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This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.

 

The Battle of Guaraná

Reviewed Jul. 15, 2008 by Brand New

Industry / Food Tags /

Guarana Kuat Package, Before and After

Guest Editorial by Guilherme Machiavelli

In Brazil, one of the biggest competitors of coke (be it Coca-Cola or Pepsi) in the soda market is a soft drink called Guaraná Antártica, made from the local fruit, guaraná. Ten years ago, Coca-Cola, in an attempt to tackle its rival, launched Guaraná Kuat. Kuat has been marketed in various forms, beginning with the (slightly odd) strategy of declaring itself as having the same taste as Guaraná Antártica. The brand later decided to target a teenage audience, with campaigns following the “Open up your mind�” motto.

Along these efforts through the years, the logo had some iterations, but, up until now, always revolved around the same motif. In march 2008, this has changed, as Kuat unveiled a totally different approach to its identity. According to the official press release from Coca-Cola, the logo tries to break paradigms and to “search for new ways look at things�” which looks like only a different view on the “Open up your mind” thing.

Guarana Kuat Family

Screenshot from the Kuat web site, showing all products.

The main change seems to be the color palette. In Brazil, almost all guaranás work with orange, red and green, reflecting the colors of the fruit… Kuat, instead has put the spotlight in the drink’s color: Gold. Abandoning all the tropical wannabe feeling that the previous versions had, it tries to approach the concept in a more subtle and abstract way. Where once we had an ilustration of the fruit, there is a simple red dot; the K with an elongated swash has been even more prioritized, and typography has switched to an all caps sans serif, placed on the left side of the K. Compared to other soft drink brands, it feels rather minimalist as well. The same happens with all the packaging: The can and the plastic bottle have no bubbles, swooshes or any of the usual elements.

My feelings on the redesign are somewhat divided, though. This rebranding pleases me a lot, aesthetically speaking but, as beautiful as it might be, i can’t seem to perceive the public Kuat is trying to target. It is a refined and well made identity, but will it draw more consumers, or will it deter them, as the weird and different soda that it wants to be and that really, really stands out among its competitors?

Guilherme Machiavelli is a designer/journalist/student in Brazil who works mainly with editorial and web design, along with the eventual branding project.

 

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