On July 11, 2018
Building a Cohesive Distillery and Craft Spirits Brand
Whether a distillery has been around for 10 years, or will open in six months, there’s a chance the brand could use some “self-care” to move from a logo to a cohesive brand. In Portland where our agency is located, that means more than a day at the soaking pool. Get ready for a week-long retreat!
Building a story that consumers connect with and thus spend their hard earned cash buying, means building a brand beyond your logo. If you do have that impressive logo and bottle design though, you’re one step closer to creating a cohesive brand. Here are a few ways to move your company forward from a snazzy logo to a full-fledged brand your customers will incorporate into their lives.
Identify a Target Audience
Digging deeper into what drives your potential customers’ buying patterns will help you build your brand with useful content. How well do you know your ideal customers’ backgrounds, their goals, and their challenges? How old they are? What do they do in their free time? Do they drive a Subaru? Developing personas so you can create an experience that resonates with each customer takes research and insight. That time spent understanding your customers will make the money you spend on marketing that much more effective.
Develop Voice and Tone
We have the same voice (and cadence) all the time, but our tone changes depending on the situation. Your beverage company or distillery needs an established voice and tone, too. Developing a consistent voice and tone when communicating as a brand allows potential customers to form a stronger mental image of your company and strengthens your brand. Key elements to remember when communicating to your audience:
- Will you avoid slang and jargon, or will you embrace it?
- Will you use active voice?
- Will you write positively?
The voice you project as a brand is how familiar, friendly, or straightforward you appear to the audience. Take into account what your voice is and isn’t. MailChimp’s internal voice guide is a good example:
- Fun but not silly
- Confident but not cocky
- Smart but not stodgy
- Informal but not sloppy
- Helpful but not overbearing
- Expert but not bossy
- Weird but not inappropriate
Recognizable Visual Style
As you probably know, recognizable visual style builds from your logo to incorporate the colors, shapes, fonts on all print and online marketing collateral. This means the digital flyer you post on Instagram about an upcoming tasting event has a direct visual connection to your brand whether it be photography style, your logo, or brand colors. You’re very likely doing this but what about your distillery tasting room or storefront?
Including digital assets, your brand can always be more incorporated into your tasting room. Maybe your brand has taken an outdoorsy tone. Are there other elements you can bring into your tasting room to round out the look and feel? I was recently at UP North Surf Club in Portland. One-part surf shop, one-part bar, UP North is a good example of incorporating both product and drinking into one comfortable space. The potted succulents that decorated the sitting areas were for sale, which meant they had dual purpose. Look for ways your distillery can bring in art, plants, and other visual brand cues that will also support local makers and producers.
Build Brand with Content Strategy
Not only does blogging bring potential customers to your website and provide valuable SEO juice, it’s a platform to communicate your brand message. Need help defining your brand message? Hit me up. Using your established tone and voice, your blog is where you can provide solutions for potential customers. Providing these solutions is key to becoming incorporated into the lives of your customers.
To create a lifestyle brand in this way, it’s more than providing a recipe for a festive winter gin cocktail. Lifestyle content is a blog post that instructs your customers how to build the perfect fire while camping (with your whiskey in hand), the best dive bars in coastal cities, or how to build a home bar. It’s content like this that brings your brand front of mind to customers as they live their daily lives. After reading that content about building a home bar, and all of your suggestions for local bitters, syrups, and more — they’ll surely think of you the next time they’re at the liquor store shopping for a local simple syrup.
Need help identifying your target audience, voice and tone, or content strategy? Contact me today by filling out the form or email me: highproofcreative at gmail dot come, and we’ll grab a drink.