Parade Organics is dedicated to the manufacture and sale of babies and toddler clothing made from environmentally-conscious natural and sustainable fabrics and materials.
When the use of organic cotton started to become the industry norm and more screenprint baby clothing companies started to enter the market, Parade Baby Organics hired Exhibit A: Design Group to take its brand to the next level.
Parade Organics was one of the first baby and toddler clothing companies in North America committed to using only pesticide and chemical-free certified organic cotton and sustainable materials. Since 2004, all of their products have been made with the finest quality organic cotton under fair trade practices in India, where organic cotton farming has a long history.
The company experienced early success with organic cotton clothing adorned with playful and colourful character nickname prints (pickle, bunny, pumpkin, etc.). The products were sold in limited retail boutiques across Canada.
Having built their business as early adopters in organic and sustainable materials, the owners of Parade Organics foresaw several market conditions that would affect business in the future. First, the increasing awareness among consumers about the importance of organic and sustainable clothing, especially for baby clothing, forced larger retailers such as Walmart to take a new approach to fabric standards for suppliers and marketing. Second, the explosion of the mompreneur movement gave rise to basement entrepreneurs launching potentially competitive clothing companies with funny and clever silkscreen prints (such as iPood, Born to Rock, Shits & Giggles, etc.). Third, the company had somewhat saturated the Canadian market and sought new areas for growth.
Looking to expand its reach, Parade Organics engaged Exhibit A: Design Group to develop a brand strategy and execute a complete rebrand that would elevate its meaning and value to a level beyond the actual merit of their products. Our studio set out to discover Parade Organics’ distinct brand story to strengthen and solidify their market position, and to develop a roadmap for expansion of the company’s wholesale business across North America.
After completing a comprehensive brand audit, we developed a simple, clear and consistent brand character that embodies and expresses the company’s personality and set of values. We eliminated the old logo and wordmark which lacked distinctiveness, character and visual weight for varied product applications and illustrated a bold and memorable brandmark that works seamlessly across all mediums. The brandmark succinctly communicates the product’s softness and the clean air and healthy environment supported by the company’s sustainability practices. It also triggers nostalgia for those long summer days of childhood and balloons, high up in a blue sky among fluffy clouds. A parade day. The proposition tagline supports the brand story and product benefits, simply stating ‘always organic.’
In addition to the brandmark, we illustrated a series of icons to playfully communicate Parade Organics’ product features. The icons are applied throughout the brand design, including on re-useable product tags and to create a visual narrative for an exterior graphic window treatment at Parade Organics’ own flagship retail outlet in Vancouver’s Historic Gastown.
Beyond the brand design, we collaborated with the client to conceptualize an additional product line that would help grow the brand and expand its reach. The ‘Pure Collection’ is a series of custom-printed patterns and single-colour fabrics made into hoodies, kimonos, onesies and baby yoga sets. The company’s original nickname prints became the ‘Playful Collection.’ Our goal was to create a complete lifestyle brand that connects with the mostly female consumers’ emotions to influence their purchasing decision. The brand experience is further elevated by a cohesive clothing label and tagging system including reusable tags, and a simple but distinct packaging design that all focuses on the consumer’s sense of touch. Both functional and aesthetic, the packaging can be hung or stood on a shelf, and clearly showcases the products’ prints. In keeping with the company’s core values, the efficient packaging uses only 100% recycled and recyclable materials.
After completing the development of the product line and packaging system, we were ready to confidently move forward. The new brand platform allowed us to focus on expanding Parade Organics’ wholesale business through the implementation of various direct mail marketing campaigns delivered across North America. The direct mail catalogues embody the brand’s overall attitude and culture by showcasing the complete product range, with lifestyle photography featuring the products in context. The highly targeted twice-annual campaign produced very high response rates and resulted in hundreds of new wholesale accounts.
As part of a successful, long-term, strategic partnership, Exhibit A: Design Group designed and developed a custom ecommerce website that increased conversion rates and improve the brand’s visibility. The website’s user experience design employs graphic elements mimicking a child-like interface and its static left hand navigation allows continuous access to the products no matter what page a visitor arrives on. The site’s product focus and simplicity ensures the user experience is intuitive but also customer-centric to boost conversion rates and increase sales.
Within four years, Parade Organics expanded its wholesale business to almost 500 select shops and dealers in the U.S. and Canada, as well as internationally. The company continually increases its monthly online sales, shipping products to new and loyal customers around the world. The brand was also voted Best Organic Line by Canadian Family Magazine.
© Exhibit A: Design Group. All rights reserved. All content and images copyright.