Consolidating brands and repositioning for growth

TreeZero, a clean-tech company, was leading the sustainability charge with its 100 percent, carbon neutral paper products made from recycled sugarcane waste fiber. Partnering with a global PR agency, the organization developed an initial strategy to communicate TreeZero’s “purest, most sustainable paper on earth” story to its Fortune 2000 and university customers with sustainability programs. However, the brand name on the actual product packaging was TreeFrog, which was causing brand confusion and hurting TreeZero awareness. Given this, management decided to consolidate all product names under the TreeZero brand. With this consolidation came the opportunity to better define the TreeZero brand and to create a compelling and differentiating story to take the business through its next phase of growth and funding.

Telling a more emotional brand story

FullSurge began by going back to TreeZero’s roots: the core-inspiring idea that motivated ownership to start the company. Through a combination of in-depth, one-on-one senior leadership and customer interviews we sought to find out what was the original spark behind launching TreeZero. Further, we probed to understand what motivated customers to pay a premium price for basic white copy paper. While our initial impression was, how difficult could it be to create a highly differentiated sustainable paper brand, we found that countless sustainable paper brands were already on the market. In fact, Woody Harrelson was investing and leveraging his brand in sustainable paper. Our recommendations included highlighting that TreeZero needed to tell a more emotional story – elevating the brand beyond simply tree-free. We needed to go beyond the functional and focus more on the benefit of the journey of preventing ground waste through innovation and mimicking nature ultimately. This was what motivated leadership to launch the company and drove customers to make purchase decisions beyond simply price.

We found that countless sustainable paper brands were already on the market. In fact, Woody Harrelson was investing and leveraging his brand in sustainable paper.

Before TreeZero 1
After TreeZero 2
Signage TreeZero 3
Signage TreeZero 4
Signage TreeZero 5
Website TreeZero 6
Package Design TreeZero 7
Successfully securing capital and big-box distribution

TreeZero successfully repositioned the company including rebranding TreeFrog to TreeZero. Since then, they have been able to hold a second capital raise. Most importantly, they have secured distribution deals with FedEx, Staples, Walmart, Amazon and Office Max. Today, TreeZero is one of the leading sustainable paper brands in the country.

“With Natalie and her team, we aligned our company’s purpose and values with our products for a meaningful brand strategy that has driven business growth.  They brought expertise, insight, and creativity using a collaborative approach to uncover strategic solutions that enabled us to tell a differentiated brand story from our commoditized competitors.”

— Laurie Berkin
Chief Marketing Officer, TreeZero

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