Harvest Box

Bringing the farm to fork movement to your front door.

A brand, a business and a beautiful box for a thoughtfully raised food subscription service.

The subscription economy is taking off. With the click of a mouse, you can order dinner for the next week, a month’s supply of razor blades or a yearly toy membership for your dog. But this fast-growing consumer habit has changed one fundamental principle of business: To be successful, you have to know your customer.

Byron Center Meats has been serving the West Michigan community with delicious, family farm-grown products for generations. With decades of experience in the industry, they saw a need in the market that started with a very simple question:

"Is there a better way to easily purchase thoughtfully raised, healthy meats?”

This project brought three great teams to the table. Byron Center Meats provided endless leadership and decades of subject matter expertise, the team at CQL gave the brand a tremendous e-commerce presence, and creating the brand and customer experience fell on our shoulders.

Farm to fork begins at the farm, so that’s where we started.

Visits to local family farms helped us understand the value of Harvest Box’s products. To these families, “grass-fed,” “free range” and “non-GMO” aren’t buzzwords, they’re principles. Their commitment to environmental stewardship, accountability and personal responsibility have led these family farms to offer their local market extremely high quality products. With the introduction of Harvest Box, it was time to bring some more people around the table.

Before we began building the brand, we spent some time understanding who’d be holding the fork. We led key Harvest Box stakeholders through an extensive persona workshop, which led to additional user based research. Because of the amount of product overhead required to be successful, it was very important that everyone was confident in the business plan, the customers and the brand itself.

A Connection to the Farm

The branding for Harvest Box centered around establishing a connection between the consumer and the producer. This was more than just a big box of meat; the brand reflects a commitment to doing what’s right for the earth and all of its inhabitants. The voice and tone was confident, inspiring and experienced, just like the farmers we shook hands with on our visits.

The visual language was inspired by vintage farm relics and wood cuts—well-worn textures that you would see in a barn.

As we began to focus on the experience a customer would have using HarvestBox, a lot of emphasis was placed on unboxing. With dry ice, product and packaging, the entire box weighed in at 60lbs. Without clear instructions that alluded to heaviness, customers may end up using the products as ice packs, not dinner. Additional collateral pieces such as a magnetic content checklist and cooking guides were designed to make keeping track of your contents easy and provide tips and best practices for cooking. Along with the complete brand system, we also developed a comprehensive brand guide that outlined everything one might need to create new Harvest Box assets. And when the brand was finalized, we managed an extensive print production to meet a tight deadline.

A Tasty Trial Run

Before Harvest Box shipped from coast to coast, we ordered a box and it sent to our office so we could experience our work first hand. Like kids on Christmas morning, we unpacked over 30 lbs of ice cold meat, roleplayed a consumer experience and offered a few suggestions for the next iteration. While most of us didn’t try the product itself, those who did are still licking their lips.

The Next Course

The end of our involvement was just the beginning of the client’s journey. Now, they’ve got a brand, a business and a whole lot of hungry customers who are invested in something better, bigger and tastier.

Customer Voice

“Working with the team to launch our new online store, HarvestBox.com, was a valuable experience for us. They walked us through from start to finish including customer perceptions, product branding, and creating collateral pieces that we are proud of. They took our concepts and ideas and made them a working reality."

Laura Sytsma

Byron Center Meats

Other Work