Product Rebrands – The Best
Hello, and a HUGE welcome to our very first blog post!! With so many amazing rebrands within the alcohol trade over the last year or 2, we thought we’d review a few of our favourites (and some we didn’t feel worked quite as well as they chould have). So… Here we go. Let us know if we’ve missed any of your favourites!
Rebranded by: Here Design
We don’t actually stock Bacardí but we were lucky enough to be invited to their rebrand event in London in 2014 and what can we say? These guys know how to run an event! As for the rebrand itself, the new bottle design and branding screams classic style, without being a cliché. It’s great to see the historic bat still featuring prominently and the font is perfect – clear and stlyish. The bottle has also been designed with flairing in mind – something that the previous Bacardí bottle was so famous for. The brand was desperately in need of a redesign and this is one of the best we have seen.
Rebranded by: Halewood International
Again, what an amazing job. Gone is the curved, clear bottle and in its place is a modern design, with sharp edges and a matt finish which absolutely screams “quality product”. The first time I saw this, I assumed that this was a more premium version of their gin and that, in a nutshell, is pretty much the whole point of a rebrand – to give the impression that the liquid inside is of a higher quality than its competitors. Similar in shape to a bottle of Hendrick’s, the Whitely Neill is still more than able to retain its individuality with the matt finish and more modern design.
JD Single Barrel
Rebranded by: Studio MPLS
This is a great example of a company modernising their brand, while retaining at least the general shape of their iconic bottle, which does such a great job of standing out on even the busiest of backbars. Gone is the gloss finish, replaced with a larger matt label that oozes class and quality, with more information than the previous incarnation. The bottle, while retaining its shape, has sharpened up a little and lost the branding on the glass itself. Sans-serif fonts add to a modern, but classic feel and increase clarity.
Rebranded by: Optima Brand Design
Wow, these guys have gone from having one of the hands-down ugliest bottles on any backbar, to a simple, classic, streamlined design that stands out for the right reasons. Gone is the 70s-style monstrosity, complete with ugly fonts and a disjointed style, replaced by classic fonts, with a sharper, more modern-looking bottle design, with a longer neck for easier pouring (thank you Giffard). They’ve retained plenty of nods to their heritage, while retaining an up-to-date, modern feel to the design. Their premium range looks pretty slick too.
Mount Gay Eclipse
Rebranded by: Radical Media
This is one of those rebrands where you think to yourself “Well, I didn’t think they needed a redesign but WOW, they did an awesome job, so maybe they did”. Many of the features of the old bottle are still there – the iconic oval shape which (unfortunately) means it won’t be found in many speedrails and the red cap. the label and bottle surface have been completely revamped though. Modernised massively, a larger map of Barbados and clear, modern, bold font showcases their history and heritage extremely effectively, while the glass engraving is reminiscent of the amazing Bulleit bottles.
Rebranded by: Stranger & Stranger
One of the most prolific and consistently impressive design studios, specialising in the alcoholic products market, Stranger & Stranger have done a truly incredible job across the whole range of the Compass Box portfolio. From the 2-tone designs of Peat Monster and “This Is Not A Luxury Whisky”, to the intricate, Eduardo Recife-esque “The Entertainer”, their designs always seem to stand out in a classic, yet modern and eye-catching style. They are also the people behind Kraken, Reyka and Mr. Black’s. A seriously impressive design portfolio.
The Not So Good
We do understand why Pampero decided to rebrand their bottles. They have gone for a more “Premium” look with the redesign. In the rum category, a shorter, squat bottle generally gives the impression of a higher quality of product. Many brands (El Dorado, Havana Club, etc.) use shorter bottles for their more premium, aged expressions. What Pampero have chosen to do is to put their base-level rums (which are still VERY good by the way) into squat, wide bottles. To be fair, they have done a VERY good job – the bottles look great and they have definitely achieved the aim of creating the impression of a more premium product. The issue is the physical shape of the bottle. Ordinarily, this would not be a massive problem but Pampero was a house pour for many bars around the world. What this means is that the product often has to sit in a speedrail and these bottles no longer fit!. This might mean that more than a few bars will opt to change their pouring rum. In fact, it is the polar opposite of what Courvoisier commendably achieved with the release of Courvoisier Exclusif – a bottle which was specifically designed to be taller, narrower, and sit in speedrails.
Chivas 12yo is an amazing product. in terms of value for money, it’s a great choice, which is echoed by the fact that so many bars, all over the world, have this as a staple of their blended scotch range. Recently, the label has undergone a subtle redesign. The issue with subtle rebrands is that they have to be very clever in order to be effective and we’re not entirely sure that this one has nailed it. The label is slightly smaller, with some information removed from the front label and the colours have been brightened up significantly. Now, to call this a “bad” rebrand is definitely a bit harsh (sorry), but the product just doesn’t seems as… “Regal” as it once was. The thing about kings and queens is that they don’t really care about excess and the old label reflected this – it was excessive in its use of elements and the colours reflected a sort of “muted” class. Brightening the colours and shrinking the label have created a more modern feel but perhaps at the cost of the sumptuous, classic feel of the previous incarnation. After all, that’s what we want from Chivas Regal isn’t it? Nothing wrong with a bit of excess. The new logo does look a LOT better on the new display box though, so maybe it’s one that grows on you…
Tanqueray No. 10
Now, to call this a “bad” design would be ridiculous. This is more of a case of “If it ain’t broke…”. The problem is that the previous Tanqueray No. 10 bottle was one of the most beautiful bottles ever made. It was absolutely iconic – its Art Deco style and top-heavy shape made it stand out, oozing class, style and originality. While there are a few products with a similar shaped bottles (St. Germaine for example), there was something so perfect and understated about the shape and the way the dark green glass, silver lid, brushed metal label and even the dark red wax seal combined to create something that was more than the sum of its parts. This really put to bed the whole “Red and green should never be seen” myth. Tanqueray, to their credit, took a massive risk with this one – completely overhauling the design and radically altering the shape of the bottle. There remain small nods to the previous design – it’s good to see the brushed metal label remains but the bottle now looks a little like a finned artillery shell. Does this separate itself enough aesthetically from the Tanqueray Export? We’re not sure but we think that (arguably) the best gin in the world should be in the best bottle in the world. It used to be.