branding / packaging / advertising

Catalyst Energy

Artboard 5.png
Artboard 2.png
Artboard 4.png

Catalyst is a fictitious energy drink company centered around one goal; breaking free of industry patterns and offering a fresh approach to an antiquated market. A shift in societal norms has shed light on outdated practices of energy drink brands, notorious for promoting stereotypical ideas of masculinity. Recharging the energy industry while recharging consumers, Catalyst is an inciting force for change.

catalyst banner2-02.png

THE CHALLENGE

Renewing outdated connotations 

The key challenge for this project focused on cultivating a unique brand voice, pushing the energy drink product to a broader category of consumers rather than the more traditional hyper-masculine sector. The goal of Catalyst is to target both an untapped energy drink market as well as the traditional consumer audience, all while building strong brand recognition and strategic brand positioning.

THE INDUSTRY

Competitive landscape

The current energy drink market is dominated by male-centric messaging despite the industry being made up of 40% female consumers. Branding typically revolves around frat & jock culture, emphasizing ideals that cause many consumers to hide their consumption with shame. Most energy drinks feel stuck in an early 2000’s mindset, little to no trail blazing happening in this frozen industry.

Trends

Competitive pricing, product improvement, and sponsoring events are the major strategies of companies.

US companies focus on personalization and convenience, while European consumers focus on healthy, zero-calorie, and low sugar functional products.

icons-11.png
icons-12.png
icons-13.png

Energy beverages consumption has turned into a status symbol, especially for the youth. Such consumer behaviour type is expected to drive further the overall demand.

icons-14.png

Manufacturers concentrate on product innovation to gain first mover advantage. Companies continuously try to differentiate their products from competitors to penetrate existing markets.

Demographics

icons-15.png

The energy drink market is heavily saturated with masculine energy, often associated with frat boy, jock, gamer, and other male stereotypes.

icons-16.png

The typical consumer is boisterous and hyper masculine. They crave the intense caffeine boost that comes from the drink, and either prefer the taste over coffee or need the more intense effects.

icons-17.png

Energy drink consumers often identify as hedonists, searching for pleasure and a drive in every aspect of life.

icons-18.png

Some of the main energy drink uses for consumers is pushing through school or work related tasks, partying, socializing, and following peer example.

THE IDEATION

Variety of concepts

Multiple brand iterations were created in an attempt to best fulfill set goals. Each concept focused on the strategic use of a specific element of design, ranging from utilizing colour, typography, or illustration to capture a renewed sense of energy.

Screen Shot 2021-03-16 at 1.56.36 AM.png
Screen Shot 2021-03-16 at 1.57.19 AM.png
Screen Shot 2021-03-16 at 1.58.03 AM.png

THE IDEATION

Finding the tone

The key challenge for this project focused on cultivating a unique brand voice, pushing the energy drink product to a broader category of consumers rather than the more traditional hyper-masculine sector. The goal of Catalyst is to target both an untapped energy drink market as well as the traditional consumer audience, all while building strong brand recognition and strategic brand positioning.

Catalyst_Branding2.png

THE SOLUTION

Capturing the energy of a brand

A line of packaging was created for the Catalyst drinks. Each can features the Catalyst logo, representing the gain of momentum the product provides for consumers. The packaging resembles the glow of a charging battery symbol, a custom typeface and vibrant colour palette encapsulating the energy of the brand.

Catalyst_3DPink
Catalyst_3DPink

press to zoom
Catalyst_3DBlue
Catalyst_3DBlue

press to zoom
Catalyst_3DGreen
Catalyst_3DGreen

press to zoom
Catalyst_3DPink
Catalyst_3DPink

press to zoom
1/3

THE SOLUTION

Positioning & establishing

In order to reposition Catalyst within the antiquated energy drink market, the brand tone needed to be shifted away from connotations of extreme masculinity. This reposition was supported through various collateral pieces, tying the name Catalyst to items that portray the concept of sparking energy. Inspiration from Guerrilla marketing techniques, specifically unconventional and in-environment brand placement, was utilized to strengthen brand position in consumer minds.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Pushing past a package

Catalyst is a brand built around sparking change, in an industry all too familiar with feeling stuck. With a focus on breaking free from norms and cultivating a unique voice, Catalyst allows consumers to purchase energy drinks without buying into a strongly outdated lifestyle. Breaking free of a market ceiling competitors have created, the brand demonstrates the importance of tonal repositioning.