We Tried To Use Storytelling in Brand Building, This is How We Did It.

This is the story of The KOOKEY universe

Kookey by Riposte, a case study .

Kookey is a banana based — snack brand, which aims to introduce a healthier alternative towards your daily snacking habit, targeted to kids. The product line up consisted of; banana cake, banana ice cream, and banana jam. All of the line ups promises balance between tastefulness and healthy nutrition. In order to market these product to the target market, we created a branding strategy that focuses on story telling, this is how we did it.

Kookey Is The Name of The Brand — A Banana Based Snack for Everybody

The problems

Our clients, a conventional business owners with strong background in grocery trading — only has an idea of how the product should be made. However, that idea doesn’t come with an in depth marketing insights of how the product should perform within the market. Then, our task is to create a strategy to crack the market. First of all, we started with proper understanding of the market.

Healthy Snacking Options

Our Analysis

In urban Indonesian market landscape, there are two possible market that could be reached with the offering of the product.

  1. Adult, health-conscious snackers — hobbyist (Mostly women, young, diet, and fitness oriented)
  2. Children who loves to snack, with healthy conscious parents.

The first option however, are a red ocean market with various well established products from highly admirable brand, even some small home business also tries to compete in this market. While our products are not much more healthier compare to the other product in this segments,competing directly in this market, will requires huge amount of capital.

So after discussion with the clients, we aimed towards conquering the latter options. This is where it gets exciting.

Pictures from dailymail.co.uk Shows a schoolgirl eyeing a traditional pancake before going to school

The Problem

Although this market looks promising at a glance, conquering it holds a whole another challenge. In Indonesia, children are not only exposed to general packaged snacks but also traditional snacking options. Those with high hygiene risks but very accessible for children (because of the low price point). These factors makes it virtually hard for us to introduce our new brand, it’s even harder for us to promise a better tasting option for them to snack.

The questions

“How can we grab the attention of these children, introduce our brand, and make them love it ? — when our products are not as accessible as street snacks, and our price is more expensive than over the counter snacks?

Tazos, a bonus toys inside a packaged snacks that’s boomed in Indonesia on mid 2000’s, it’s maybe an equivalent to the effect of toys in happy meals

Our Findings and Direction

We did our research, and found out that children will more likely to buy snacks when they have more “content” in it. What we mean by content is anything that is not about the snacks itself. It might be a bonus toys to play on, a character to idolised, or a story to follow. They don’t really care how the snack tasted or how much it may costs if they have fallen for the “content”. They will ask, begged, or even force their parents to buy those snacks for them.

These findings paved our thinking to create a strategy. First, we should grab our consumer’s heart, by creating a content that is relevant for children, and secondly, we needed to communicate our healthy values to our customer, the moms. In a nutshell, we promote story for kids and health for moms

Introducing the Universe of Kookey

How We Did It

When our consumer demands content, we will give them “A Whole Universe” and that universe will have to revolve around one storyline that will be focused on one simple conflicts of a cute looking and heart warming character design. So we start by designing a storyline.

First Draft of The Characters

The storyline

We were inspired by the myth and facts around the evolution of banana. We knew that banana were first found in the highland of new guinea, farmed by an ancient tribes. Some of the story we heard even tells us that banana is considered as a magical fruits which holds mythical powers.

Detailed Sketch of The Main Character

On the other hand, we found the fact that farming banana is getting more challenging in this modern days, because of its toxic nature that makes the soil where the banana tree live get contaminated and making the banana plants died. Meanwhile, the banana that we usually found in the supermarket are called Cavendish, which have been farmed with specific method that makes it actually immune to those previous diseases.

Draft of The Supporting Character

Using the facts and the myth, we have our big idea of a story “what if the last banana tree in the world dies, and there are only seeds of it left” . We think it could be made into one promising storyline, but we understood that great stories, requires even better characters.

Thus we started to sketch our characters for the story, we bare in our mind that these characters should be lovely for children, yet still resemblance banana in a glance. So we started to sketch few options.

After a few sketches later, we finally met our main protagonist. Meet Makey, a chosen son from the Papu Tribes that have been inherited with the last banana seeds in their village. He is chosen by the elder to embarks on a long journey in order to revive their sacred banana trees. After long days of meditation, Makey finds out from their ancestor’s spirits, that he have to find fresh soils to grow the last seeds. Then off Makey goes to a long journey.

He would then met three different characters (banaknight, princess nana, and the Uttuqhak) in three different realms. Within each realms, he would have to help each of those characters and solve their unique problems while seeking a soil in which the sacred banana seeds could be grown. Later on, Makey will found out that each banana seeds will grow into Kookey product.

First Realm, Gulala Land

In the Sugary Land, Makey will have to rescue princess Gulala from the raid of fiery pirates that tries to invade sugary land and take all the fructose within the land. With the helps of Makey, Princess Gulala (Gula means Sugar in Indonesian) is finally able to negotiate peace with the fiery pirates, and maintain balance of fructose within The Sugary Land. Later on, she lets Makey to plants his sacred seed in the sweetest soil within the land. After Makey perform some sacred rituals, the tree grows, but due to the high level of sweetness within the realms, the banana tree evolves and bear fruits in forms of Banana Cake. This is the first introduction to the First Kookey Product that promises sweetness and nutrition.

Second Realm, The Land Of Fire

In the Land of Fire, Makey will be caught in the neverending battle between Banaknight and Fierce Dragon. A conflict that have been occured in the last decade. Makey being an innocent child he is, rather than fighting the dragons, he tried to mediate peace between the two. He summoned his friends, and try to talks with the dragon. When the talks proven to be futile, they started to play music, voila! The dragon and Banaknight starting to dance together, and realize that there are more ways than just violence to resolve problems. Feeling grateful that makey introduced them to music, songs and dancing, both Banaknight and the Fierce Dragon lets Makey to plant his Sacred Banana Seeds in the most arable land in the Land of Fire. After Makey and his friends perform the sacred rituals, the tree grows once again, but due to the high temperature in the realms, the tree evolves and bear fruits in form of a Banana Jam. This is the introduction for the second Kookey product that promises rich banana flavour to complement every dishes that you wanted.

Kookey Meets Uthuqaq from Ice Ice Land

The Third Realm, Eskibana

In the Ice Ice Land, Kookey met with a unique personality within Uthuqaq. A person that cannot communicate, seems mysterious, and can only speak it’s name “Uthuqaq, Uthuqaq” and so on. For the first time, Makey is not facing a real challenge. On the other hand, he is forced to observe, understand, and empathize to Uthuqaq. He found out that everyday, Uthuqaq struggles to find something to eat. Living in the extreme condition he is, there are not a lot of option in terms of what to eat. He tries fishing, but the fish are too swift to catch, there are no trees that bear fruits… “Wait there are no trees that bear fruits!” An idea sparks in Makey’s head, that he still have a sacred tree seeds, which he believes could grow anywhere across the realms. Then Makey tries to communicate with Uthuqaq about his intention to grow the tree. With all the effort, the sign language, and facial expression, Uthuqaq shows signs of excitement on his face, he then walks away while giving the sign to ask Makey to follow him. At the end of the walk, Makey plants the seed, and perform the rituals. Once again the tree grows, but due to the extreme low temperature in The Ice Ice Land, the tree bears fruit in forms of ice cream. This is the introduction to the third Kookey product, Ice Cream that promises great taste with exciting cold textures.

All the stories are not only meant to sell the product, but also to inspire children to do good, help others, while at the same time, entertain them.

Initial sketch of the packaging label, derives from each story.

The Epilogue

Although the project are delayed by the client, we are quite proud with the end result, by creating the story, we gave the brand the space to grow. Even if the brand creates new line of product, we could make an effort to build a story around the product and connect it to the universe that we built.

Final Packaging Label

We tested the story and character to few children and we gain positive feedback from them, it actually gives us confidence that the story element are crucial to create “content” that matters for your consumer. We believe that it could create engagement that further deepen the relationship between our brand and the consumer.

That’s how we create a story for Kookey, hopefully it will sparks ideas and inspires your creativity to create a storytelling within your brand.

About The Designer

We are from Riposte, a multidisciplinary design firm that envision a world where everybody could have access to good design,

Designer in Charge: Yulio Darmawan, Giorgy Gunawan, and Adrianus Killian

Source: We Tried To Use Storytelling in Brand Building, This is How We Did It.

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