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brands i luuurve 1: innocent drinks

It’s February - the official month of all things love and cheap chocolate. In honour of our Saint Valentine, I’ve decided to write a month long blog series of brands I love and what makes them so brilliant. Obviously I’ll be focussing mainly on the visuals as that’s my area, but I’ll also be exploring how these brands make use of the other 3 v’s: values, vision and voice.

Brands we love: Innocent Drinks

The first brand on the list of loves is Innocent drinks. No doubt you know Innocent from their many genius marketing campaigns (tiny bobble hats, anyone?!) and refreshing voice. Innocent drinks are renowned for their friendly tone and fun imagery and copy. Their brand vision and voice is so true to them and so unique, that they have become pioneers for the eco-fun movement now taken on by so many businesses. Their style is so immediately recognisable through colours, fonts and writing style that they have been able to branch into new markets like almond milk and fizzy drinks without any compromise to their style or recognition.

V no 1: Vision

People need to know your vision so that they can know if your world view matches theirs. We want to buy from people we believe in, people doing good things that excite us, and there’s no way you could miss Innocent’s vision.

From their website: ‘Since then we've started making coconut water, juice and kids' stuff, in our quest to make natural, delicious, healthy drinks that help people live well and die old.’ Innocent drinks are all about health without guilt, looking after yourself without dying of boredom, being good and having fun. Health and fun are not mutually exclusive, and with the amount of fun dripping from every Innocent brand element, they’re proving their own point! The Innocent Big Knit encouraged people to support charity by doing something incredibly fun and silly - drinking delicious juice and knitting teeny tiny bobble hats! That campaign was such a success that they’ve now run it for 6 years!

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V no 2: Values

Through Inoocent’s marketing and online presence, you don’t need to look far to find their core values. They believe in ‘goodness’ which is why their drinks are healthy and full of vitamins, and why they value good deeds like the big knit and staying eco-friendly. Innocent believe in sustainability- there’s a whole section of their website dedicated to it! from their website: ‘We want to take full responsibility for the impact of our business on society and the environment, and try to move our impacts from negative to neutral or (better still) positive.’ Innocent are also socially conscious, putting a great deal of emphasis on their kind and fair working conditions, and having a whole web page dedicated to their gender pay gap report which is incredibly impressive and rare for a successful corporation.

Overall, the values of Inoocent’s brand come down to one thing - kindness. They believe in being kind to yourself, kind to the planet, kind to one another. But it isn’t enough to just believe these things, your brand needs to demonstrate them and that’s what makes Inoocent’s brand so strong and so lovable. They really do walk the walk.

Innocent drinks on Canary Wharf

V no 3: Voice

To any copywriters reading this, it will be no surprise to you that Innocent are considered pioneers of the personalised, ‘cutesy’ brand of copywriting that has become so synonymous with them. There are arguments for and against this type of writing (personally I think that’s how you know you’re doing it right - when what you do divides opinion!) but there’s no mistaking that it is as much a part of Innocent’s brand as their delicious little logo. Innocent don’t shy away from colloquialisms or humour, and they embrace the personification of their brand and products to create a personal connection with their audience. Innocent are all about goodness, and goodness is supposed to make you smile. So it’s no surprise that they focus on such hilarious and silly content as the ‘wee-ometer’ below, and talk to you like an old mate from their packaging.

innocent drinks wee-ometer.jpg
innocent drinks packaging copywriting

V no 4: Visuals

Obviously as a visual designer, the visuals of a brand are always the part I am drawn to first. It’s easy to see a skilfully crafted logo and think ‘yep, they’ve nailed their branding’ but as we all know, it goes so much deeper than that. Innocent have crafted a beautiful, memorable, recognisable and consistent set of visuals that run throughout the brand, constantly backing up and supporting their vision, values and voice. Do thick lines and sharp angles often look great as logos? Yes! But would they look great alongside the messages and attitudes that Innocent are trying to portray? No chance.

innocent drinks logo

Innocent have an adorable logo. It looks like something that could have been doodled on a napkin by a 12 year old, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t perfect for the Innocent brand. It’s such a cute little face, it immediately invokes the right kind of attitude towards Innocent, one of child-like wonder and happiness, something cutesy and fun that is a little slice of good in the world. The delightful little halo is just the icing on the cake.

Not just their logo, but the rounded, brightly coloured fonts work wonders, and rounded fonts are usually a real bugbear of mine! But it just goes so show how most things can work in the right context, and branding is about showing off the personality of your own brand, not just following fashionable design guidelines and trends!

Innocent drinks logo and website menu

Innocent packaging is deliberately kept simple and fuss-free. It’s important that all Innocent products are as easily recyclable as possible, which means simplistic packaging. But also, they’re allowing the bright fruity colours and rich textures take centre stage within their branded packaging. Their vision is all about health and goodness, and nothing says health and goodness like a range of fruit and veg colours!

Innocent drinks are all about being nice and being yourself. In a world of big businesses that don’t give a shit about our planet or any other social issues, this has been a breath of fresh air. Embracing their core values and never swaying away from them has cemented Innocent as the megabrand it is today, all while doing what they love. If that isn’t an argument for your business embracing everything that makes it fun, unique and different, I don’t know what is!

Interested in finding out more about what solid branding can do for you? Let’s have a chat about it (no obligation of course)

Naomi BowdenComment