The founders of FITCH Brew Co (FITCH), a brand selling iced tea and coffee drinks, have approached the Leeds-based agency Robot Food to help and guide them throughout the branding journey they were about to embark, planned as a way to establish a stronger connection with consumers. With a presence of five years in the market, FITCH wanted to expand beyond its largely B2B sales approach and move into the DTC and “grab and go” segment, and also to seek more investment, the company changed the way it looks so that people can hopefully change the way they think about caffeine.
Slowing down and savoring a cup of coffee seems like history or even a luxury for many of us, as the drink has somehow become a product to boost our productivity at work. But not on FITCH’s watch, as the company seeks to encourage people to rethink the way they drink their beverage, reflecting this amazing idea throughout the entire brand, from name to packaging and illustrations.
In line with the philosophy of slowing down and enjoying the moment is the brand’s name: Currently known as Here&Now, the name suggests that coffee should be used for carpe diem moments, for actual breaks during which one gets to reclaim their time. It playfully defines the idea of a cold brew drink as being the “antidote” to the culture that sees caffeine as the one dose one needs to cope with the extra hours of work they have. When interpreted as a source for charging our batteries, coffee isn’t part of a beautiful ritual anymore but rather a step to getting closer to burnout.
With a new name comes a new packaging, which now looks like tightening the bond Here&Now has created with coffee enthusiasts and tea lovers. Adorned with joyful illustrations — crafted in-house at the agency by Senior Designer Rich Robinson — the packs visually speak about those happy activities people can experience in their downtime while seizing the moment — or, enjoying the “here and now.”
The range of iced tea includes the Sun Trap aroma which pictures a lady enjoying the sun, the Usual Spot beverage, which is a nice company for one indulging in literature and music, and the Open Road flavor, depicted as a drink to quench one’s thirst while traveling. The illustrations for the iced coffee line suggest some more dynamic activities: Such as a walk through the city on the New Ground aroma or a day spent with a friend at a restaurant, visible on the Social Call can.
Robinson says: “As well as visually bringing to life the moods for our individual products, each element of the illustrations can be separated to create a kit of parts, injecting energy and excitement into the wider brand world.” Robot Food’s Client Director, Jess Cook, adds: “With the naming and illustrations, everything now has a meaning — building storytelling into each design.”
The idea of “slowing down and reclaiming your time” — which became the main theme across the visual identity — was partly inspired by research into Here&Now’s cold brew process itself. Cook, the client director, explains: “They actually take quite a long way round everything — they’re making life hard for themselves essentially, but it creates a much better quality product as a result.”
“That’s where our starting point came from: That they slowed down the process. The brand idea is around the drink helping you take the time to slow down and enjoy it. We’re all guilty of using caffeine to power through the next hour at work, but this is about telling a different story and taking cold brew as the antithesis of what you’d normally associate with caffeine,” Cook explains. “We wanted to spin that on its head and talk about things from a much more considered, powerful, and crafted point of view.”
Andy Deeley, Co-Founder of Here&Now (previously FITCH Brew Co), says: “The rebrand aligns with my personal experience around burnout and I wanted to help share a wider message through Here&Now.”
The Here&Now brand inspires consumers to seize the moment and stick to this attitude throughout the whole time when one of the drinks from its portfolio is served. “It’s about ‘slow’ as a mindset: Not lying down horizontally but moving away from that culture of rushing and taking the time out to do the things you actually like and want to do — whether that’s skateboarding, going to the gym or chilling out — not just rushing from one work task to another,” adds Cook.
While researching the history of caffeine and coffee shop culture, Robot Food Senior Creative Strategist, Natalie Redford, discovered that the drink’s meaning changed from being a tool for conversations and exchanging ideas to something we use to change our connection with the sun and help us make it through longer hours of work. “Caffeine was turned into this capitalist tool to do more work, so we wanted to turn that around,” explains the client director.
“Creating FITCH from inception, there was a huge emotional connection for the brand we had built. To rebrand was a big, daunting, but necessary step we felt was required and we needed leading industry experts to help take us there,” concludes Deeley, delighted about the work delivered by Robot Food. There are three Here&Now products available for sale: the New Ground and Social Call iced coffees, and Usual Spot iced tea, with two more tea aromas to be released this summer.