Founded in 1980, Barnie’s Coffee & Tea Company once served as the nation’s largest chain of retail coffee outlets, including 110 store locations nationwide at its peak. The widely renowned chain was responsible for bringing the highest quality coffee and tea varietals from around the world to American consumers, during the height of the second wave of coffee culture.
On the cusp of its thirty-year anniversary, a new, forward-thinking CEO assumed the leadership position at the company’s helm, possessing a revolutionary vision to reinvent the brand and its existing business model.
Hailing from the West coast, with deep experience in the culinary arts, wine, and coffee, he passionately sought to introduce a refreshed brand and innovative concept to provide an even more appealing line of hand-crafted and artisan coffees.
This reformulated corporate vision encapsulated the critical business decision to reduce Barnie’s retail presence to select flagship stores, and in tandem, to introduce artisan and farm-to-table food to complement its culinary-inspired coffee, wine, and desserts.
The initial strategy included an initiative to grow the wholesale distribution of its line of popular consumer packaged goods, through the introduction of innovative products, along with the addition of Stock Keeping Units (SKUs).
The initial challenge required the development of a revitalized brand identity, complete with an overarching, results-driven strategic plan for effective implementation and rollout. The reinvigorated brand would be developed to communicate a slightly different message to a refined target audience while building upon its equity, and educating the current loyal customer base.
By hosting a multi-day brand exploratory session, consisting of both extensive nomenclature and iconographical exploration, we conceptualized nearly 30 naming and 100 logo options respectively.
Taking into consideration market demographics, consumer and shopper behaviors, competition, opportunities, and brand associations, we arrived at “Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen®” to best align with the revitalized corporate direction.
A total of 10 color palette options were considered, all evoking the brand’s rich, earthen, freshly roasted heritage, while simultaneously speaking to the addition of delicious farm-to-table cuisine. We conducted a nomenclature study that resulted in over 50 name options and designed nearly 200 logos.
The newly created brand identity extended to the product packaging through a coding system we created. The purpose of the categorization was to guide the consumer on their discovery by pairing the coffee varietals into three basic groups – robust, comfort, and intrigue. The packaging was subtly color-coded to match their respective groups.
Baristas could now suggest coffee varietals according to the mood and feelings of the customers followed by regions the beans were sourced from and their flavor profile.
At major grocers and big box stores, consumers could find their favorite Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen® coffee and enjoy their discovery at home.