Brand design agency Coley Porter Bell has given John West a complete makeover with a new positioning and new packaging designs to help it reassert its leadership of the canned fish market.
Although John West is one of the most powerful brands in the £460m canned fish sector, the market is becoming increasingly commoditised and undifferentiated. The new activity aims to distance John West from its own label and branded rivals, while engaging consumers more and to restore margins.
Consumer research informed the new positioning: “Leading The Way Since 1857”. This reflects John West’s long heritage and emphasises the fact that it has consistently been ahead of the field when it comes to improvements in the category from product quality to product delivery.
This thinking has been extended to the packaging of the entire John West range, which has been rationalized and now numbers 103 skus. The new designs play up John West’s expertise in fish, by changing the colour palette, removing unnatural shades and replacing them with marine-themed greens and blues in the standard range. The ‘standard plus’ range uses a palette of metallic silver and teal. The premium range uses black, dark green and silver.
The connection with the sea is further strengthened by the extensive use of a shoal motif consisting of silhouettes of different fish and fishing equipment. Said John West marketing controller Asanka De Silva, “We have high ambitions and believe that the John West brand has huge amounts of latent consumer goodwill. Coley Porter Bell’s task has been to help us unlock that goodwill strategically and creatively to help John West fulfill its commercial potential.”
“This was a fascinating and demanding brief,” said Vicky Bullen CEO of Coley Porter Bell. “Using a canvass that measures just a few inches square we have to communicate a new positioning, add value to the brand, and differentiate it from its rivals. But John West understands the value that strategic brand design can add to a business, so we enjoyed helping them with the challenge.”