Cassina is a caffeinated, tea like beverage derived from Yaupon Holly leaves. Originating from the Southeastern American Indian ceremonial complex, it saw later use in the Civil War in the South as a locally abundant alternative to coffee and Asian origin teas until falling out of favor in the early 20th century due to it’s association as a “low class” beverage.
Panzarella Import Company, a startup manufacturer of Cassina/Yaupon Holly teas was entering the market targeting specialty food retailers, cafés, and coffee shops. Several market competitors were already in place but had yet to capitalize on the promise of the product with their offerings being marketed as a local, natural alternative products to green tea. Our goal was primarily, to entice consumers to eschew their familiar, daily caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea to try an unknown beverage from and unknown producer.
Scope of work
- Brand Strategy
- Logo and visual identity system
Given the fact that yaupon holly tea was almost completely unknown to most consumers, we identified adoption and awareness as being a more pressing concern than any existing market competition. We needed to build a brand identity system which established a heritage and mythology around a product with a lengthy, forgotten history and colloquial recognition as being manufactured from a common, nuisance shrub. In turn, they needed to be intrigued enough by the brand to give Cassina a try.
Our client was very taken with the rich, American history of Cassina and wished to somehow blend it with a nod to his Sicilian heritage to create a product which felt both exciting and new, yet familiar and rooted in centuries of tradition.
The basis of the logo mark is the triskelion, a three armed heraldic emblem with roots in Sicilian culture and the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex. We desired, and created a mark which was simple and timeless, such as those of mariners like the Dutch East India Company. In a bit of theater, the idea was that the logo serves as a stamp or brand by which to stamp exotic, imported treasures. The final solution wraps the arms of the triskelion into a looped “infinity” to symbolize an endless path of trade and makes note of their primary product, yaupon holly leaves.
In the creation of retail packaging, we turned again to Sicily for inspiration this time in the form of Sicilian carts. These traditional horse drawn carts are adorned with a variety of patterns and colors, checks, and stripes. We chose several simple geometric patterns to serve as the basis for the first three flavors, assigning each an individual shape and color to aid in identification.