Costa Coffee was expanding rapidly into new key markets such as China and UAE and had to ensure global brand consistency. As part of our challenge we had to take into consideration that the brand faced different challenges in markets that were at different stages; in the UK ubiquity was a key issue, whereas in China Costa was establishing a more premium position. There was also an issue with legacy design, with multiple agencies working across different touchpoints and using different styles and fonts. A key issue was the inconsistent reproduction of the Costa Red globally and across all materials.
We helped Costa to undertake the first ever global realignment of the brand.
Our Strategy: Establish a red thread
This was an opportunity to review, refine and align all of Costa’s core brand assets and ensure that there consistent thread running through them so that no matter where a potential customer was experiencing the brand they’d be able to immediately recognise Costa Coffee.
One consistent authentic identity
To place the brand’s focus back on its core proposition we reintroduced ‘Coffee’ as part of the core logotype identity. We went back to the brand’s origins and archives and reintroduced the visual darts from the very first Costa Coffee logo, bringing to life its much-loved heritage. From this, we created the three-bean logo which can be used separately to the wordmarque to create a broader set of assets for use in store design.
Product proposition and identity design
We defined the core propositions and identities for naming Costa’s Signature Blend and Character Roastsrespectively. Signature Blend borrows directly from the parent identity since it was the blend that started it all, whereas Character Roasts utilises a single hand drawn bean to communicate the proposition of the character of origin coffees.
Brand visual language
The brand had no visual language to help create a cohesive look in store. We took the ‘darts’ from the core brand identity and used them as a graphic device to create a consistent look and feel throughout the store experience in everything from wayfinding, to menu design.
Owning a colour
Most significant was the colour management to ensure that Costa could proudly own the Costa Red. We defined the colour, a match to the iconic take-away cup, and then worked closely with all of Costa’s printers to ensure this colour could be accurately reproduced across all substrates used within store. From this, we created the brand’s first Costa Red guidelines, a printedbook showcasing physical samples of the red across all materials, giving printers a benchmark level of quality and consistency to attain moving forwards.
We gave the brand a suite of fonts that were fit for purpose and worked together to achieve greater simplicity, harmony and consistency across all applications. In areas where we could authentically deliver more personality, we used a handwritten font that sat alongside Costa’s main brand fonts.