Coconut Growers Association (CGA) has the distinction of being the only indigenous Trinidad and Tobago manufacturer of soaps, edible oils and fats. In operation for over 70 years, the company is firmly rooted in the Laventille community on the outskirts of Port of Spain. CGA approached us in 2010, with a desire to reposition themselves and their products in the local market, after the sales of their soaps had dropped considerably due to increased competition from global brands. As is the case with so many indigenous companies, CGA’s look, brand, packaging, and marketing were not in line with the high quality of their products (ironically, CGA manufactures products for some of their larger competitors). Their objectives were clear: to reposition not only in their core brand, but also through their product offerings.
We first tackled naming, condensing the longform and slightly intimidating “association” to the acronym of CGA. The core proposition – Always in Good Form – spoke of CGA’s consistently high levels of output. In developing the concave symbol, we explored the concept of a core – of coconuts, yes, but also of people and the earth and the idea of core as being the origin out of which everything else is centered. As part of this examination of inherent values, we also encouraged CGA to take an active role in Laventille, which led to their sponsorship of and involvement in the Art Connect secondary school programme and documentary. Meanwhile, their new typography was inspired by the old, iconic slab serif signage at the factory, and we dropped the case to make the company appear more consumer friendly, rather than speak to its manufacturing side. Once these concepts were solidified and we had worked out collateral, wayfinding for the factory, and branded apparel for team members, we turned our attention towards packaging for soaps. We needed to change the perception – to emphasise their distinctive vegetable base while making them more appealing to customers at the point of sale. With those objectives in mind, we created the tagline, Clean, Pure, Beautiful, and pulled colours and visuals from nature for an overall cleaner, fresher approach. This happened for all of the variants of the soaps – in some instances we did minor updates, and in others we completely overhauled the brands. We also designed in-stored displays for the newly branded products. The end result? CGA adjusted their price points up based on the quality of the packaging, and a change for the better in the public’s perception as to what their products were worth