The “T” word is now ubiquitous in the natural products landscape. Everyone likes to say they are transparent, just like everyone claims quality and integrity.
But there is another “T” word that gives a brand’s transparency some teeth: traceability.
Not so long ago, transparency was a secondary thought, and traceability was feared. This is a story in which a brand embraced both and in the process discovered its true self, much to the delight of its participants.
Soon into the initial Brand Opportunity phase, we recognized that Gaia Herbs’ core brand message was not clear and did not foster a connection with its participants.
When Ric Scalzo founded Gaia Herbs in 1986, he had strong beliefs in the healing power of herbs and a deep relationship to the plants themselves. He chose the name “Gaia” to embrace the connection to Mother Earth.
For years, he sold his herbal extracts through natural products stores and practitioners, and had established the brand as one of the leaders in the growing liquid herbal extract category. Gaia Herbs had introduced its breakthrough patented liquid phytocaps, which offered the power of liquid extract with the convenience of a capsule.
All of this should have pointed to good growth and profitability. However, Gaia Herbs was experiencing flat sales in a category that was growing. They sought and received investment from TBL Capital, a slow-money investment firm founded by former RSF Social Finance leadership Mark Finser and Joe Glorfield. Their goal was to double their sales in five years.
Discovering the “Why”
Pure Branding was then engaged for a complete brand restage, including Brand Opportunity, Brand Strategy, Market Research, Visual Strategy, Content Strategy and brand expression, that would ultimately affect all aspects of the enterprise.
“Soon into the initial Brand Opportunity phase, we recognized that Gaia Herbs’ core brand message was not clear and did not foster a connection with its participants,” says Yadim Medore, CEO and founder of Pure Branding. “Then, during the workshop intensive with the leadership team, we uncovered the ‘why’ of the brand that was just not being articulated.”
This “why” was close to founder Ric Scalzo’s heart. It was an expression of coevolution between humans and plants.
“Every plant, in its true form, has the extraordinary ability to restore our bodies’ natural vitality through a symbiotic chemical interaction,” says Ric. “It is our deepest belief, our duty, to help others return to a state of harmony by stewarding the coevolution of plants and people — encouraging each individual to meet the herbs that will work for them.”