How One Distributor Turned Three Iconic Cup Brands Into Can't-Miss Branded Merchandise
When it comes to branding, it doesn't get much more iconic than the Solo Cup. The secret lies in its simplicity. Sure, nowadays there's an embossed logo on there, but it's pretty much just a plain red cup. Yet it's instantly recognizable. How do you turn that kind of design perfection into branded merchandise that does justice to the original?
That was the question for BAMKO, the distributor based in Los Angeles, when it set out to help Dart Container Corp., parent company of Solo Cup, launch its Solo Supports online store—not just for its Solo brand, but for its almost equally iconic Jazz and Anthora cup brands. You might not recognize those two names right away, but you'd definitely recognize the designs:
— Wes Finley (@wesblog) June 18, 2015
grab a coffee as a New yorker!
.#coffee #cup #pouch #wallet #vender #NY #brooklyn #souvenir #gift #cafe #newyorker #anthora #iconicnycoffeecup #coffeeaddict https://t.co/rV6W5WRxHp pic.twitter.com/ldBGFMTpY0
— MeMe Antenna JP (@memeantenna_jp) June 30, 2019
All three of these designs are already big in popular culture, appearing in movies and TV shows and all over the internet. BAMKO's job was to capture the essence of each cup and transform it into merchandise that celebrates each design without simply rehashing it. It had to put a modern spin on each classic.
"In creating the merchandise for this store, we wanted to pay homage to the unique iconography associated with each brand under the Dart umbrella," said Jill Albers, director of client success for BAMKO. "Each of these are unique and visually engaging brands that gave us a lot of room to get creative in our merchandise design."
A quick look at the items shows that creativity on display. There's a Solo all-over print button-down that's practically precision-engineered for partying. There's a Jazz fanny pack that doubles down on shared retro appeal. There's an Anthora tumbler that, speaking from experience, definitely keeps coffee hot for longer than an actual Anthora cup from a Brooklyn bodega.
"You can see both from the product selection as well as the design aesthetic itself that we really captured the unique essence of each individual brand," said Albers. "The Solo merchandise is fun and whimsical and evokes the let-your-hair-down-and-celebrate-with-friends vibe that Solo’s ubiquitous red cups have come to embody. The Jazz gear is all meticulously designed and curated to take you back to the halcyon days of the 1990s, right on down to the oh-so-cool fanny pack.”
It's a good thing the designs are so great, too, because the entire collection is in support of a good cause. From June 1, 2020, when the store launched, to May 30, 2022, Solo will donate 20 percent of the proceeds from each sale to Feeding America, with a guaranteed minimum of $75,000 per year. So, now, you can impress your friends not only by showing up to the party looking like a giant Solo Cup, but also by telling them you helped support local food banks in the process.
We'll drink to that.