WENCK FAMILY FARMS
After years of raising cattle, my family and I knew it was time to create a brand for our beef. From visual identity, to brand strategy, here's how Wenck Family Farms is going to market its great tasting, high-quality beef that you'll love and trust.
September 2020 - Present
Graphic Designer, Experiential Designer, Copywriter, Brand Manager, Art Director
Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Premiere Pro, Figma
Branding, Strategy, Product Development,
Experiential Design, Copywriting, Art Direction
01 | OVERVIEW
As third generation family farmers, Wenck Family Farms is all about family, farming, and growing great-tasting food. Max grew up raising beef cattle on the prairie grasses of western South Dakota, and Linda comes from a dairy and fresh produce farm in southeastern Wisconsin. Their kids, Taylor, Austin, and Andi, grew up showing cattle, baling hay, and selling produce from young on.
Wenck Family Farms believes quality beef begins with quality care. They take pride in using safe, low stress practices to keep their cattle healthy. Their cattle are pasture-raised and grain-finished with as much open air and sunshine as Wisconsin can give.
Land is everything to Wenck Family Farms. It sustains what they grow, which is why they treat it with great respect. Wenck Family Farms rotationally grazes their cattle in a natural pattern to maintain pasture health and wildlife habitat. And, they use farming practices that help regenerate the soil and replenish its nutrients so the land can be farmed for generations to come.
How CAN WE BUILD A BRAND THAT EMBODIES Wenck family farms' VALUES, STORY, AND PRODUCTS?
PROVIDE A VISUAL IDENTITY AND BRAND STRATEGY TO BRING this BEEF TO MARKET.
FROM OUR FARM,
TO YOUR TABLE.
02 | SOLUTION
AN IDENTITY UNIQUE TO WENCK FAMILY FARMS.
In creating a visual identity for Wenck Family Farms, we designed a logo that was authentic, striking, and trustworthy. While striving for originality, we also wanted to meet consumer expectations by incorporating traditional conventions of beef branding, like simple typography paired with either cattle or meat iconography. Naming, representation, and timelessness, were the driving principles for our logo design.
It probably comes to no surprise that a lot of local beef brands are family-owned and operated. Wenck Family Farms serves as the foundation for the entire narrative on which our brand is built: family, cattle, and land. Adding name identification will help consumers recognize our brand -- and more importantly, help consumers remember how it makes them feel.
While Wenck Family Farms offers a wide selection of beef, we wanted to choose a cut that consumers can easily identify: the T-bone steak. Whether you're at a 5-star steakhouse or in your back yard grilling, the T-bone steak is known as one of the most popular cuts of beef because of its robust, beefy flavor. After analyzing the quality of our own T-bone steak, we aimed to create an icon that accurately reflects our T-bone's desirable distribution of fat to beef (marbling). We then paired this icon with a halo of divine lines to emphasize our beef's impressive taste.
As a family-owned business, we created a logo with timelessness in mind so that it may live on for years to come. As the next generation of Wenck family farmers rise, this logo will continue to outline ownership over the beef products Wenck Family Farms sells and ultimately, over the niche we dominate.
COLOR YOU CAN feel.
When choosing colors for Wenck Family Farms, we found that our selections will do more than just evoke emotion -- they'll allow you to see, touch, smell, and taste the quality of our beef. While many food and restaurant businesses opt for warm colors that draw attention and evoke appetite, such as red, orange and yellow, other food-based brands choose green to promote connection with nutrition and wellbeing. Our driving colors, red and green, work in tandem to represent the rich, full flavor of our tender Angus beef and the lush, grassy pastures of our southeastern Wisconsin farm. Our supporting colors, black, beige, and grey, serve to elevate and enrich not only our products, but also the cycle of generational farming -- one that's rooted in respecting the cattle and land we've been given.
TYPOGRAPHY you can hear.
Possibly the most widely used typeface worldwide, and arguably the most hated, is Helvetica. Helvetica is tremendously precise and is in many ways the ultimate expression of the grotesk style. Precision is terrific in the context of brand communications, word marks, and logotypes. It sends a message that conveys dependability, a conservative culture, authority, and control. Because of these design principles, Wenck Family Farms adopted Helvetica Bold as its primary typeface and Helvetica Regular as its secondary typeface.
PHOTOGRAPHY YOU CAN Taste.
They say a photo is worth a thousand words, but we'd argue food photography is probably worth a million and then some. When it comes to branding for food-based businesses, its the photography that determines whether or not consumers will want to try the product. As a result, we photographed some of Wenck Family Farms' most popular cuts of beef. Keeping the color scheme in mind, we snapped high-definition images, both raw and cooked, to accurately reflect the products' color, texture, and overall quality.
BRINGING THE BRAND TO LIFE.
While Wenck Family Farms is in the start-up stage, we still wanted to bring our visual identity to life with branded packaging materials. Below we have 1-pound packages of ground beef in a similar package to what Wenck Family Farms presently uses (wholesale butcher packaging) and brown freezer friendly cardboard shipping boxes. With these designs in mind, it's our hope that Wenck Family Farms might use this identity to establish a consistent brand identity beyond their digital channels.
03 | STRATEGY
Meat lovers, local families, bulk buyers
Beef, cooking, grilling, farming, locality
Given the location fo Wenck Family Farms, consumers fall under three main personas: the loyal customer, the daring dad, and the millennial mom. The loyal customer is defined as a returning consumer who wants to receive unchanged, branded products and enjoy his or her connection with the brand and its people. This individual thinks about reliable products and branding, feels like a valued family member, buys regularly with intention, and senses reliability and trustworthiness. The daring dad is an older father figure or male who wants to find full-flavored cuts fast and avoid pushy sales. This individual thinks about cut quality and shopping efficiency, feels excited and eager to purchase, buys swiftly with little hesitation, and senses premium products. The millennial mom is a young mom or millennial who wants to analyze product information labels and buy with the future in mind. This individual thinks about product packaging and nutrition, feels intrigued and curious to learn more, buys with considerable contemplation, and senses sustainable farming practices and family values.
gap and fill it.
Wisconsin is filled with farms. Ironically, however, the great dairy state Wisconsin has over 500 more beef farms than dairy. With a market so heavily saturated in beef production and sales, Wenck Family Farms has to be strategic in the gap it chooses to fill.
We created a positioning grid to collate local farms and grocery stores within a 30-mile radius of Wenck Family Farms, comparing each based on the price and quality of the beef they're bringing to market. After looking at the grid, we found a gap that would allow Wenck Family Farms to market its high-quality beef at a competitive price.
As a new business, Wenck Family Farms needs to have a clear strategic approach. Having a cohesive brand strategy helps us to not only communicate with consumers, but to also maintain loyal customers while attracting new ones. Before diving into strategic opportunities, both digital and analogue, here are a few questions we asked ourselves:
HOW MIGHT WE educate consumers about Wenck Family Farms?
WHAT IF WE create and promote social content?
Branded website and Facebook page
Promotional video postcards
HOW MIGHT WE expand our consumer channels?
WHAT IF WE sell Wenck Family Farms products to local/seasonal farmer's markets?
Brookfield Farmer's Market
building a website.
Roughly 84% of U.S. consumers believe a business with a website is more credible than one that only has a social media page. To be credible and attract new customers, websites make all the difference. While Wenck Family Farms website is pending, we've wire-framed a basic web-flow that allows for easy navigation, clear copy, and a consistent visual identity. Our website will feature a home page that allows consumers to immediately navigate to package deals and product specials. From there, consumers can learn about the different cuts of meat, bundles, and how to order. Wenck Family Farms' website will also house an about page that shares its family values, narratives, and recipes with consumers.
let's get social.
Social media is important for small, local businesses like Wenck Family Farms because it helps build brand awareness. Social media also lets brands connect with consumers on a personal level through relatability and authenticity. For a family-owned business like Wenck Family Farms, people can find comfort in knowing that there are real people behind the beef. Wenck Family Farms choose Facebook as its primary social media platform. Of the 5 billion citizens in Wisconsin, roughly 80% are on Facebook. Of that group, around 69% are adults, with the greatest demographic being between the ages of 25 - 34 years old. While many use Facebook to write statuses and share photos, a number of individuals are looking for local businesses they can trust. This is where Wenck Family Farms can promote a majority of its branding and product information.
why do i farm?
Consumers often wonder: "Why do farmers farm?" In order to connect with our customers, we created a short narrative to illustrate why my father, Max Wenck, farms. With this video, Wenck Family Farms hopes to not only educate and engage our consumers, but also personalize the brand.
Postcards serve as great reminders for promotions and sales, as well as enhancing existing marketing techniques. With the creation of a Wenck Family Farms postcard, we can also target specific customers without wasting money on mass mailings.
retailers like pop's marketplace.
Pop's Marketplace is located Muskego, WI, and features an array of local produce, creative gifts, and Pop's award-winning popcorn. Before Pop's Marketplace, however, the facility was originally known as Basse's Country Delight, a farmer's market owned and operated by Linda Wenck's parents: Alvin and Carolyn Basse. In the winter of 2020, Wenck Family Farms partnered with Pop's Marketplace to continue the tradition of farm-to-table experiences for those in southeastern Wisconsin. Wenck Family Farms is also looking to rent space at other local farm markets as well as county and state fairs to expand its distribution channels and meet consumers were they're at.
04 | PROCESS
RESEARCH, SYNTHESIS, AND IDEATION
We conducted several primary and secondary surveys with those who typically purchase local beef in southeastern Wisconsin. We learned about their wants, needs, frustrations, and goals when it comes to buying local beef. We also conducted research to learn more about what beef farmers and vendors are already doing to differentiate their brand and stay relevant. After this, we synthesized our findings to narrow in on a few solution options.
creating a unique brand
In creating a visual identity for Wenck Family Farms, we explored possible directions for ways in which Wenck Family Farms might be able to illustrate authenticity, differentiation, and consumer connection. It was this initial phase of design that also inspired the desire to snap food photography and build a short-form narrative on why Max Wenck farms.
TESTING OUR DESIGNS
We ran several rounds of design by our friends, extended family, and even our competitors, as our competitors are also our friendly neighbors. From the feedback given, we found that the overall visual identity and goals of our brand strategy accurately reflect our family, farm, and product quality. A few subtle changes were made to design elements to enhance brand differentiation and visual consistency.
BRINGING EVERYTHING TO LIFE
After incorporating feedback, we went through several additional rounds of iteration in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Lightroom to complete our final designs and mockups. We also spent a great deal of time refining Wenck Family Farms copy to more accurately portray brand origonality and authenticity.
05 | REFLECTION
What's your why?
My dad, Max Wenck, often says, "People don't buy what you're doing. They buy why you're doing it." While this mantra works well for businesses looking to establish themselves among customers, it also works well for our everyday life.
Everyone has a “why.” It’s what gets us up in the morning. It’s what keeps us going throughout the day. It’s what leaves us fulfilled at night. It’s the reason why we do what we do.
Throughout this project, I learned that “What’s your why?” can be a really tough question to answer -- for both the brands you're working with AND yourself. But once you know your "why," well, there really isn't anything you can't accomplish.
Austin Wenck, Strategist
Linda Wenck, Strategist/Copywriter
Max Wenck, Strategist/Copywriter
Taylor Wenck, Art Director