Ocean Wise refreshes its brand for conscious buyers

The non-profit that raises awareness about ocean conservation is helping shoppers make informed seafood purchases.


Non-profit organization Ocean Wise has a new brand and website so consumers can make informed choices when purchasing seafood.

The new design aesthetic, which also includes an overhauled website by Briteweb, will inform projects like the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, the group’s seaforestation work, but also the Ocean Wise sustainable seafood mark found on products across the category.

“From a shopper marketing point of view, we know that consumers are more than ever, looking for brands with purpose,” says Howard Chang, co-founder of The Turn Lab, which developed the brand strategy, position, values, promise and sub-brand architecture to underpin the creative expression which culminated in a new logo and visual identity.

The group had a hard deadline ahead of the holidays, Chang explains, as a number of major seafood suppliers, packagers and retailers had reprint deadlines for packaging ahead of the new year.

The eight-month project included in-depth primary qualitative and quantitative global research across ten countries and eight languages, as well as The Turn Lab’s 10,000-strong Canadian consumer panel for millennials.

According to Chang, that demographic is less likely to donate to causes, but is more likely to express its values through consumerism, possessing a heightened degree of recognition around how it uses consumer dollars. “Frankly, people want to shop a little bit more guilt-free,” Chang notes.

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Ocean Wise, whose mission is to empower communities and individuals to take action to protect and restore the world’s oceans, started on the process of developing this new brand almost a year ago, while undergoing a period of major change that included the sale of the Vancouver Aquarium.

Informed by research showing that 80% of people understand the need to do more to restore our ocean, but fewer than 20% know how to help, Ocean Wise needed to come up with an identity to inspire and mobilize.

“People had very little awareness of the whole idea of ocean conservation,” Chang says.

The budget was mid-six figures, and according to Chang, it came at the project from a consumer insight, strategic approach, as theturnlab bills itself as consultancy-lead marketing technology company.

As reported in strategy, while seafood growth remains somewhat flat, there are opportunities for different product formats, emphasizing ease-of-prep and capitalizing on the goodwill toward buying local. 

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