DBA Design Effectiveness Award winners Mother, Dalston's and Well & Truly discuss their wins in the face of Covid-1904/06/20
We are thrilled to be celebrating 3 prestigious DBA Design Effectiveness Award wins alongside founder-led entrepreneurial brands Mother, Dalston's and Well & Truly. However, re-wind just a year, and the world seemed a very different place. We talk to the Founder of Mother, and Co-Founders of Dalston's and Well & Truly about their awards and how they have been coping in the face of the pandemic.
Our case study for Dalston's tracks how this East London soft drinks brand has used design to help enable a dramatic commercial repositioning, transitioning from a niche local supplier to establishing itself nationally as a pioneering craft soda brand.
With its strong presence in foodservice, Dalston’s has of course been negatively affected by the impact of Covid-19, but its supermarket listings have helped a brand that historically had the majority of sales in the bars, restaurants and sandwich shops. In recent weeks, the brand was able to quickly respond to the in-home opportunity, setting up a web-shop within days for direct-to-consumer purchases. A set of delivery boxes designed by B&B in the refreshed brand style and mimicking turntables and cassette players has helped boost sales after featuring prominently on social media and in both the creative and industry press. Dalston’s Co-Founder Dan Broughton says: “Being a small brand can be challenging in times like these, but it also enables us to act nimbly in responding to emerging opportunities. The boxes, coupled with our sponsorship of Saturday DJ sessions across lockdown, have helped cement our brand positioning of Soda with Soul, and provided people with a lot of fun and light-heartedness at a difficult time."
The Gold award-winning case study for vending machine Mother demonstrates how powerful design can be when it is applied strategically and coherently across every level of business operation. This joined-up design approach has positioned smart vending machine Mother head and shoulders above its competition.
For Mother, 2020 was set to be a record year in terms of commercial growth, reaping the rewards of five years of intensive work. The impact of Covid-19 has certainly changed that – Mother’s machines exist in urban workspaces and at one point 100% of the business’s sites were closed – but founder Phil Davison sees an exceptional opportunity for the brand as the UK begins to emerge from the crisis and automated retail becomes even more relevant. “The way workplaces operate in terms of employee presence and flow is likely to change, and there’s no doubt that catering will be hit hard. Our business offers a more flexible, automated and hygienic approach, delivered through a desirable brand. The strength of our design means that businesses who may not have considered vending before are happy to welcome our brand into their office or studio spaces.
“Winning the DBA Design Effectiveness Award is a great moment in what is obviously a challenging time, and it reminds us of the power of design. It may seem intangible and hard to quantify, but it is enduring in the face of a crisis and when we come out the other side it will still be as strong as ever.”
Well & Truly
Our redesign case study of snack brand Well & Truly demonstrates the vital role of design in repositioning products to appeal to new consumers. The new design leads on taste, satisfaction and pleasure, shifting the focus from the product’s ‘free from’ status to a delicious and fun eating experience. As a result, sales more than doubled, distribution grew by 50% in just six months, and the brand emerged from the ‘free from’ aisle into the front of store.
With 50% of its business in food service or travel, Well & Truly has certainly been impacted by Covid-19 and, for a few weeks, wasn’t able to get stock from its Italian factory. However, the lockdown has offered a great opportunity to reassess and restructure the business, and fast-track its plans for innovation. “We’re looking to make up for lost sales by introducing new flavours and exploring new categories,” explains Co-Founder Sara Trechman. “The desire for our product hasn’t waned - in the past few weeks we’ve seen record sales in Tesco, and our online sales are up by 200%. We’ve also been strengthening our social media and our following is up 30%. Partnering with like-minded brands on competitions and ‘stay-at-home’ packs has been a great way to deliver the fun of our brand directly into people’s homes.
“Winning a Design Effectiveness Award is a timely reminder of the strength of our brand. And it’s that strength that is enabling us to take advantage of new opportunities as they emerge, and reinforce our relationship with consumers.”
These DBA award winners demonstrate the huge power of design in safeguarding and futureproofing brand success both during uncertain times and beyond.