hunter © the exchange hero

The Exchange / Food & Beverage Sell Sell Sell! No, wait?

Change your mindset, change your business.

Project type

Brand Start-up

The Exchange

Brand strategy, Identity, TOV, Values, Culture, Brand activation.

Global brands get stale. It happens. With multiple markets to service, blueprints are created and followed to the letter-of-the-law (chapter 271, paragraph 13.6). Yet whilst that’s great for continuity and keeps the CFOs happy, the practice can spell disaster for innovation and growth. Beverage behemoth Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) found themselves in a similar situation.

With a need to reinvigorate their image amongst a marketing hardened, Coca-Cola resistant Australian bar scene, CCA needed to step away from the one-size-fits-all approach they were infamous for. 

Being a director of uber-cool Sydney, Barrelhouse Group and (at the time), Future Brands Manager at CCA, Julian Train could feel the tensions. How could CCA change perceptions overnight? A ‘best-of-breed’ ambassador-led, premium alcohol division that could operate outside of the constraints of CCA and engage with the bar community and public. Boom! Chapeau all around.

hunter © the exchange 10

However, for this to happen, CCA would need a new name, business strategy and identity that’d resonate with their discerning audiences, old and new. This was something that couldn’t be answered with off-the-shelf solutions or a generic approach.

Hunter’s first task was to stop CCA thinking of customers as target markets and to start treating them as people. Next, a naming exercise to find a moniker that would cut through. ‘The Exchange’ did all of this - meaning a to-and-fro of ideas. The real challenge though was to humanise the way ‘The Exchange’ would do things. This was where the real non-cookie-cutter thinking came in; from supporting a customer’s business as if it was their own to creating collateral they actually wanted - bespoke, contemporary items and activation pertinent to the ‘now’. All of these brand shifts lived beyond the usual shelf-life of mainstream marketing. This was, in no little words, a game-changer.

“The brands Hunter worked closely on remained in double-digit growth. They were a major contributor to the successes of those brands. Our whole premium whisky portfolio grew strongly beyond expectations. As a program, The Exchange has been very successful. Hunter was a very close business partner in delivering that growth.
– Mat Smith, Head of The Exchange.

Changing the game obviously means changing the results. The Exchange gained exposure and industry awards along with serious growth for the portfolio as people opened up to new ways of doing things. Nudging the fledgling brand along, the business achieved a lot more beyond the double-digit growth; Respect.

hunter © exchange12

Brand Start-Up Lessons/Key Takeaways:

  • Personas, target audiences and other marketing jargon might be fine in the boardroom or as a customer segment descriptor in your marketing thesis, but not in the real world. Never forget you’re dealing with people. Get out of your office, away from your desk and go see them. Listen to them. Learn about them. Then, and only then can you start to fit into their world. 
  • Dealing and navigating your way through large corporates can be extremely challenging. But once you’re in… work with people who believe in what you're doing and are willing to champion and back you all the way.   
  • It doesn’t matter how strong your ideas are or whether they make complete sense for the business. Change for most people can be difficult… and it might take them some time to come around to your way of thinking. So be patient… and instead use this time to inspire and educate those people.

At Hunter, we can help you with:
Brand strategy, creative strategy, creative direction, art direction, copywriting, brand naming, logo design, brand identity, graphic design, packaging design, project management, production management 
and execution.

*Coca-Cola Amatail (CCA) is a bottler and distributor of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages as well as coffee drinks in the Asia Pacific region. It operates in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji. On November, 2020, CCA was acquired by Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) for USD 6.6 billion. Coca-Cola Amatil was renamed Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP).

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