Brill Coffee

Background

Brill Coffee is a premium freeze-dried coffee. Think instant coffee, but not only is it drinkable, it’s actually delicious. They sought to make a splash in the fiercely competitive and world-leading Australian coffee industry.

Founder Joel Brilliant (yep, that’s his real name) appointed us to build a name, identity and packing range for Brill products that could strike customers with the quality of its appearance while following through on the promise of appearance with excellence in flavour and quality. These target customers ranged from direct consumers to cafes and wholesale retailers across Eastern Australia.

With a very limited brand and marketing budget, sub $10,000, we were able to help them launch a brand and range of limited-edition products that sold out within months of launching and attracted a loyal customer base.

What started out as a brand identity and packaging project has turned into a fully-fledged lifestyle brand, with a range of merchandise, expanded product lines and opportunities to sell through independent supermarket chains. We believe that the work done for Brill goes far beyond the best use of packaging category and pertains to the food and beverage sector too. Brill isn’t just something that looks good. It’s coffee that you take on your overseas trips, coffee you go to a special supermarket for, coffee that you buy so you can collect limited edition flag designs and the beautiful glass jars.

Challenge

Our design challenge was to create a brand name,
brand identity and packaging that launched Brill
Coffee into a sophisticated and highly-competitive
coffee industry and justified the premium price tag.

Brill is a start-up business with a limited marketing budget, so the brand and products needed to be highly engaging and sell from rapid paced environments like Instagram and Shopify.

The key objective was to develop a brand that could attract a following of coffee enthusiasts and appeal to cafes for wholesale accounts, as well as larger opportunities, like corporate orders and hamper companies.

Solution

For the brand name, we paid homage to the founder, Joel Brilliant (yes, his legal name). Shortening it to “Brill” highlighted one of the main product features, it’s ability to save the drinker time.

For the logo, we wanted something vibrant and playful, with laid-back character and a credibile “statement” feel. The custom wordmark achieves a fresh feel with stem and leaf inspired curves on the “br” and a playful nature through the ri ligature, like a scoop of brill, shared from one (letter) to another, at the center of the logo.

When it came to the packaging, the solution was practical and cost-effective. Paper labels that could be self-applied onto premium looking glass jars. Premium eco-friendly uncoated stock was used for coffee tasting cards and hand-written thank you notes. While low-cost, they feel premium and build strong emotional connections with the customers.

Using the principles of good flag design (Vexillology), we developed the graphics from simple geometry and bold colours. In the case of the single origins, we reimagined the designs of the flags from the regions
the coffee was grown.

Bright colours were important in a number of ways. Firstly, in reference of origin (through the reimagined flags) as well as to represent the feeling of brewing and tasting Brill; especially important for customers who had yet to experience the coffee themselves.

For photography, we worked with expert product photographers to create a range of dynamic and flat lay product photos to elevate the design and lifestyle shots. This captures the tone and delight at the heart of the experience, that is, the moment of wonder and stillness in the special ritual that is drinking great coffee.

Results

In the two months after launching Brill, with a very limited marketing budget, the client sold out of their first two single origin coffees — the Ethiopian and Guatemalan.

The return on investment was 300%.

The product has been featured on design blogs and picked up by coffee retailers and cafes across Australia, as well as a luxury hamper company and a gift retailer. Their reason for buying and featuring was purely based on the look of the product.

They had companies place orders for hundreds of jars for client gifts. It has also been featured in an international design publication – Inspofinds – and appeared in National magazines and newspapers including Delicious Magazine and The Age.

Awards

  • Winner: Communication Packaging, Good Design Award® 2020
  • Merit: Brand Expression, AGDA Awards 2020
  • Finalist: Branding – Small Business, AGDA Awards 2020
  • Finalist: Packaging, AGDA Awards 2020
  • Finalist: Packaging, Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Design Awards 2020
  • Finalist: Small Brand Identity, Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Design Awards 2020
“We’ve won multiple awards for our designs and frequently receive comments on our branding thanks to Dan and his team.”

Testimonial

“Working with Dan and the team at DSR Branding is excellent. The amount of positive feedback I receive each week on the branding and packaging of our product is astounding and I feel extremely proud to have my name on this product, knowing it’s presented so elegantly and uniquely. I couldn’t recommend these guys enough. The professionalism and attention to detail in their work shows and it’s been an absolute pleasure working with them.

We’ve won multiple awards for our designs and frequently receive comments on our branding thanks to Dan and his team.”

Joel Brilliant, Founder - Brill Coffee
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