With nothing more than a seed of inspiration, a Wisconsin entrepreneur had the vision to create a high-end organic apparel boutique in the heart of Milwaukee. Soon after, BatesMeron got the call to help cultivate the concept.
Part of our challenge was to determine if a luxury organic brand could succeed in Wisconsin’s largest city. Over the course of two months, we developed a 50-page brand book that outlined: Sales trends for green products across multiple industries; case studies of fashion brands incorporating organic lines; tactics for promoting green products and maximizing sales; analysis of primary and secondary target markets; and a geographic overview of Milwaukee to determine an optimal location (based on ZIP demographics and neighboring businesses).
The research we developed inspired the name Olive and a sophisticated identity to match—produced with post-consumer paper and soy inks, of course. The brand targeting that came out of this research served as the anchor for our messaging and influenced everything from the color palette to media placement. For example, the tagline “Where fabrics live and breathe” was written to speak to consumers who want natural, higher quality apparel.
Heavily influenced by our research findings, the ad campaign received praise for its refreshing approach: a fashionably moderate message of “Closet Environmentalism.”Our research found that the green movement enjoys particular success when it reaches beyond hardcore environmentalists to appeal to more conservative consumers. Photography was carefully selected to convey the chic persona that represents the brand’s image and to focus on the character of an Olive customer.
Olive branded bamboo shirts supported their environmental bona fides in style—adding emphasis to their organic identity. To this day, when we tell people all about Olive, their first question is always “What does a bamboo shirt feel like?” This high-end hype grew into a successful PR campaign that clothed half the newsrooms in Milwaukee.
Everything about the Olive brand is unpredictable. In an industry saturated with gritty green hues, Olive adopted a rich palette of blues, browns and aquas. Where green competitors skimp on quality, Olive went responsibly luxe—resulting in a one-of-a-kind brand and boutique.