For over 35 years, Mercer Foods made freeze dried fruit that’s so good, other Fortune 100 brands packaged it and sold it as their own. So Mercer decided to build a brand around their own amazing product, and give it a name, a personality, and a design. They asked Twist to help them pull it off.
And that’s what we did.
Mercer Foods, located in Modesto CA, is a family-run business known for making extremely high quality freeze dried fruits like bananas, apples, and blueberries. They sell that fruit as a “white label” partner to many well known companies, who then sell it under their own brand or use it as ingredients in other foods.
Mercer had been approached with a great opportunity by one of the biggest wholesalers in the world: create a branded freeze dried fruit product to sell in their stores. To help create a great brand around their high quality product, Mercer turned to Twist to create a name, visual identity, and packaging.
Mercer didn’t have much consumer data; they also didn’t have much time. They’re a family-run, entrepreneurial company that needed to jump on this opportunity, which was a great fit for Twist’s flexible, adaptable, get-it-done attitude and ability.
We started with “Kitchen Qual” research, Twist’s down and dirty research methodology featuring experiential focus groups in the homes of target consumers. It supplied rich, eye-opening learnings to Mercer executives, who sat at the table with consumers and were able to get invaluable face-to-face input as well as an understanding of their consumers that they didn’t have before.
That qualitative data provided the strategic foundation we needed to create three distinct and differentiated naming areas. At our naming workshop, we included Mercer’s leadership team as well as industry experts who provided objective, pointed and crucial perspective. We also included our quantitative testing partner in the workshop, so she could make sure our finalist names were testing-ready and we could hit the ground running to get them into the field.
A little over a month later, we had two quantitatively validated names. A “normal” process might take six, nine, even twelve months; Twist and Mercer got to a brand-relevant, legally viable, quantitatively consumer-validated name in two (including the Thanksgiving break!).
The final step was to hire a design partner to create strategically sound and visually impactful brand identity and packaging. Twist led the expedited yet diligent agency search process; it led to a partner who was perfectly matched in culture and process. Together, we did visual explorations on both finalist names, and picked the one that we felt was most compelling and could break through the packed category of healthy-food products. Our design partner created an overall look and packaging for different flavors, needs, and sizes that gave life to the new name and excited the wholesaler, as well as other potential retailers. As of Spring of 2018, this product is on shelf!
“Danny was instrumental in helping us build a new brand from initial concept through to in-store and online execution. He was absolutely integral in helping us understanding the category, competition and target consumers, and then formulating all aspects of the brand from the name, positioning, packaging and retail execution strategy. We couldn’t have done it without him.”
Managing Director, Lake Pacific Partners