Crafting a coffee brand with character
VIVO COFFEE: BRAND STRATEGY & VISUAL IDENTITY DESIGN
WHO ARE VIVO COFFEE
Vivo Coffee are a coffee wholesaler to many Queensland and interstate cafes. They also have a flagship cafe of their own in Morningside, Brisbane.
Owner Glen, a former Vivo employee, bought the business off Merlo Coffee several years ago. He inherited the existing brand and never had a chance to put his own stamp on the outcome. He and his team felt that there was a big disconnect between the brand identity and their unique, fun personalities, great customer experience and the vibe of their industrial-chic cafe. It was time for them to step into the next stage of their journey and rebrand to truly make the business their own.
THE STRATEGIC PLANNING
I interviewed Glen, Zoe and several staff members at Vivo Coffee HQ and we completed a range of fun exercises to try and dig deeper and reflect on the heart & soul of their company. The team painted a very clear picture for me of how they truly shine, with phrases coming up like the below:
ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE
A lot of companies say they genuinely care, but I soon discovered that for Vivo, it’s not just a marketing hook, they’re the real deal. It became clear our focus needed to be on the people, the amazing service and their unique energy and spirit, moving away from their previous tagline “truly fresh coffee” — a line they felt had become commonplace in the industry, not a differentiating factor.
My core concept centered around coffee with character and this had multiple meanings. Firstly, they’re a bunch of quirky, fun, unique characters, secondly they approach their business with character and truly look after their customers and have strong values they upload, and thirdly, their coffee is known for it’s strong, unique taste – full of character.
This concept was translated visually firstly through the logo, which takes the letters “V I V O” and arranges them to form a face — literally creating a character through the business name. As a secondary visual reference, a coffee handle is formed through the ‘I’ and stylised ‘o’ — so personality & coffee really do go hand in hand in the logo and in their business.
Another important element was the illustrations. With the focus on representing real, everyday people, I hand-drew a suite of characters and supporting decorative elements. I made things even more personal by illustrating Glen and Zoe so they were a part of the suite. I’m all about a tailored approach, so I loved being able to literally inject the key staff members into their brand, and they loved it too!
Modern, fun, quirky, bold, casual, reliable, family-oriented, quality-driven, local, earthy, natural, industrial chic, youthful, vibrant, distinctively Australian.
“It was love at first sight when we saw our new brand identity! Emma put so much time and energy into truly understanding our business from the inside out and interviewed not only myself as the owner, but also quite a few key players in my business to get an holistic view point of what we offer. Emma produced a refreshingly different concept for the Vivo Coffee brand, which was the perfect fit for our fun personalities and has energized us about the future!”