FAIRTRADE: developing a global brand architecture

FAIRTRADE was moving away from certified product sourcing, and towards a focus on specific ingredients and development initiatives. The client team needed to reflect this progression through a new global brand architecture, and commissioned us to carry out brand research.

The challenge

The ethical FMCG market had become crowded, and FAIRTRADE needed brand research both to support its unique positioning, and to communicate new activities. It developed several brand scenarios to test through consumer research. We now needed to evaluate the new scenarios against the current ‘status quo,’ identify which were the most intuitive, and establish which scenarios to develop and how.

Our solution

We carried out consumer research via an online survey in six key markets: France, Germany, Switzerland, UK, USA and Canada, using an experimental design to get a realistic measure of the impact of alternative brand scenarios. To get a more in-depth understanding of how consumers interpreted the various logos, we also conducted qualitative retail research, via supermarket exit interviews in the UK and Germany.

The outcome

Consumers typically have a single, simplified view of what FAIRTRADE means, and our brand research identified that it would be challenging for the new scenarios tested to increase comprehension through labelling alone. We identified the best-performing scenario, and made actionable practical recommendations for developing it into a market-ready brand architecture.

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