Branding businesses with products that lend themselves to success are a design and marketing agency’s dream. Many businesses or products are an uphill battle, but not Apple Bandit Hard Cider produced by Thompson Creek Organics. It was an added bonus for us that this new brand calls the Rogue Valley home – it’s always nice to see some local success stories.
Blair Smith and wife Marcy Kelley, owners of Thompson Creek wanted to tap into the white hot market of hard ciders and came to Pixel Productions Inc. to develop their brand image and message. They really wanted to tap into the local vibe and capture the essence of Southern Oregon. Needless to say research on this project was pretty fun and after much sampling of the product we knew this product was going to be a hit. We joked during sampling that Apple Bandit was going to be wanted in every state, not knowing at the time that was actually going to play into the brand message. It’s funny how things work out.
Blair and Marcy really wanted a logo that would not only stand on its own but something with such a strong iconic presence that it would actually work as the core element of the brand. During development we worked on several ideas of how to incorporate Southern Oregon into a strong and simple iconic graphic. Our goal was to create something original, catchy and a little edgy. Eventually we began dialing in the image of a raccoon, Southern Oregon’s native masked bandit and the idea that this bandit would be wanted in “every state”.
It’s always helpful when the product is so darn good that people really do want it. Apple Bandit has taken off locally, carried by many local retailers such as Harry and David, Rays Food Place, and Medford Food Co-Op. Most recently Apple Bandit was featured in the Mail Tribune. Sarah Lemon has written a wonderful article for the Mail Tribune titled, “It’s a local ‘white-hot’ cider” which elaborates on Thompson Creek as well as this niche of
“fermented cider that has been enjoyed for centuries as an American staple before Prohibition. The alcoholic beverage that Smith says is “kind of like wine and kind of like beer” has again found favor, following the nationwide craze for craft brewing. Oregon has cideries in and around Portland, Salem, Corvallis, Eugene and Bend, but Apple Bandit is the only one in Southern Oregon, says Smith.”
Our role started with helping Thompson Creek prepare a brand marketing plan in order to help them get a grant for their business idea. Once the grant funding was secured executing the graphic and brand development of their packaging, website, marketing materials and company message ensued. Early testing showed us that the message was well-received, but when the product launched we were ecstatic that the message resonated with the audience so well. The locals love it. If Apple Bandit hasn’t quite made it to your state yet, you can learn more about their product by visiting www.AppleBandit.com and definitely read Sarah Lemon’s Article about the booming business of hard cider.