With over 40 projects to this day, Brand Reveal body of work focusses on wine and spirits strategy and occasionally on design & identity. So when 2 of our recent Design projects, with 2 different agencies, won Silver and Gold awards, we thought it would be good to share what we think made the difference in both cases.
Awards are the result of outstanding work with outstanding creative teams. But a creative output has also to make sense. We also call this to be "in strategy". And this is where the briefing makes all the difference, for what we call "Golden Briefs".
The 1st awards were a Silver Medal by IWSC and a Master distinction by The Spirits Business back in 2017 for the design of Mavem, a Super Premium Portuguese aguardente for Lostflavours, a young Portuguese spirits company. The idea with the Megusta agency in Paris was to leverage the 15th century Portuguese discoveries world together with the invitation to discover new flavours.
The second award, which came in a few days ago, is Gold by NY based Graphis for the design of Rumar, a Premium Portuguese aguardente created as well for Lostflavours. This project saw a local execution with Porto based OmDesign based on the carefree feel of vacations.
Looking back at the briefs which ignited the creative juices for Mavem and Rumar, we noticed 3 similar principles.
1- A clear and appealing brand positioning. No, brand positioning is not "a premium price" ! Brand Positioning expresses where your brand sits in your target audience mind, relative to their needs and the benefits proposed by competition.
Looking back at Mavem and Rumar, we placed a lot of importance on a thorough situation review and carried out workshops where we went deep into the target audience motivations and competition offering. Based on these elements, we built a Brand Essence, the Key Brand Benefit and Brand Architectures on which to base and assess every development.
2- A rich brand territory. This is about building the brand world. Many Wines and spirits work on "retro" graphic references. So, if you want to refer to a period in the past, beware of "pastiche" and do study your history because design styles of past decades are very different from each other. Your designer should know about retro styles: the Greetings from Retro Design book is a fascinating introduction to this topic for non-designers.
3- A lot of creative stimuli. This is simply about sharing in the brief how things could actually look like. Use mood boards, typos, shapes, colours, textures... For both Mavem and Rumar, we carried out thorough historical analysis (1600's and 1920's respectively) with many graphic, cultural and historical examples. And if you work with an existing brand, do get intimate with the brand archives: you are writing History.
As a brand owner, you are fully entitled to do that, because you are your best brand expert and should know your brand inside out. Handle this approach with care because some agencies can take these routes as a limit or a free comfort ticket. But good creatives will take this as challenge to overtake and come with better routes.
When briefing, the famous "garbage in - garbage out" principle applies. To get the best creative outputs - and assuming the creative team in front of you is great - do invest time, rigour and richness to prepare your "Golden Briefs". Your creative partners will love it and you will see the difference.