Brand Case Study: Gatorade


Branding Essentials for Designers


Lesson Info

Brand Case Study: Gatorade

I'm gonna take you through a couple case studies, to illustrate some of these points of branding, and how to bring a brand to life, and, here's a fun example. This is a Gatorade, approached us shortly after starting Tether, and you saw that gallery space, I mean, there was just a couple of us there, you know, just starting the company, and brought on a few of our, you know, the people that, the getting the band back together, as I talked about before. Some people that I'd worked with at Nike and Lego. So, I'm gonna just, go a little more, you saw a little bit about Gatorade there, and as I was starting to say before, Gatorade approached us early on and we really didn't have a lot of people, and, we were just getting going, and you know, had worked at Starbucks and had, you know, considerable experience in the beverage category. But we wanted to beef up our portfolio. So this is an example of what you can kind of do on your own. So, we created a couple brands. Just to show our thinking,...

our problem solving, and also design, and so, we created this little brand we called it Tilo Telo Apothecary, and had a concept around the 24 hours, and, instead of drinking, a you know, big caffeinated thing in the afternoon to stay awake, it was more all-natural in the morning, and before you go to bed and all that. So, we created these, and with the beauty of what we all have to work with is tools, we created these renders of this, so it looks real, but it's not real. You know, it doesn't exist, it only exists digitally. But we told the story, we put it in our portfolio, and then we came up with this other one called Riff, and, we, you know, we named it, and positioned it, so we treated it just like a real brand, but we made it up. So, what it was helpful for, was helpful for them, to see our thought process, showed them that we could quickly generate concepts, and it also demonstrated our capabilities on both the conceptual side and the technical side. So, when Gatorade came to us, they had been in existence for 45 years, Gatorade created the category of hydration beverages, you've heard of the story, University of Florida, the Gators, the Gatorade, all that. So, what we did is we looked at the history of Gatorade. And they came to us, and they gave us our, you know, the problem, the problem was, it was all about flavors now. It's flavor innovation. They had one product, and the category has changed a lot since then, there was a lot of competitors in the, before you work out, after you work out, while you're working out, lots of competitors, Powerade, all those different ones, and so, it was looking a little sad on the shelf. And so, first thing we did, is we helped them reposition the company, so these, so we talked about our, you know, your brand promise. And, we talked about your mission. Why do you exist? So this is a company that had to remember why it was founded in the first place, and, but the market had shifted considerably, so, how do we stay relevant? How do we stay relevant to our consumers? Cause they weren't around, they didn't have, you know, a 15-year-old kid doesn't have a historical reference. You know, the dad might, but he doesn't. And so, really we made this transformation on the last line from sports drink to fuel for your body. So if you think about, sports drink to fuel for your body. So that goes from one product, you know, the hydration beverage they had before, to before you work out, after you work out. It could be food, it could be services, fuel for your body. So basically, wanted to own the inside of an athlete's body. If Nike, you know, owns the outside of a body, they outfit the outside of a body, then, Gatorade could own the inside, so everything that you put in your body. So, and the brand promise of the science and soul of athletic achievement, so be better than your best. So everything that we did should ladder up to that, being better than your best. So, yeah, you're a great athlete, and you can train as hard as you want, but if you don't have that edge of hydration or fuel, now, then, you're not gonna be better than your best, meaning the top of your game. So, as you saw in the video, so we moved it from what you see on the left to what you see on the right. So, everything, so that comes back to the brand language that you create. What does this brand do? It helps athletes be better than their best. So athletes, it needs an athletic look. The one on the left doesn't have an athletic look. The one on the right has that athletic stance, has that broad shoulders, the narrow waist. And then, remember the bolt that was in all those old bottles? The lightning bolt, it was in many different forms. So we wanted to honor that heritage. You don't throw everything away. As you're looking at a brand, especially a historical brand, you don't throw everything away. You go, what can we pull forward, the best of, relevant things, from the past. And so, we pulled the lightning bolt forward, and we stylized that bolt, and now that stands for the science. The science of the product. So there's a whole team of scientists that Gatorade called "The Gatorade Sports Science Institute." It hadn't been talked about a lot, so we brought that more to the fore. And we talked about the science behind all the formulations. So, that bolt stood for the science. So whenever possible, you could see through the bolt. You could see the product, the innovation through the bolt. And then, on the other hand, we had science, and then swagger. Swagger came from the athletes. So science and swagger were kind of our bookends. So you can see that we redesigned that product, so it all had that, no matter the form, or the shape, it, whenever possible, it would have that athletic stance. So here you see the performance product, and what this was, this was the full array, we designed the before, during, and after. We called it G Series. So this is a brand that had been around a long time, had one product, so everyone was used to one product. So though insights from the consumers, we learned that we needed to call it something, both G Series, and also have a name, Prime Form Recover, and then we had to add a number, one, two, three, to it. So they really knew that it was something different than what they were used to. It's a system now, one, two, three. So as soon as we added that one, two, three, they got it, okay, a system. And then, as we worked with it over the years, we've learned that the consumer had got used to it, and they now know that, so we were able to pull the numbers off, and we've done a, you know, slight tweaks and redesigns to this. So, the brand book that we created, talks about this is who you are, the emotional part of who you are. And then, this is what you look like. Those are those practical elements. You have the logos and the colors and the shapes. And then execution, you know, how you pull that off. (dramatic drum beats) (athletes shouting) (dramatic drum beats) (whooshing sound effect) (cheering) (dramatic drum beats) And you gotta have a snappy video to reinforce it of course. So, our consumers for this, we had the performance athlete, and those are those aspiring to be professional athletes. The high school athlete. And through talking with them, and, so this is a little bit about the insights. I talked about that a little bit earlier. You get your insights from your consumer, and you get to know them so well, that when you design something they go, yeah, that's mine. Even though they've never seen it before, cause they recognize that. As opposed to, sometimes there, kind of the older way of doing things is that you take things before the consumer, and you say, which one would you pick for our brand? And so, you let them make the decision. So instead of letting them make the decision, you decide who you are, who you want to be, and get to know your consumers very well, as we saw, some of those Nike and Lego and Starbucks examples, and then, you design something for them, and then you get validation from them. They go, yeah, that's nice. You know, that's me. And so, for these performance athletes, when we put this bottle in their hands, they go, yeah, that's it. And away we went. So this was the performance line, before, during, and after. You can see that athletic stance, the visible bolt on all three of those, and then, we went and talked to the professional athletes, and we saw that they had different needs, they needed more carbs, more proteins, more electrolytes, so we created the Pro Series. Even though it's a different color, you see it still retains those elements of the bolt, the shape, the orange cap. We have an orange cap on everything. Even if it doesn't have a cap, we have an orange top. You can see on this, on the pouch, there on the left, that has an orange top to it, so, another distinguishing element from the logo, the bolt, and the orange top. And whenever possible, we would mold the, as Dave talked about in the video, we would mold that bolt into the form. And then, the next athlete were the fitness athlete, those that work out in the gym. You know, formerly, they might have been competitive in college, or just staying, working out to stay in shape. And when we talked to them, we found out they had different needs. They wanted something to fit in a bottle cage while they're working out on the spinning bike. They prefer something to eat before they work out. And they wanted a smoothie, rather than liquid after they work out for the recovery drink, so, you can see, these are in different forms. In fact, the hydration one was clear, lightly flavored. But you still see that orange top, you still see that bolt, the different color, cause it needs to differentiate itself on the shelf. You need to be able to find it when it's together. And part of this, also, was a channel strategy. You have to, when you get to know your business, you go, where are all the places that the customer could buy this? So we launched our performance in grocery, the silver one. The black one we launched in GNC. And then this white one, the fit one, we launched in drug first, before we moved into grocery. And then, and then we also, through talking to the consumers, we came upon this little fact that, a lot of the product is bought by mothers for high school athletes. Hey, you going to the grocery store? Can you get me some of that fruit punch, you know, the Gatorade fruit punch? I'm running low. And so, the mothers, we found out that some of them would like to have an option, a more natural option. So we created the G Natural. And this had sea salt and cane sugars, and we launched it first in Whole Foods, before it moved into grocery. So, again, getting to know your customer, and their needs, and then you fit that into the brand that you have designed. And then doing limited time offerings, an industry standard across lots of industries, of course, is to generate ongoing excitement, you know, for events, or seasonal and things like that. And then we went and talked to the owners, the trainers, the coaches, and we went into the stadiums, and we went to Australian rules football, to cricket, Major League Baseball, and NFL, and NBA, and we talked about their needs, and what they were using. And we redesigned the equipment that they had to make it work better, and we also designed new equipment that they didn't have yet, and of course, we added the ergonomic dunk handle to the cooler, because, actually, a few players had strained themselves, (audience laughs) cause it didn't have a handle on the bottom before. It just had the top handle. And it was a big, bulky, you know, it was straight-walled before, so, even on a 3-D optic like that, you can see it has that athletic stance, it has that bolt built in. The broad shoulders. So we went through all of our, all the product existing, and then, and just like this simple little cart, right here, for baseball, we saw a guy with a dolly. He had a bunch of stuff loaded up on a dolly. He was just hauling it, things were falling off, so we go, oh, there's a problem. So we just designed a new cart for them that was very movable on grass surfaces with big wheels. So we've done a lot of things for World Cup, and, Super Bowls, and it's been an amazing experience. And then all this comes together in these fuel bars. So the fuel bars are where all that fuel for your body comes together, and these are in the training rooms and the locker rooms of top pro and college teams. And they can get all their fuel needs there. So that's Gatorade, and, we'd even done a gym. Gunnar Peterson is a trainer to the stars, and, we even designed his gym to reflect the sensibility of Gatorade. Here's a fun little video that kind of takes you, this is a stop motion video, you know what stop motion is, right? One frame at a time. So we shot this in true stop motion, so it took a while, hey, anybody have like two hours, and we need to shoot, you know, three minutes of footage. So we used our employees. But it was really fun, and we put it together to kind of illustrate how to bring it to life. (footsteps) (bell sound) (footsteps) (electronic dance music) ♪ Hey love ♪ ♪ My life ♪ ♪ Time to ♪ ♪ Say goodbye ♪ ♪ Nowhere ♪ ♪ Oh dear ♪ ♪ My dear ♪ ♪ Crystal tears ♪ ♪ All right ♪ ♪ Fading ♪ ♪ All right ♪ ♪ Fading ♪ (electronic dance music) ♪ Ahhhhhh ♪ ♪ Say goodbye ♪ ♪ I am flying ♪ ♪ Through the sky ♪ ♪ Don't cry ♪ (electronic dance music) ♪ Oh my ♪ ♪ Let's try ♪ ♪ Bye bye ♪ ♪ Let's try ♪ ♪ Bye bye ♪ ♪ Let's try ♪ ♪ Bye bye ♪ ♪ Let's try ♪ ♪ I think I am flying ♪ ♪ No one can find me ♪ ♪ I think I am flying ♪ ♪ No one can find me ♪ ♪ I think I am flying ♪ ♪ No one can find me ♪ (electronic dance music) (synthesizer keyboard) (electronic dance music) (electronic beats) (camera shutter clicks) (synthesizer keyboard) (electronic dance music) (synthesizer keyboard playing) ♪ Ahhhhhhhh ♪ ♪ Ahhhhhhhh ♪ ♪ Say goodbye ♪ ♪ I am flying ♪ ♪ Through the sky ♪ ♪ Let's try ♪ ♪ Bye bye ♪ ♪ Let's try ♪ ♪ Bye bye ♪ ♪ Let's try ♪ ♪ Bye bye ♪ ♪ Let's try ♪ ♪ I think I am flying ♪ ♪ No one can find me ♪ ♪ I think I am flying ♪ ♪ No one can find me ♪ ♪ I think I am flying ♪ ♪ No one can find me ♪ (Gatorade splashing) (synthesizer keyboard)

Class Description

A great brand is the culmination of strategic thought, experience, and a little magic. It all results in a story that creates brand fans. A logo, a name, and identity are starting points but by themselves don’t create successful brands. Learn what it takes to build a lasting and meaningful brand in Branding Essentials for Designers with Stanley Hainsworth.

Stanley is the the former creative director at Nike, Lego and Starbucks and now founder of the multi-discipline creative juggernaut – Tether. In this class he’ll talk about the role stories play in developing a strong brand identity and how to create a strategic roadmap for sharing a brand story with the world. You’ll learn tools and methodologies for creating brands that can be applied to projects of all sizes. 

Stanley will teach the essentials of brand identity design:

  • The importance of bringing a human touch to the brand story
  • Defining brand attributes, vision, and strategies for naming
  • Tactics to to ensure brand consistency across all platforms

Through this class you’ll develop the skills you need to offer clients the complete package when it comes to branding – not just a logo. Deepen your branding know-how and infuse meaning into your design work with branding whiz, Stanley Hainsworth.


Lily Raz

Stanley's branding class was packed with so many actionable takeaways!! I learned so much about the thinking behind how branding is important for companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors. One of the biggest things I learned was when he said describing a brand is like describing a person to someone. He talked a lot about the process that it takes to build successful brands and keep them true to their promise. I really loved when he did a tour of his agency Tether. This class is filled with lots of creative material and great energy. I definitely recommend it! Thank you Creative Live!!