As part of our Visual Systems class for my graduate studies, a group of four students were asked to choose a strong brand, distil it to its core values, and then explore new market opportunities for it. We applied our instructor Ken Carbone’s Unify, Simplify and Amplify theory on our chosen brand - Acne Studios, a luxury fashion house based in Sweden.
Through in-depth desk research, we discovered that, unlike most fashion brands which are driven by the market and what their customers want, Acne studios is driven by what they feel is right. They are fueled by creativity and see themselves as a creative entity instead of a fashion house.
Taking on the brand’s four principles - integrity, creativity, surprise and confidence, we brainstormed about what businesses Acne Studios can expand into that would be considered surprising and out of the ordinary for a fashion brand, but practical at the same time. While conducting the culture audit, we determined that while we live in a technology driven and instant gratification expectant society, the rise of transparency in production and the artisanal craft movement have opened the door to slow culture in many sectors, especially food and fashion. This has made the relationship between the two tighter than ever - lifestyle magazines popping up on newsstands with food and fashion being the focal point. We asked ourselves, where does Acne Studios fit that will satisfy both the slow movement and fast culture and possibly move a step closer to being more of a lifestyle brand? That's when we made an unexpected discovery - the frozen food industry.
Frozen food fills the need of consumers that want things immediately, but is considered unsexy due to the unhealthy eating habits and lazy lifestyles that frozen food is associated with. We believe the tension between the good and the bad of frozen meals fit into the brand's four principles and that Acne Studios is in a prime position to take something so unhip and move it into the high of the cool.
7i by Acne Studios is the only frozen food meal that uses seven ingredients or less, and we believe that it will disrupt the 300 billion dollar frozen food industry and redefine the way people perceive and purchase these ready to eat meals.
Team: Jayda Chi, M.Y. Nyugen, Philippe Ostiguy, and Madalyn Worthington
Advisors: Ken Carbone