The craft spirits category is arguably the most crowded and difficult to navigate. To succeed, a brand must stand out and immediately connect on an emotional level (with both the trade and consumers.) A founder with a vision and strong desire to launch a new craft bourbon came to BrandtBrand to deliver.
Goal/Challenge: Our client had a name and a great and differentiated bourbon, but that was all. As a start-up, Old Elk needed to break through in a category dominated by big names and hot new entrants. While most bourbons are from Kentucky, Old Elk is crafted in Colorado, the place where the most elk roam. That truth, the most powerful thing of all, is where we started.
Approach: In our consumer workshops, the majestic elk and purity of Colorado proved irresistible and resonated perfectly. Old Elk, crafted from the finest ingredients, four times the usual barley for smoothness and sweetness, and blended with pure Colorado mountain water created something new. To convey Old Elk's premium position, we selected a decanter bottle as our canvas. Our mission was to affirm the precious small-batch craftsmanship, and bring a big sticky memorable idea to the packaging. The “elk antler” closure created a disruptive and differentiated structural solution.
We wove together storytelling iconography for Old Elk to use both on and off the package; an identity with proud bold antler letterforms, an intricate premium crest, and a proprietary monogram.
Results: With its superior recipe and iconic packaging, Old Elk has been able to get distribution and launch in five states...and growing.
"We have hired many agency partners in the past, and I can honestly say that finding a true partner, one who will happily roll with you, listen and adapt and feel like part of “our” team is very hard to find. We are a private company, and BrandtBrand “got it”, that we don’t operate like a giant pubic corporation. BrandtBrand indeed blew us away with their sound thinking, big ideas and design work on 3 projects so far. However it was also their willingness to to understand 'our' vision, and our Founder’s passion.
Most recently Old Elk Distillery launched it’s Flagship bourbon. We had the name, and a very special crafted bourbon recipe, but we needed to create a “brand”…and we love the solution, and their team met every challenge we put on the table.
Spirits may be the most crowded of any category, it was imperative that our packaging that would “stand-out” from the rest as well as tell our unique story and connect to the hearts and minds of consumers. We couldn’t be more thrilled with where we landed. I would very strongly recommend BrandtBrand, and their wonderful team who clearly shared our passion every step of the journey."
– Alan Patterson, President, Old Elk Distilleries