Farm Food Drink SPOTLIGHT - Honey Bee Zen Apiaries
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It all started as a hobby. Then in 2017 Beekeepers Amanda Goodman Lee and Jeff Lee moved from New Westminster to the Kootenays, where they purchased a local honey company, and brought along their own Honey Bee Zen Apiaries venture. Initially there were significant challenges trying to sort out how to deal with two honey brands.
Early on in the coronavirus pandemic, Honey Bee Zen enjoyed some business growth due to shifting consumer behaviour. They were able to capitalize on the growing trend to purchase local food and health-related products.
To catch up with that growth, Amanda and Jeff wanted to formalize their marketing strategy to prepare Honey Bee Zen for significant expansion. They engaged Farm Food Drink to help them prepare a marketing plan with the funding support of The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.
An environmental scan was conducted by Farm Food Drink’s research team, compiling significant data including competitive products, position, messaging, audience, and ingredient source.
Wanting to appeal to a younger demographic than traditional honey consumers, the plan was to raise the perceived value of the Honey Bee Zen brand, making it stand out in the overcrowded BC honey market.
The company’s artisanal approach to developing a variety of foraged honey flavours, infused honey creations, and an expanding cosmetic line, fueled the creative team at Farm Food Drink.
Working from the research outcomes, the creative team then set out to develop a more sophisticated brand and design to better connect with the owners’ values, their younger target market, and market opportunities beyond the Kootenays. It needed to be consistent across product lines in look and language.
Some style considerations during logo and label development, included:
- Ethical and environmentally sustainable
- Healthy, natural ingredients
- Artisan approach
- Love for bees
- Zen appeal
The Logo – Besides the gold hexagon representing a hive cell, the stylish bee rests beautifully in a white lotus flower providing the essence of ‘Zen’.
Honey Labels – A subtle mandala in the background, along with silhouettes of the bee from the logo, were incorporated into the label design. Wellness language on the back label as a message from Amanda and Jeff, indicate a connection with the beekeepers.
Hand Salve and Lip Balm Labels – The bright colour palette charms the consumer who enjoys owning and using the products. The fun names and interesting ingredients also appeal to the buyer.
Although the project focus was primarily on the honey products, it was the labels on the cosmetic line that made the quickest impact. The labelling portrayed a more natural product, a healthier alternative to drug store cosmetics. And, the packaging and labels are very pretty so women would want to carry them in their purse.
After launching product with the new labels, the cosmetic line in December surpassed a 30% increase. This was significant considering all the markets and outlets where these products normally sold, were closed.
The plan is to get into speciality retailers with the cosmetic line, and then push the artisan honey products into new markets as well.
Getting feedback from owner Amanda, she absolutely loves how the new logo reflects her and Jeff’s energy and passion. She was impressed with how the Farm Food Drink team took the time to listen, and really understand what was important to the owners. They saw the research, did the work on the logo and design, and hit it out of the park.
“The whole Farm Food Drink team is a joy to work with,” an enthusiastic Amanda explains. “Besides the creative quality, the project management is impeccable and their customer service exceptional.”
With their new brand elements, Amanda and Jeff are ready to implement the next stage of their marketing plan, including a refreshed website, an online store, and some point-of-sale materials. They’re looking forward to working with Farm Food Drink again, and the feeling is definitely mutual.
They still have a ways to go to get everything updated, but you can visit Honey Bee Zen to learn about their story, their values, and where to find their products.
Be sure to contact us with help on your next market research, business planning, or creative marketing or brand project.