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In 2001, KOKO was a concept yet to be explored in the market mdash; a new brand of re-defined, modern accessories designed to meet the needs of women. Leading the way was a totally new product - a fashionable lunch bag for adult women mdash; the KOKO lunch bag.
The Creation of KOKO: From Concept to Reality
Up until this point, lunch bags were plastic boxes or low priced nylon containers with images of cartoon characters or action heroes. They were mainly available for a short period of time just before children went back to school every year, and, as they were mostly directed to a younger audience, a very low price was always important, something that prevented quality and styling. There was nothing for adults and most certainly nothing that a teen or woman could carry without embarrassment. Women packed their lunches in plastic or paper bags and hid them, and of course, threw them away at the end of the day.
No company had explored this niche, this ignored group of consumers looking for a lunch bag that wasn't embarrassing to carry on their commute or bring into the classroom, that wasn't a boring design or blah color, that wasn't a throw-away or make-shift bag that leaked in their purse and piled up in the landfills. There was no lunch bag designed for working women, high school and college students, busy moms, teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers...any woman who eats lunch on-the-go and has a sense of style. That is, there was no lunch bag designed for the everyday, style-savvy woman until Cosmoda Corporation identified this gap in the market and created KOKO, a fashionable line of insulated lunch bags.
Providing women with a stylish, sophisticated solution to lunch on-the-go was the mission, and the creative minds behind the design and product development team at Cosmoda's offices in Toronto and Hong Kong made it an overwhelming success. They took the idea of a fashionable lunch bag and created lunch bags that look and feel like handbags mdash; patent trims, silver hardware, textured material, stylish silhouettes, and fashion patterns mdash; the only difference being the fully insulated interior lining; lunch bags that could match every outfit and occasion, lunch bags that were environmentally conscious and encouraged healthy eating and sociable lunches with friends, lunch bags that women would be proud to carry.
Throughout Cosmoda's 35 year history, its aim and passion has always been to create modern accessories and to re-define and imagine new ideas with a design-directed and fashionable twist. Certainly, KOKO has achieved that in a very major way, as it is currently exploding onto world markets.
The KOKO brand name and image is catchy and memorable, simple and sophisticated. It connotes fashion, but in a fun, flirty way. KOKO is familiar and friendly, while still being stylish and classy. It can be interpreted in a variety of ways mdash; sporty or chic, youthful or mature, trendy or conservative. The name KOKO represents exactly what Cosmoda is trying to communicate mdash; that every woman can find a lunch bag or KOKO accessory that represents her personal sense of style!
The KOKO Image
But who would be the face of KOKO- The image had to represent all KOKO women mdash; smart, stylish, funny, considerate, health-conscious, eco-friendly, budget-savvy - and connect with women in various stages of life mdash; mothers, daughters, teachers, students, executives, interns. She was a fresh-faced, captivating, whimsical woman mdash; young or young at heart. She would find the perfect lunch bag, one that was not too basic and not too boring, one that was fashionable, but still functional, one that was just right...at least just right for her!
She came to represent the multi-faceted KOKO woman and all that she stands for:
1. She is style-conscious, but not a slave to fashion
2. She wants to save the planet, but look fabulous doing it
3. She eats all her vegetables mdash; and maybe a bit of chocolate too!
4. She leads a fast life, but likes her food slow
5. She is fluently conversant in both Omega 3s and CSI
6. She is fiercely independent, but hates to eat alone
7. She is young, in all stages of her life
8. Green is her favorite color. Or is it chartreuse- Make that avocado
9. She's careful with her money, except when she HAS to have it
10. She considers "brown bagging it" a badge of honor.
Adding even more punch to the KOKO personality, each lunch bag is given a woman's name mdash; Sadie, Kate, Christy. The names are personal to the designers and team members who create the bags and the names now also come from suggestions from consumers around the world who want to be updated about new styles of KOKO bags to add to their wardrobe.
The slogan, "Eat Well. Be Green. Take Lunch." became a part of the KOKO message mdash; a simple statement that communicates why KOKO is important to women. Leading a healthy and environmentally conscious lifestyle is an integral part of the KOKO philosophy. In line with Cosmoda's mission to provide trend-driven, life-enhancing products, KOKO encourages consumers to cut down on paper and plastic bag consumption and promotes healthier food choices by encouraging women to prepare well-balanced meals for healthy eating on-the-go. KOKO is about providing women with an eco-friendly option for eating away from home...that doesn't skimp on style!
KOKO Creates a Buzz
When KOKO Insulated Fashion Lunch Bags hit the US market, the response was overwhelming. Women were enthused to finally have a stylish solution to the boring alternatives they had in the past. They began sharing their new find with friends, family members and co-workers, and were flooded with questions like "Where did you get that- Is that a purse- Does it come in pink-" Word of mouth was the push KOKO needed to become a stand-out brand in the women's accessories market.
KOKO mdash; More than just a lunch bag...
Since its inception, KOKO has experienced tremendous success around the world, selling literally, millions of bags. The first lunch bag of its kind, KOKO found its niche but didn't stop there. Building on its first-to-market success, Cosmoda did what it does best mdash; imagine and create mdash; to develop large insulated picnic totes and multi-purpose totes, some with removable insulated compartments, to create a lunch bag and tote all-in-one!
As part of the KOKO story and overall message and feeling, KOKO has partnered with world-famous chef Mario Batali, to create the "Mario Batali for KOKO" collection of insulated bags and shopping bags, a collection that Cosmoda has fashionably interpreted for the housewares and kitchenware market.
The KOKO story is in its first chapter. With a strong image that is relevant in today's world, a meaningful message, a strong product development team and a desire to meet the needs of the everyday KOKO woman, the growth opportunities are endless. What's next for KOKO- Stay tuned for chapter 2...