Taxi Studio Brews Brand Magic for a True Finnish First

4429-Koff_8x-330ml-Shrinkf_Side_Stacked_RGBFollowing Taxi Studio’s rebrand of Sinebrychoff’s Kurko and Golden Cap, the agency spent 2015 working with the Finnish brewery to refresh their flagship beer, Koff.

Taxi’s brief was to clean up Koff’s brand architecture, clearly differentiating taste and benefits across core lines. Then, to refresh the core brand identity and pack designs to make them a cool, credible choice for sociable city-dwellers.

Founded in 1819, Helsinki’s Sinebrychoff is the largest brewery in Northern Europe. First brewed two centuries ago, Koff was the first beer to be delivered by horse; the first distributed to grocery stores and the first to have draughts installed in Finnish bars. Widely recognised as Finland’s ‘first’ beer, the brand has become a victim of its own success in recent years. Consumers love Koff’s market-leading price but lack brand loyalty for the same reason.

4429-Koff_8x33ml-Shrink_Top_RGBIt was Taxi’s job to make the safe choice sexy again. With the growth of the craft and local beer market, premiumisation had become essential. And with the Finnish beer market getting darker in January 2015, they needed to make the brand iconic and authoritative once more.

Kicking off with a workshop in Helsinki, the design agency first conceived a new brand personality and brand idea to clarify Koff’s positioning and drive their creative. From there they considered which brand equities to keep, grow and get rid of to reassert Koff’s standing as a premium heritage beer.

4429-Koff_Core-33cl-OWG-Bottle_RGBJonathan Turner-Rogers, Associate Creative Director, Taxi Studio, explains: “Our redesign focused around bringing Koff’s iconic horses to life; icon illustration expert Chris Mitchell was briefed to bring an attitude and confidence back to the brand while the can design itself was stripped back to basics, and the red refreshed to deliver a modern stylish bold design. The quality and heritage of Koff is clearly defined by the founder’s signature and craft beer credentials. With a new strategy and identity in place for the core Koff brand and line extensions, we’re now working with Sinebrychoff to create suite of exciting sub-brands.”

Johan Jakobsson, Marketing Manager, Sinebrychoff, adds: “We are delighted with and excited about Taxi Studio’s redesign. They’ve sensitively evolved our flagship beer, respecting its strong roots and long history, and it now feels fresher than ever. We’re extremely confident that this iconic new design will help KOFF become a commercial success in 2016 and beyond.”

The new Koff identity launched in stores in November 2015. In line with Koff’s rich sporting tradition, Taxi’s new brandmark will also proudly feature on the jerseys of the Ilves and HIFK ice hockey teams.

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