Lutosa becomes Belviva: new name for national gold
Belgian fries are the national treasure. Eaten with pretty much everything, and on all occasions, they make for a big part of Belgium's everyday culture. Lutosa was a brand of frozen fries that functioned in the market for decades, becoming a classic in the ready-to-cook fries segment. When the trademark and the production unit got sold separately, Lutosa was obliged to change its name.
We created a new brand, translating the product's heritage and enjoyment to a catchy and memorable name: Belviva. Strategic advice for the transition process was another vital part of the assignment. To optimally streamline the change, we aimed to minimise backlash and maximise efficiency in charging the new brand with its predecessor's equity.
Continue reading to discover the process behind this case.
Approach and methodology
This Brand Change was a necessary move. However, it was not a desired one: scrapping the Lutosa brand was a legal obligation imposed by the European Commission when McCain took over Lutosa in 2013. Some years later, Nomad Foods bought Lutosa's production units and had to pick up this task in order to continue successfully. That is how we got in charge of this inevitable rebranding. Guiding the transition in a skilful way was as important as coming up with a new brand name.
To carve out a piece of unoccupied ground in the food sector for Lutosa's new brand, we first conducted research coupled with a benchmarking exercise. We were looking for a new, heritage-worthy name for the entire palette of potato products, exploring three main directions that stemmed from our research. The first one was about using ‘bel’ as a part of the name to clearly indicate the land of fries’ origin. The second direction focused on the potato as a key ingredient. The last one, named ‘experience’, was revolving around the local cultural experience, and the good life moments spent with others that create a feeling described by the untranslatable Dutch word gezelligheid.
To further develop each direction, we followed the same briefing that defined Lutosa’s core identity as a Local Belgian Potato Expert. Another Northern Star to guide us in the search for a new name was constituted of brand values, pinned down in our research: conviviality, accessibility, locality, warmth, quality, and authenticity. When you add the brand personality traits such as relatable, passionate, optimist, joking, family-oriented, it becomes clear what kind of sentiment we wanted to create for the brand, staying true to the existing brand equity.
Supported by internal mediations and legal checks to ensure the name's uniqueness, we eventually landed on Belviva
After the creative naming process supported by internal mediations and legal checks to ensure the name's uniqueness, we eventually landed on Belviva. This name, although new, sounds like it has been around for a while. It is constructed of two elements: 'Bel' naturally refers to fries' land of origin and the Belgian character - this prefix was highly appreciated for its clarity. On the other hand, 'Viva' adds the dynamic dimension, hinting at the pleasure of those moments when fries are a part of enjoying life through celebrations big and small.
Belgian fries for everyone
In order to smoothen the brand transition in the eye of a consumer and reduce any unpleasant surprise effects, we used the packaging as a key medium to communicate the change. We advised gradual transition over an extended period, in which Lutosa's devoted fans could discover the new name, get used to it and finally — love it just like they would love Lutosa. The same went for the complimentary new packaging, which slowly turned into a Belgian flag — an undeniable symbol of heritage and tradition.