South Africa produces some of the best Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) in the world, but most consumers are completely unaware of this, not to mention the health and flavour properties, and often revert to cheaper, inferior imported oils. In 2013, an annual booklet was conceived as a means to promote locally produced oils to consumers and culinary professionals as the first and best choice for reasons of health, quality, taste and variety.
The guide had become well established over four years but the brand needed to be rejuvenated, including the online presence - a channel with huge potential that had not yet been developed.
Following an in-depth look at the EVOO market in SA and the world, which gave us an idea of the context and scope of the guide (the playing field), we created a Brand Strategy to set the foundations and lead the way forward.
Creative Direction & Print Design:
We then set about re-designing the brand and the booklet to give it more energy and personality. As a guide, we wanted the information to be visually accessible and appealing. I created a Style Guide of colours, fonts, icons and other design resources to equip and direct our layout artist. For print production we selected an uncoated paper-stock to give it a more earthy, rustic feel in line with the culture of EVOO. With the increased page count, we decided on square back binding. All of these choices resulted in an attractive, high-quality booklet that felt quite substantial considering it was free.
Web Development & Digital Design:
The name "The Guide to Extra Virgin Olive Oil in South Africa" certainly is descriptive, but it's not ideal as a web address. After careful consideration, we decided on the name EVOOSA (ee-voo-sa), an acronym for Extra Virgin Olive Oil South Africa, to stand in as a brand name and web address. We felt that the name had authority and a nice African ring to it. Another virtue of the name was that the .co.za and .com domains were available (in a day and age when it seems that every conceivable phrase is already taken).
The biggest leap forward for the brand was the new website: www.evoosa.co.za. With the guide online, much wider audiences could be reached, creating significantly more value for participating producers and the EVOO industry in general. I translated the printed format to a fully responsive online format, using SquareSpace as the development platform, which allowed me to build the site quickly and cost effectively.
After completely revamping the brand in both the print and digital format, we then focussed our attention on the social media channels, specifically Facebook and Instagram. These platforms allow EVOOSA to engage in an ongoing and dynamic conversation with our audience and the industry, creating significant additional value for our participants and advertisers.
A curated guest list of famous foodies, influencers and enthusiasts were invited for an "Olive Oil Sommelier Appreciation presented as a Swartland Long Table Degustation". Wow! The event was a huge success inspiring a new wave of "Swartland Olive Oil Lifestyle Amabassdors".
Since joining this project in 2017, I have become a business partner in EVOOSA. Keep an eye out for our progress and why not enjoy some South African EVOO in the meantime.