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The Business of Food

by Jennifer Barney


Your brand identity should be about YOU
2-min read

What's in a name?
It doesn’t matter what stage your company is at, if your brand identity (logo, name, look, voice) does not reflect who you are, your values, and what you stand for – it’s time for a change. 
When nutrition bar brand Keto Krisp launched into retail stores in southern California a few years ago, Blake Mitchell of brand agency Interact thought they were nuts for choosing the name of a diet and a texture. But it worked – the brand launched at the apex of the keto diet trend, and at a time when competitors were only selling D2C – they became the leading keto bar brand in retail.
But a few short years later, they rebranded. 
Out-of-the-gate success like Keto Krisp is an exception – most brands do not make first to market on a huge trend. When the space becomes crowded it’s hard to stand out, and even for an incumbent like Keto Krisp, you have to adapt to stay on top. So with the help of Interact earlier this year, Keto Krisp announced the rollout of a new brand name, CanDo. The change brings the mission of the brand in focus: to inspire all people to overcome their challenges. It stems from founder Adam Bremen’s personal journey with a physical disability and reason behind why he launched the brand in the first place. 
CanDo is doing an amazing job of staging the rebrand subtly on-pack at first, and really engaging with their audience on social with CanDo Chronicles which feature regular people with extraordinary stories. I can’t wait to see the continued evolution of this brand. 
Branded House
Banana based Hakuna Banana and oat-milk based Toasted Oats nice-cream brands rebranded this year to bring both brands under one umbrella, Must Love. Co-founders Mollie Cha and Hannah Hong said the new name better depicts their core values of love and friendship. It also allows them to better leverage growth, which is more challenging with two brands. This is a great example of strategically rebranding from a house of brands to a branded house.
Everyone is welcome in the Oat Haus
When the founders of granola butter brand Kween were awarded free branding agency services in a pitch competition last year they started thinking about rebranding. “We wanted to really tap into the ethos of our brand better” says co-founder Ali Bonar. Kween, which grew amazing D2C traction on their own website through the inimitable personality of @alibonar herself, has had additional recent success penetrating brick-and-mortar stores in coastal metropolis U.S. Northeast and Southern Pacific regions. 
The new look stands out, helps the brand distinguish itself from the nut butter category in which it sits, and further establishes a new segment the brand is trailblazing: the oat-based spreads category. 
But it’s important to emphasize that packaging improvements are not the purpose behind rebranding, but a goal in the outcome. 
I will say formerly-Kween knew who it was and had a very distinct voice from the beginning, and now Oat Haus is carrying that voice further to a wider audience, because:
You no longer have to be a Kween to belong in the Oat Haus
Next week, more stories on the transition to Oat Haus with special focus on how to handle operations (everyone’s favorite topic!)
All my best,
Mid-Day Squares are all about the behind-the-scenes of running a startup. Their brand persona is full exposure. They do some bold things like these team member video stories. 
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