Signal Theory | Branding | Salt & Sear Restaurant-Quality Beef

Cargill: Salt & Sear Restaurant-Quality Beef

Crafting a beef brand that signals restaurant quality at home.

THE CHALLENGE

Cargill wanted to introduce a new, premium brand of top-tier Choice steaks and roasts. Sounds simple enough – but getting retailers to carry a new brand with little to no awareness? Not so much. Convincing retailers to jump on board would take smart positioning, along with branding that’s worth its salt.

THE INSIGHT

To develop a beef brand that resonates with shoppers and retailers alike, we turned to Cargill’s proprietary consumer research.

The data told us that restaurant-quality beef is a product consumers crave.

However, after an audit of the marketplace, Cargill discovered there were no beef brands with a “restaurant-quality” positioning.

With those insights, we brought the steakhouse to the consumer’s house with Salt & Sear Restaurant-Quality Beef: a brand consumers were asking for – and a unique positioning to help retailers fill an unmet need.

THE IDEA

Premium positioning

Knowing there was an unmet desire for restaurant-quality beef at home, we set out to create a brand that represents just that. At the same time, we would hero the consumer as a great chef to position the brand as a category illuminator and expert.

An appetizing name

Ask a chef the key to tender, flavorful and just plain perfect beef, and their answer might surprise you.

It’s not a spice. It’s not a marinade. It’s not high-end equipment. 

It’s in the quality of the beef, along with a generous amount of salt and a nice sear. 

Which, after several rounds of brainstorming, led us to Salt & Sear Restaurant-Quality Beef.

A steakhouse-worthy logo

The logo’s sophisticated serif typography and elegant script ampersand evoke premium quality.

In designing the logo, we knew it needed to look in place on a steakhouse. So we mocked it up on a building. To our delight, the logo looked right at home on a storefront.

A premium look and feel

The brand’s look and feel channels the dramatic, dark, moody ambiance of an upscale steakhouse.

We incorporated high-end surfaces, including slate and marble, into our brand materials. And we captured mouthwatering photography using a dramatic-yet-minimalist aesthetic to draw attention to the beef.

Serving a five-star first impression

To give potential retail customers a taste of the brand, we assembled hand-crafted gift boxes for Cargill to give out at sales meetings. 

Each box included a custom Salt & Sear “menu” with product attributes and consumer insights supporting the brand. Menus included a custom QR code to track sales leads and increase measurability.

The boxes also came with two Salt & Sear filets, along with custom-engraved white marble salt cellars. All introduced with a personal note from their Cargill contact, tucked inside the menu.

Extending the experience to the web

With Salt & Sear Restaurant-Quality Beef still in its infancy, we created a website to help legitimize the brand and build awareness. The website includes a brand overview, a store locator and chef-inspired tips to help introduce Salt & Sear Restaurant-Quality Beef to consumers.

Bringing the brand to life at the case

We extended the brand to the meat case with a unique visual system that has enticing shelf appeal and strong recall.

THE RESULTS

Carried in more than 250 grocery stores along the east coast.


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