Moxie Sozo Redesigns Cold-Pressed Juice Brand Suja And Offers A Window Into Their World
by Shawn Binder on 05/08/2020 | 4 Minute Read
Is there anything more powerful than the emotional pat you give yourself on the back when you drink a cold-pressed juice? There's just something about the luxe packaging and the vibrant colors within that instantly make us feel better about the state of our health, even if we spent the whole day on the couch. That kind of visceral feeling isn't easy to replicate, and that's why you have to take it seriously when you're approaching the package design for that category because you need to convey those wholesome, natural attributes.
Often, the best designs come from the melding of minds, and such is the case with the rebrand for Suja, one of the nation’s leading cold-pressed, organic, and non-GMO beverage companies.
Elevated Nutrients, the company's new line of chef-curated juices that launched exclusively with Whole Foods last March, needed to capture the excitement of the brand, while also heightening the consumer's overall wellness routine. But, they needed something that would bring their high-quality juices to a consumer-base that had begun to get brand fatigue from the minimalist designs that had permeated the cold-press juice space, and that's why they turned to Moxie Sozo for an identity fix.
The first thing they needed to do was take stock of precisely what needed to be changed about the current branding. They went down to Suja’s headquarters in San Diego, and while you might think it was a lot of walks on the beach, they needed to develop a rapport with the client.
OK, so maybe there were a few walks on the beach. But to understand Suja’s brand ethos, they had to have a deeper understanding of the team and the product, that way they could freely share ideas amongst one another while developing a design shorthand with the client.
"Suja has a reputation for being a premium brand, but their look was starting to age," says Derek Springston, Moxie Sozo's chief creative officer. "They lacked personality in the space because, as cold-pressed juice becomes more common, that kind of listing of ingredients word cloud gets incorporated into other brands and gets diluted." Once they knew that the word cloud delusion-the process of hierarchizing buzz words on a package to denote importance-was keeping Suja from standing out on the shelf, they went to work on a design brief that would spark a renewed interest from their customer base.
“One thing we agreed on as we were going into our strategy was to bring that playfulness and friendliness into the space,” says Derek. “Early on, we wanted things to be fun.” They followed through with nine bold iterations of the redesign, but as they started talking to consumers, it became evident that “fun” wasn’t equating with a premium, healthy juice.
“Test subjects would say things like ‘it’s making me feel like it’s gonna be a soda,’” Derek adds.
But because of those playful concepts they introduced at the start of ideation, they stumbled upon the art strip, and it's what they believe is the most prominent feature of the redesign. And while it might feel like a subtle detail, it tells you everything about what’s inside the product.
Moxie needed to explore the unpretentious yet simple elements that have become a staple of the cold-pressed juice world. "That's where we hit our stride," Derek says. "It was going where Suja already was, but also keeping in mind that we wanted something fresh that conveys the key ingredients inside," Derek says. Moxie decided to create a window on the packaging that would speak to the simplicity of the ingredients of the juice, but also differentiate its packaging.
"To help further the differentiation, we looked at the beauty category and where they might bring in a pop of color, and we came up with the idea of an art strip," Derek says. "It's a bunch of abstract ingredient illustrations that get cropped into a quarter-inch bar that runs across the package, a design element that has made its way across a lot of their products. It's an added touch, but it never overpowers the bottle. What we're really proud of is that it brought enough of a personality element."
That art strip features so much of what makes Suja who they are and brought a level of sophistication to the packaging without becoming photograph-heavy while also allowing their personality to shine through. That character even comes through in the copy that adorns the bottles such as “Vibrant Probiotic: Nobody Wants a Vibrant Amateurbiotic.” Additionally, the new bottles marry function with flavor, tailor-making a juice for an individual's wellness routine, whether it's detoxing, getting a boost of immunity, or a shot of energized focus. Yes, you can see all of the good stuff bottled inside, but each juice has a clear identity.
In the end, the partnership between Moxie Sozo and Suja proved that when an agency makes an effort to truly understand a brand's DNA and the people that created it, real magic can occur.
"They appreciated every ounce of effort, and we didn't mind putting it in," Derek says. "It created this great relationship of gratitude and joy, but they appreciated every second that we put into it," said Springston. The next time we open a bottle of Suja, we'll appreciate that dedication as well, even if we didn't make it off the couch that day for a run.