that customers leave a dollar per bottle. Consumers loved it, the press loved it, and Honest made a big leap toward iconic status.

Honest is a great case study for challenger behavior, and now that it's owned entirely by Coca-Cola I will be watching with more than passing interest to see if they're able to keep the brand fresh and dynamic. And as brand designers, we hope to get our hands on it to make it look just a little sexier.... David Butler, are you reading this?

Tess Wicksteed, Strategy Director, Pearlfisher

Hear more from Pearlfisher on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 in Chicago at this year's FUSE conference.



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