A school supplies manufacturing company locked in a commodity category reinvents itself into a fashion forward lifestyle brand.
Carolina Pad, founded in 1945, is a manufacturer of paper products, school supplies, laptop cases and mobile device covers. Its core products are sold through national variety stores, dollar stores and mass retail outlets like Kmart, Target and WalMart.
Facing increased price competition from foreign suppliers and domestic name brands, the category had become a commodity with little differentiation in product offerings. Recognizing this challenge to its profitability and viability as a competitor, Carolina Pad began to vigorously differentiate its products through fashion forward designs in the paper products category. With the proliferation of digital devices and the shrinking market for paper products, Carolina Pad management recognized their business was fading away fast and that a new evolution of products was critical to their future success.
The brand innovation.
In a category dominated by conformity and the status quo, Carolina Pad created a new brand called STUDIO C. Working together with executive management in a series of strategic brand development workshops, we helped the management team position this new brand as a lifestyle brand targeted to a new generation of consumers who use laptops and mobile devices in school.
Through product design that inspires the creative self-expression of the target consumer through everyday lifestyle products, STUDIO C is a bright and colorful alternative creating everyday originality through distinctive design–inspiring fashion conscious young women to break from the predictable and be uniquely fabulous. Positioning the brand as a prominent design house, STUDIO C transforms commonplace products into uncommon experiences with an unyielding passion for distinctive and original design and attention to detail. The STUDIO C brand has been created to influence and inspire a higher customer connection.
Bringing the brand to life, we developed the brand storytelling and messaging platform, designed a new brand identity system, and provided design and creative direction to the marketing team to develop a new e-commerce website, new retail packaging and merchandising programs for the mass market retail channel.
The new brand was introduced to retail in early 2014, Studio C is now poised to make its mark on the world one fashionable product at a time. Here are some of the elements of the creative direction for the brand development platform we created together.