Research & Strategy:
As we set out to study India’s sweet scape, the client’s business objective was threefold:
1. Find and tap newer consumer segments
2. Drive in-store sales
3. Communicate their wide product range
The first step was setting up camp across different MOD store formats, observing and outlining consumer decisions. The second, surveying donut lovers, which revealed a shift in sentiment: donuts were no longer a novelty, but a daily delight.
Research revealed a new audience— 21 to 28-year-old young adults, who had the ability to spend, or order in, and had the autonomy of decision making. Though they became our prime audience, we needed a strategy that wouldn’t alienate our loyalists: kids, college students and corporate individuals.
Armed with our new discoveries, we wanted MOD to be known for casual treats, stay true to its category and take on the more playful archetype of ‘Jester’.
To speak to this new consumer, we repositioned Mad Over Donuts from ‘affordable indulgence’ to an ‘everyday treat’ and arrived at the brand idea of amplifying everyday or no-occasion celebrations.
A new positioning in place, our first step was to structure the brand into 3 pillars:
Freshness. Flavour. Fun.
These three core principles would come to guide the entire brand experience across all touchpoints. From store design to in-store display, the ordering and delivery experience to packaging and gifting, every aspect of the customer journey was re-moulded on one of or all three of these pillars.
When developing a new verbal language, we looked to MOD’s audience and offering and decided on a voice that is fun, playful, witty, and conversational. We took the core idea of amplifying happiness and celebrating the everyday across communication, especially while renaming their menu and creating their packaging. Each flavour got a fun story of its own, the menu was segmented into “Donuts” and “Not A Donut” and the in-store communication became far more conversational.
As the most consumer-facing touchpoint, their boxes now stood for the occasions they were bought for—the Triple Treat Box (3), the Perfect Party Box (6) and the Super Celebration Box (12).
The New Shape Of Happiness
With drawings of donuts covering every inch of the office and plenty of taste tests later, we finally drew up a mark that stemmed from our 3 pillars and represented the new brand.
Our research showed us that Mad Over Donuts was mostly referred to as ‘MOD’ so we chose to spotlight the abbreviation in our logo as opposed to the full name.
– To signify fun, we retained their signature orange and brown but gave it new life by switching the tones to their brighter, more energetic avatars.
– For flavour, we cued the hero product, donut and played with the ‘O’.
– And for freshness, the imperfect ring signified the brand’s key offering: fresh, handmade treats.
The brand’s previous language was complex- evoking softness, love and indulgence.
For the all-new MOD, we grew the brand’s visual assets to be fun, fresh and have universal appeal so as to not alienate our loyalists.
The new palette is dominated by orange, our strongest visual asset with immense recall value, and includes purple as its secondary colour, with tertiary hues being yellow, teal and soft pink- that cue both confectionary and vibrancy when paired with orange or each other.
For the typeface, we chose a universal one that MOD could own- Quicksand being our final choice. We found that its soft edges and round corners, yet clean and bold features offered us enhanced visibility across offline touchpoints like facades and menu screens.
Illustration also became a big part of the brand’s new direction and we created two distinct styles- one to be used for flavours and toppings and the other to communicate the brand’s story and packaging concepts.
The In-Store Experience:
To make sure the rebrand was a 360 degree one, we turned to the MOD stores and found 4 key challenges. One, there was no consistency across the three store formats- Standalone, Kiosk and Foodcourt. Two, the space wasn’t optimized for effective display and communication. Three, their most popular donuts were in focus but their other offerings like beverages, waffles, other flavoured donuts were completely lost. And finally, the consumer journey and experience needed an immediate refresh.
Our solution was to translate the brand pillars of Freshness, Flavour and Fun to the store experience. To cue freshness, we increased the counter space and made a 3 tier display and an orange donut trolley to display and stack an abundance of freshly made donuts. We also created a neon sign of the brand’s promise- “Made Fresh. Topped Minutes Ago”.
For flavour, we made sure one tier was dedicated to showing every single MOD flavour, and one wall in every store was illustrated to display one of MOD’s flavours.
For fun, we used our packaging and merch as store decor, giving the space a pop of colour. And to make the consumer experience more engaging, we created sprinkle dispensers for every table, an in-store gifting experience and a toppings counter where they could watch someone top their donuts.
Thinking outside and inside the donut box:
Packaging is MOD’s biggest consumer touchpoint and the main problem was the format of the boxes. Most MOD donuts are heavily topped and often, the top of the boxes touch the donuts, therefore ruining the donuts and the customer experience. To tackle this challenge, we created collapsible handles for every box, so delivery executives would know how to handle it and keep the donuts intact.
For the packaging design, we used our flavour illustrations on our hero boxes of 3, 6 and 12, intending to change the flavour every month so consumers begin associating MOD with those beyond chocolate. Each flavour design came with a flavour story in the corner, and a fun line of copy to delight consumers. We also introduced the “box of 1” based on the insight of personal and corporate consumption and separate hot & cold takeaway beverage cups.
MOD Bites and the Box of Happiness were created for gifting and we wanted to amplify the occasion through our design. These box designs were a lot more premium, in shades of gold and teal, and their illustrations indicated a larger than life celebration.
For the assorted bites, we created a fun and fresh bright orange box for generic gifting occasions.
And for the signature bites and BOH we created a premium circular box and a large confetti-covered box respectively, both in teal and gold.
A Truly 2020 Launch :
With the onset of the pandemic, we knew it would be some time till donut lovers could come see their new MOD—so we decided to take it to them! MOD’s audience online is young, fun and always on-trend and when we planned a digital launch of the rebrand (the first of its kind), we played to the platforms’ strengths.
We built up the excitement for a few days before throwing a launch party with the new key message of “Biting into happiness”. It kicked off with a catchy launch video showing the audience MOD’s new energy, look and feel while making sure to communicate that their old favourites weren’t going anywhere. We created a Green Screen background of a virtual MOD store that customers could post on their stories to line up and celebrate, as well as a 15 post grid that mimicked what a new store would feel like- including the new facade, the most loved products and finally the counter with a warm illustration of the staff introducing a celebratory offer.
To add to the festivities we created custom MOD GIFS (that you can find if you type ‘mad over donuts’ into Instagram’s GIPHY bar), and a “Bite into Happiness” post-launch digital campaign to drive home the key message of everyday celebration.
The opportunity to re-brand one of the country’s biggest brands was phenomenal, but it was the joy of designing happiness that makes what we do, what we love.