APAL has led the development of a more sophisticated look and an ‘evolved’ approach to Pink Lady® branding to help maintain the brand’s popularity with consumers and buyers worldwide, and to help drive value for growers, licensees and APAL.
The Pink Lady® global brand is one of the Australian pome fruit industry’s most important and valuable possessions. APAL, as custodian of the brand, identified the need for renewal almost nine years after the brand was last updated in 2008.
To put this timeframe in context, at that time the first iPhone was about to be released in Australia in 2008. The evolution of branding for the iPhone, which shares the title of market leader with Pink Lady in each company’s respective product category, has become much more sophisticated in its simplicity – something APAL hopes it has successfully captured for Pink Lady.
An updated look and a new approach
We have embraced two fundamental components of branding. The first is a new ‘visual identity’ or ‘look’ for the brand that includes an updated logo, colour palette and resources for branding packaged Pink Lady apples and other Pink Lady promotions. The design may have evolved but we have carefully maintained the heritage of Pink Lady, keeping many of the key elements that have been part of its success, such as the flowing heart logo with which many Australian growers are familiar.
The second, and perhaps less well understood, aspect of branding is about the messaging and persona we want to convey when we communicate about Pink Lady. This is where the real change has occurred because we have adopted a unifying ‘consumer first’ approach that is reflected in the design and how we communicate about the brand. This means moving away from brand messages focused on ourselves and towards reflecting the needs and aspirations of our consumers. This is the direction that strong modern brands are moving towards.
An international brand
APAL owns and manages the Pink Lady brand for use on Cripps Pink, Ruby Glow and Lady in Red variety apples in numerous territories both internationally and domestically. Similar to managed varieties, international growers wishing to market their fruit under the Pink Lady brand must be licensed, pay a volume-of-sales-based licensing fee and meet agreed quality standards set out in the licence agreement. Domestically, meeting these same requirements is only required for fruit destined for export.
APAL works closely with our partners who are licensed to use the brand in their territories. The point of our branding work is to support the marketing and increased sales of Pink Lady apples worldwide and to return better value to growers, licensees and APAL.
As can be imagined, there are a lot of cultural nuances within the global network and huge diversity across our international consumer base. In the research that guided the development of the refreshed brand, we thought it was important to frame these differences by focusing first on consumers’ similarities, because there are some things that unite us all as humans, even if we think we’re all very different and complex.
We have therefore tried to tap into a universal motivation for purchasing a Pink Lady branded apple and have based the new visual identity on interpreting the triggers that make consumers act in a certain way. This is best practice for brand marketing.
The feedback so far from the people who work in our Pink Lady global network is that they are really excited by the fact there is something that can underpin their own country and regional marketing strategies. The new approach gives them freedom to layer their cultural elements and develop campaigns specific to their market on top of the core Pink Lady brand. This gives them an important sense of ownership in the brand and the freedom to remain creative.
While over the past few months we have launched a few previews of the brand’s new visual identity to parts of the global industry, we are officially launching the updated branding across November and December 2017.
The initial launch will be first communicated to all our global brand stakeholders through our new Pink Lady global email newsletter; Australian growers are welcome to subscribe to the Pink Lady global email newsletter.
The newsletter will include links to the new business-to-business global Pink Lady apple website. The website (in the final stages of development at the time of writing this article) will house all the new brand guidelines and will be accessible to all our licensed partners.
Resources for licensees
The brand relaunch will include direction for campaigns and tips for developing agency briefs. It will include a new packaging design that we will roll out in such a way as to have the lowest possible negative impact on our partners’ businesses.
We will also provide brand assets and suggested items to use within campaigns and ideas for meeting the market’s growing needs for sustainability and provenance. APAL sees itself very much as a support function for our licensed partners and the change we are making is about increasing our global consistency and improving the performance of the brand. This is about positive change and helping our category-defining brand to remain world-class.
Here’s a list of assets that you will be able to find and access from the website:
- Pink Lady brand strategy
- Pink Lady brand manual
- Pink Lady advertising design templates
- Pink Lady brand planning tools
- Select research and insights reports
- Content aggregation of all global digital media – including links to global content and automated requests for permissions
- Examples of brand application
- Sustainability hub
- Logos, devices and typefaces
- New Pink Lady photography and images
- Pink Lady packaging artwork (February 2018)
- Quality specifications
- New quality manual
- Links to the new Pink Lady shipment reporting database (early 2018)
- Links to all Pink Lady territory websites – UK, Europe, South Africa, Malaysia
As the brand guidelines will exist electronically in a downloadable format on the new website, we will continue to improve the document and brand assets over time to ensure we meet the needs of our partners and, most importantly, consumers of Pink Lady apples.