CASE STUDY: STUDIO C BRAND DEVELOPMENT
A school supplies manufacturing company locked in a commodity category explores opportunities to reinvent itself in a fashion forward lifestyle category.
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 throughout North America.
Facing increased competition from foreign suppliers and domestic name brands, the category had become a commodity with little differentiation in product offerings with ever shrinking profit margins. 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 for the digital age was critical to their future success.
The leadership team made the decision to seek our guidance on developing the strategic positioning, brand messaging and expression for a new line of products featuring vibrant pattern designs for smartphone covers, tablet covers, backpacks and other every day product items that fit the digital age beyond paper notebooks and folders.
The new brand was coined "Studio C", in celebration of the brand's home town of Charlotte, North Carolina. AKA The Queen City. These new products were targeted to Moms and tween girls who valued individuality through fashion oriented self expression. For these customers, sameness was their enemy. "Everyday Originality" became the brand's battle cry.
The vibrantly designed patterns became the foundation of the brand's visual expression and personality. Working closely with the leadership, in-house product design and marketing teams, we provided creative direction and oversight in the development of the brand identity assets, a new e-commerce website, retail packaging, trade show properties and merchandising programs for the mass market retail channel.
In 2014, the Studio C brand was successfully launched in all mass retail channels in North America.