Character design matters
Good character design informs the viewer about who the character is, their name, what they are like. What they wear or choose not to wear, how they stand, how they are shaped, the contours of their profile, their facial expressions, what they carry on their person. These are vital decisions required to elicit emotional responses from the viewer.
This challenge was about how we use character design as a tool that is expressive of what the brand means. It enables a conversation between individual product identity and its health conscious demographic. From a business development perspective it allowed The Smoodyfruits Company is a cross-platform brand, its value resides in stories about taste, flavour, fun, ethics and how these all delight consumers in ways that intrigue. The brand’s equity emerged around a character theme: ‘Twisted Core’, steeped in fun. The theme is about delight in healthy eating attitudes, its about obsession with the source and production with organic ingredients. The range comes alive immersed in sustainable packaging materials and ethical relationships with producers. This project became an exercise in articulating a philosophy for “Twisted Core” with an ethical dimension. It underlined the basis for mapping user-experience, evolving a service and business strategy for the Smoodyfruit Company, setting up an own label strategy.
1. To develop an iconic and expressive character that will intrigue health conscious demographic of The Smoodyfruits Company.
2. To design a corresponding packaging structure.
3. To achieve desired development costs objectives.
Exploratory evaluation of concepts with people
We bench-marked outcomes of our idea with the competition in the UK. We made decision to avoid what became apparent during research: a generic fruit juice category motif adopted by entrants into the space. The visual character had to be endearing, play to the audiences’ instinct for gym-fitness humour. We produced multiple thumbnails for user-testing with consumers on the concourse of a major mainline station in London. It became evident that the “dancing sumo” resonated with potential customers’ feelings about a characterisation of ‘Twisted Core’. It is now visually synonymous with product identity across the range of products in the smoodyfruit company’s portfolio.
Prototyping efforts to make Smoodypods’ idea viable in terms of concepts, development costs and production took us from London through Kuala Lumpur, on a UK Trade Invest Trade Mission, to VinPhu Ltd at Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam. We were able to realise physical interpretation of ideas as well as explore use of materials and possible adaptation of the character as physical components: of a product and service ecosystem.
Business strategy by design
Smoodyfruit company is developing and producing a family of plant based lifestyle products. This approach pays attention to global healthy eating trends. The intention is to develop plant based lifestyle food services and product categories.