Brand Success – Tier to the Top

Most companies understand that brands are powerful marketing assets. As day to day lives become busier than ever, brands offer familiarity and trust, which in turn makes shopping decisions easier. However, some of the biggest challenges companies face is how to structure their brand and on-pack communication.

Designed and implemented at concept stage, brand tiering is one of the most effective marketing strategies. It can turn a rigid brand into a dynamic super-brand with the ability to grow and appeal to a diverse audience. It simplifies shopper navigation and maximises the chance of success. Furthermore, it creates a unified brand system, that’s immediately identifiable, yet easily differentiated within their portfolio of products.

As creative brand communicators and champions of powerful design, it’s our job to help guide companies to success, using such strategies as brand tiering. It’s quite surprising to still see leading FMCG brands with weak brand systems, struggling to differentiate their products on-shelf.

Here are some successful projects we recently completed implementing effective tiering strategies.

Bulk Powders

Bulk powders are a sports supplements online retailer selling 1000’s of products.

We not only turned BP into a desirable lifestyle brand, but helped create a simple and very effective, ‘good, better, best’ tiering strategy.


In collaboration with Bulk Powders we created a four tier system. Using colour psychology (See MJ’s post on colour) to differentiate the tiers, this has simplified their complex array of products and helped target a much wider audience. Starting with the Pure Series, using an everyday white background targeting ‘weekend’ gymers. Secondly, the Complete series uses a bold green background to fit their mid-tier offering, and thirdly, the Pro Series using premium blacks with silver finishes, which specifically targets seasoned professionals. We helped further maximise appeal outside the gym ‘pre, post’ workout with the addition of Active Foods, using a ‘foodie’ purple colour, offering fitness enthusiasts a range of daily food items from egg whites to snack bars.

Since their relaunch in 2013 Bulk Powders have seen sales triple and are having to relocate to a larger factory and warehouse!

Roots & Bulbs

Roots & Bulbs are London’s first cold press juice bar. As juicing is set to become one of the biggest trends of 2014 and many people will be new to the lean green way of life, we wanted to create a functional tiering system, that doesn’t focus on traditional value tiering, but one that offers juicing to a wider audience.

Taking inspiration from the periodic table, we designed iconography, using a single letter and number to denote the sweetness of the juice. For example, G1 the least sweet, are aimed at hardcore juicers, using only vegetables, followed by G2 and G3, the sweetest, to appeal to new juicers. The relevant letter used denotes the core ingredient group used, for example, G for Greens and C for carrots.

Stephenson Personal Care

Stephenson Personal Care are world leaders and suppliers of soap base products. Supplying wholesale to making your very own at home. With 1000’s of bases, lotions and oils they needed a concise system to manage such a diverse portfolio.

The system we created is based on bold typography and colour blocking, with creative iconography as secondary support. Since the redesign, management of their diverse portfolio of products is much easier, has improved product differentiation and simplified shopper navigation.

There will be a full Stephenson Personal Care case study coming soon!

These are just a few successful examples of how sound design strategy has helped our clients overcome their complex challenges.

If you have any challenges to overcome, please get in touch.

Bulk Powders Tiering Stategy R&B-Web-Pages-3200-x-2000-System R&B-Web-Pages-3200-x-2000-08 Stephenson Personal Care