Fortnum & Mason Famous Tea Range Re-Design

Fortnam & Mason Front Fortnam & Mason Tea 1English luxury department store Fortnum & Mason has introduced a re-design of their private brand Famous Tea created by UK based agency DECIDE.

The goal of the redesign was three-fold;

  • to reinforce Fortnums’ authority in premium specialty tea
  • to reflect the brand’s ‘Quintessentially English’ proposition
  • to inject provenance, improve range differentiation and enhance navigation

Fortnam & Mason Tea 2Reinforcing Authority:
Core to re-establishing Fortnum & Mason’s authority in specialty tea was to take confident ownership of the category.

The range was transformed from a sea of grey muted metallics featuring small, difficult-to-read stickered labels, to a colorful, elegant and quirky design that elevates ownership, provenance and range communication.

The distinctive Fortnum & Mason brand marque was elevated within the design hierarchy to create a confident, consistent canopy for the entire range. Clear product differentiation was established through the use fully printed tins and the introduction of distinctive color-coding which is empathetic with the vibrancy of other complimentary F&M product categories.

All designs reflect the brands’ renowned attention to detail.

Fortam & Mason 3Finishing touches were added, including: the use of metallic inks on individual tea bag envelopes; a “time for tea” statement embossed inside the base of each caddy (a prompt to encourage repeat purchase), decorative print on the inside of cartons; and each individual tea bag carrying branded tags – ensuring the positive brand experience continues for consumers, post purchase. QR codes were also included on pack for the first time to further reinforce brand authority – by allowing consumers to access value-added information and advice on making “the perfect cup of tea”.

Quintessential Englishness:
The flagship Famous Teas range is now proudly clothed in Fortnum’s iconic eau-de-nil color, with other sub ranges defined by their own unique color palettes. Authentic decoration, respectfully contemporized (inspired by the Georgian Drawing Room and renowned artists of the time, such as Chippendale) along with iconic text panels – individual to each product – and the inclusion of the Fortnum’s heritage story for provenance, combined with naming and product descriptors (communicated via clear, legible typography) has resulted in an eclectic, quirky and ‘very Fortnum’s’ selection of irresistibly beautiful and fundamentally collectible tin caddies, cartons and drums.

Embossing and a variety of print finishes – reproducing the look and feel of classic Georgian designs on satin, are consistently applied across the wide variety of substrates, injecting preciousness into the designs. This ensures the packaging is not only beautiful to look at, but a delight to hold and unwrap – a “little piece of Fortnum’s to take home” – the perfect gift for you or a loved one and part of the cachet and reward for making such an excellent retail choice.

Fortnnam & Mason 4Provenance, Differentiation & Navigation:
Conscious that communication of provenance, differentiation and navigation must be improved both in store and online, the first element approached was the typographic hierarchy, placing greater emphasis on the blend descriptor, whilst developing a wider design architecture to communicate the brand and the range.

The key information was then framed on-pack within a central panel – each sub range defined by its own decorative style. For example, the Famous Teas range features a delicate bamboo frame, subliminally signaling provenance. High levels of color contrast between typography and background further enhance legibility in the subdued lighting of the Piccadilly Store and the challenging online environment. A clear, color-coded, graphic ribbon wrapped around each product in the Famous Teas range denotes the type of blend, clearly demonstrating the impressive extent of the varieties available. The combination of vibrant color, clear typographical styling and improved hierarchy of information ensures that the Fortnum & Mason shopper, be they from around the corner, out of town or an overseas visitor, can quickly and easily find their range, blend and flavor of choice. This at-a-glance communication of choice encourages cross-trial between blends and ranges, increasing shoppers propensity to purchase additional sku’s – both in store and online.



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Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan).

Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s.
Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago.

Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.