Silva Sausage Case Study: Linking heritage to brand strategy

Background

Silva Sausage, family owned and operated since its start in 1967, had steady revenue with their existing brand and package design. One of their most valuable retailers, Costco, recommended re-branding their products’ packaging to better communicate the overall quality of the product line. Silva’s brand success was battling an inconsistent packaging system, with different designs across different packaging applications and different retail channels.

Objective

  • Refresh the Silva brand to communicate the artisanal quality of their products
  • Anticipate future growth that may move beyond sausage into other products or categories
  • Define clear flavor differentiations between an ever-changing product offerings
  • Create differentiated product lines (conventional, natural, organic) that would live across multiple retail channels (mass market grocery, natural grocery, and big box)

Before

Process

Because the sausage category is an extremely saturated environment, we started with an in-depth shelf audit across all current and target retailers. After the audit, we discovered that there had been a recent shift toward a more artisan look and feel across the category, even with large commercial brands. Since Silva’s products actually are artisan and made in small batches with real ingredients, differentiating from the rest of the category who were ‘faking it’ was our first challenge to overcome.

Initially Silva wasn’t sure how much change they felt comfortable with, so we performed a very broad exploration — gradually evolving their existing package design from its starting point to entirely new looks and feels. We explored their branding across conventional and natural product lines to assure that we addressed the total scope of brand communications necessary to differentiate both product categories, while maintaining an identifiable consistency for consumers to identify with.

Working closely with their product teams and management, Sliva’s feedback on the initial design explorations incorporated a number of elements from different concepts into the final chosen concept through a series of refinement rounds.

Solution

We evolved the Silva logo by refining it subtly, maintaining identifiable equities. The end result looks current in the marketplace, while maintaining the structure and colors synonymous with the brand. The word “Sausage” was removed from the logo lock-up, allowing future product expansion into new and varied categories.

During our discovery phase we identified a key brand component for Silva — heritage. To emulate the key differentiator within the company and brand, we developed a seal featuring founder, Manuel Martin and his slogan, “Tradition is our recipe.” Their heritage-driven recipes became the focal point with a large typographic treatment and bold color palette for product differentiation.

Expansion

Since launching their new brand in Costco, we continue as Silva’s packaging partners as they expand their line for multiple retail channels. We create all new packaging for new SKUs, create shippers, create signage for trade shows or road shows at Costco.

Resolving their inconsistency issues, was a main priority. We’ve now applied the new branding and package design for the Mass retail channel and also an Organic line that is in both Costco and Whole Foods Market.

The Silva mass product line has simplified packaging, utilizing a label directly applied to the shrink wrap. A smaller communication area of a single label to contain all front and back content was a challenge, but we were able to assure a cohesive extension of their brand through the use of the same brand assets, bold color blocking and large typography.

The Silva organic product line continues the belly-band structure, but visually it has a more refined presence with less color and more delicate treatment of typography to help differentiate it from the other product lines. Small ingredient illustrations are used to aid product differentiation and further communicate the artisan quality of the sausage recipes.

Results

Since 2013, Silva have achieved the following:

  • 40% overall revenue growth
  • 18% product volume growth
  • Introduced 7 new product SKU’s to the market
  • Gained 20-30 new physical stores in new geographic areas
  • Increase of 11% in margin of existing products