Style

Style is such an elusive concept.

The 80’s had style. The neon, the big hair, the shoulder pads.

In the wine business, style -as an integral part of the brand identity- has a very powerful pull.

For small wineries, most of the time that style is heavily imbued with the founders’ own style and personality. Jovial/ technical/ approachable; the founder really set the tone in the beginning stages. Especially for those owner/winemakers that did it all: from farming to sales, finance to package design.

That style has a genuine character that is very hard to replicate, and sometimes, hard to cultivate, when said founder is taking a step back and new people are running the show, or when the brand is sold.

 

Brands grow, age and evolve. Sometimes, the changes are to adapt to the times: a packaging and logo refresh, the website was looking tired. Other times, there is a deliberate repositioning of the brand in response to market trends, or to better appeal to a new market segment. This evolution brings uneven changes to the different elements that compose the style of the brand.

 

I am fascinated by how style elements -when in harmony- reinforce each other and make a stronger statement. It’s like the satisfying sound when you hit the tennis ball right in the sweet-spot of the racquet.  These style components broadcast a signal that the audience keys into and reacts to by forming an impression of who you (or your brand) is. By the way, that pocket square did not go unnoticed. Nice touch.

 

To create a strong brand presence, the brand manager (owner, manager, head of marketing, whoever cares for the brand in your company, a team), should be aware of all the style components/ brand cues and develop a harmony between them.

 

From packaging to pricing; from the tone of the newsletter to the décor in the tasting room; including winemaking decisions, advertising, marketing materials and a full subset in each category.

The elements are many and varied, and what’s expressed visually in design needs to be echoed in written form in marketing materials and voiced in the experience in the tasting room.

Wine is at the heart of it all. Finesse, power, balance, complexity, ripeness, opulence, focus… when the wine’s characteristics are echoed in the brand style, that’s a thing of beauty.

 

I’ve worked with all of these components and get great joy from aligning them to generate maximum pull for the brand.

If you feel your brand could use a fine-tuning, contact us. We’d love to see what we can do to help you.

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