REBRANDING ADVICE f ro m t h e ex p e r i e n c e d WRITTEN BY CHRIS LOZIER
hen Josh Mayr and his three friends purchased the then two-year-old Wishkah River Distillery in Aberdeen, Washington, rebranding was their first order of business. “The branding was nice, but it was elegant, and I don’t think any one of us has been described as elegant in our entire lives,” Mayr said with a laugh. “It just did not fit our style.” Mayr and crew kept the existing name, which honors a nearby river, but said the imagery needed an update to better suit them and their working-class logging town. They started the rebranding process in June 2012, and after six months they had a new brand they all loved … until now. Four years later, Wishkah River Distillery is rebranding again, although for different reasons. The themes and imagery they chose last time worked well, so they will
PHOTOS PROVIDED BY WISHKAH RIVER DISTILLERY
retain many of the same elements, but the packaging is being overhauled to save the distillery money on glass, labels, and other logistical expenses. Rebranding is not uncommon for distilleries, and Dan Matauch of Flow Design, a Northville, Michigan packaging and branding firm specializing in alcohol beverage brands, says businesses young, old, large, and small rebrand for many different reasons. “If they’re pretty new and things aren’t working for them, maybe they need to reevaluate what’s working, what’s not working,” begins Matauch. “If they’ve been established for a while, they might want a refresh.” Distilleries often rebrand because something has gone wrong or sales are dropping, but not always. Sometimes WISHKAH RIVER DISTILLERY'S ORIGINAL BRANDING PHOTO BY AMANDA JOY CHRI STENSE N distilleries with healthy sales rebrand just WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM
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