Imagine your average grocery store tomato. It has travelled 1500 miles and spent 5 days in the back of an 18-wheeler to reach the shelf. Over half of what you’re paying for is diesel fuel. AppHarvest is an agriculture startup with the potential to change this. In high-tech greenhouses in Eastern Kentucky, the company will start by growing non-GMO, pesticide-free tomatoes. They require 80% less water and will reach the same shelves as conventionally-grown tomatoes in a day’s drive. Regionalized, efficient food production is an empowering prospect.
Success depends on the ability to communicate their offering to a wide range of stakeholders clearly, quickly. And, the work is highly contextual, which complicates messaging: words like ‘sustainable’ describing their process and product have been so overused they mean nothing, or worse, are a euphemism for BS. Other initiatives in the region promising big things have fallen short. Technologically-led agriculture is a new idea, and people tend to distrust what they don’t know.
AppHarvest enlisted us to develop a powerful, engaging visual and verbal brand strategy and a launch campaign embodying this strategy. We rolled up our sleeves and got to work.
Central Appalachia is defined as much by its people’s strength of character as by its landscape. AppHarvest depends on both. We created a symbol that speaks to this connection, and refined the color palette – a single, earth-toned green to pair with simple, bold black and white. We designed apparel people can don as a badge of support and helped set up their e-commerce platform with custom photography.
For language, we leaned in on an evident point of pain: AppHarvest exists in the space between tradition and innovation, history and the future. But, instead of a potential conflict, we found a common meeting place for all stakeholders. AppHarvest exists – thrives – in the now. They are expanding what it means to farm, and what it means to be a farmer. We built out language rooted in the idea of what farming now looks like, what it can do, and who is needed to do it.
AppHarvest is truly a brand of the people. We helped balance this with the compelling facts to create a simple, heartfelt visual and verbal identity.