New ventures are risky, so it pays to take every advantage. A winning strategy is a massive competitive advantage.
Groundwork’s creative director and chief strategist, Nate Ripley, met with CEO Andrew Drayson and the DDBN team to facilitate three collaborative, customer-focused brand strategy sessions. Together, Groundwork and DDBN identified insights that laid the foundation for the project’s success.
We started by crafting unique customer profiles and defined Grizzly’s brand values. By the time our strategy sessions concluded, we clearly understood what Grizzly stands for, who Grizzly champions, and why Grizzly matters. Once you know your audience, figuring out what to build for them follows naturally.
Socially active, West coast student-athletes leading fun, impulse-driven lifestyles, fulfilled by fitting in, and attracted to outdoor adventures and cool factor.
A grassroots gains supplement brand with a rugged, popular look and West coast lifestyle vibes, so outdoorsy student-athletes can show social proof that they’re fit for any adventure.
Brand strategy is a powerful tool, but it’s only as effective as its implementation. High-fidelity mood boards help translate strategic x’s and o’s into visual language. A good mood board should model our ideal customer’s best life, reflect their goals and aspirations, and help us vibe with them. It’s a visual extension of the customer profiles we developed during brand strategy and the logical next step in brand-building.
From mood boards come concepts, and from concepts come finished brands. After several rounds of development, Groundwork and DDBN settled on Grizzly's final look.
Designing a brand to look great in the vacuum-sealed confines of a computer screen is one thing. Making sure it looks great in the real world is another. Brand elements need to thrive in a massive range of applications. They need to look great from screen to print, from a tiny thumbnail image on Instagram to a gigantic billboard spanning the side of a 12-story building.
In Grizzly’s case great merchandise, apparel, and advertising designs were especially important based on customer preferences and product use.
In addition to UX considerations like read order and use occasion, DDBN wanted Grizzly to be dynamic enough to find on the shelf with a passing glance. The brand’s key color, “quicksand,” shines here. It’s different enough to stand out among competitors but still speaks clearly to an adventure-seeking, athletic audience.
The brand’s wild flavors were another consideration. Committing to the principle of “show, don’t tell,” we decided with DDBN to feature bold flavor imagery. The result is a more engaging retail experience and a product line that’s easier to understand and identify—a tangible win with a bottom-line impact.
Like the rest of the brand-building process, social media design centers around customer desires. Customers want to buy to belong. So if you create an identity your customers connect with, they'll buy-in. Successful social media design is about clearly broadcasting that identity. When your true fans hear the message, they'll know you're for them and that they're for you too.
Grizzly is now available nationwide at GNC stores. The brand wins new fans through social media and GNC regularly promotes Grizzly, both in-store and online.
DDBN is a highly successful, fast-growing company with saught-after products in the sports supplement and functional beverage industries. Their achievements are in no small part due to the relentless and diligent work of their leadership team and staff, a group that isn’t afraid to sweat the details. We at Groundwork are pleased to help bring their vision alive and proud to live up to the standard they set.