Progeny was co-founded by a fifth generation Colombian coffee farmer. Maria grew up in the struggle of being a coffee farmer and lived first hand the impact of a broken coffee chain. One that took their livelihood away year by year, until they lost their own coffee farm.
Progeny went from making $20k in 2017 to +$1M in 2018 and has been growing ever since, POWERING companies like FACEBOOK, GOOGLE, and more...
Progeny was born out of necessity to reinvent a broken coffee chain where the hardest workers are the ones suffering the most. Progeny improves the farmers’ livelihood by giving back the extra income generated by eliminating unnecessary middlemen. Progeny thrives on opening up a window to the source and bridging the gap between the consumer and the farmer.
When I started working on the project, after a quick scan of the industry, it was clear that we had to base everything on Point Of Differentiations (POD). Coffee is a really crowded industry, with lots of (questionable) promises made about transparency and traceability. We had to find something unique about the company, the product or the founder. And the deeper I got into hearing Maria's story, the more obvious it was for the POD to be about her and her unique position and perspective in the industry.
That's when the name PROGENY came to life.
pro•ge•ny: "Offspring" or "children" of. a descendant or the descendants of a person, animal, or plant.
After hearing the story I wanted to create a logo for the company that embody all of the values that Progeny stands for, while being unique and memorable. It also needed to feel authentic while being modern.
I've chosen to use the boundaries of the logo to represent the four elements that represent the brand; keeping everything tight for a powerful and impactful visual image: Quality, Innovation, Integrity and Equality.
For the inner section, the illustration represents the company's values that I've pulled out of the research while talking with Progeny's core team.
I wanted the logomark to feel like one could guess what it meant, but left space for the team to tell the story, like a surprise that would turn any listener into insiders.
Coffee brands are generally founded by "coffee roasters". The closest they are to coffee is the bean, which is a beige color. This might explain why in our research we found a lot of deep blue, brown, green black colors on all packagings.
Progeny being co-founded by a fifth generation coffee farmer took the research beyond physical frontiers, bringing a completely new perspective on the table. I then traveled to the source; Colombia. After visiting a couple of small town and a few farms, see all these colors, hearing them singing while picking up the coffee cherries, playing music and dancing in the street it didn't take long for the solution to jump at me. If you look into Brazil, Colombia or Africa's culture, it's colorful, musical, bright and fun.
The bags are inspired by a mix of “Wayuu art” and “balcones quindianos”, not only bringing their culture forward in a simple design but making the bags stand out next to their competitors.
Because Progeny has a close relationship with the farmers, you will also find information about the farmers that you don't usually get anywhere else, like their photo, story, the coffee score and altitude. You'll also notice that Progeny is represented as "Coffee Farmers"
The principles were unique, playful and strong, creating a cohesive but colorful packaging.
Progeny has such a dense story, that photography will play a big role in sharing it with a broader audience. We spent a few weeks to find the perfect balance between the colorful products, the source and making sure that everything was authentic. Farms picture can look plain and busy at times with the coffee trees. So I wanted to make sure we build space around the product shots so it can leave negative space and create contrast between complexity and simplicity.
You can find below a mock up of what the selection looks like as a whole. I've also compiled a larger collection of photos I've taken in 2019 during my trip to Colombia along with some other shots here
The subscription is a critical part of Progeny's future. It will create not only an opportunity to get a base of recurring customers, but Progeny is planning to bring more benefits to subscribers (like in store pricing, early access to new products, special discount, etc..) so we had to make it stand out.
When created our subscription we wanted subscribers to feel like they were doing more than subscribing to coffee, but they were getting involved in Progeny's mission to take farmers' out of poverty.
Progeny is now using Adopt A Farmer™ for B2B and B2C and has had huge impact in how consumers tell our story. Maria was even invited by Linkedin to talk about it and Forbes released an article
talking about what Progeny's doing.
Today the brand has a strong customer base. Basing the Brand Strategy on POD was a decision that helped the company survive in their drastic shift from B2B to B2C due to Covid-19.
"WITHout our ability to differentiate ourselves through our packaging, our story, and our stellar customer support; I don't think we would have made it so far into 2020."
– Maria Palacio, CEO