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cannot get that time back. Sometimes Matauch sees distilleries that design each of their products to look like a separate stand-alone brand, but he does not recommend it. He says that tactic works for well-established brands, but often not for small distilleries. He says your distillery is your brand, not your vodka. “I think the distillery brand has to be a relevant item on the labeling,” he explains, telling that it leads to more product experimentation. “When your products are out on the shelf they’re not going to be in the same area. Let’s say they really love your bourbon — if they see your logo prominent on the front of your vodka they might buy that bottle, too.” Once you fully develop your new brand, Matauch advises implementing it through the brand packaging first before worrying about merchandise or anything else. That way you can judge the reception immediately through positive or negative sales and feedback and make revisions if desired.

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FORM AND FUNCTION Matauch says any rebrand should consider not only the look of the packaging, but also the function and congruity. He says distillers usually start with stock bottles, then look at custom bottles as they grow. If you execute this well, you can order larger quantities of glass, closures and labels and reap the benefits of bulk pricing. “You could do it all in one bottle, or you could have a bottle for clear spirits and another for brown spirits,” tells Matauch. Either way, if your design is orchestrated in a way that limits the variety of packaging styles you have to buy, you are going to save money and your brand presentation will appear more cohesive. That’s why Mayr says they are taking this second rebrand slowly, planning what they want each individual product package to look like with one important goal in mind: streamline the glass. “I know now what I should have known then,” says Mayr. “I’m looking to find more

congruency in the type of glass we use. That would allow me to stack my orders in a manner where I’m getting discounts on volume across the spectrum of my products rather than by each single product. Glass is expensive.” When buying glass you typically get what you pay for, and it does play a large role in your packaging presentation. That said, there is nothing wrong with saving money by buying in bulk. Planned carefully, a rebrand will not only increase sales, but save money, as well. “It’s not just, ‘Hey, I want our bottles to look prettier than they do.’ Everybody wants that,” said Mayr. “This is going to save us money, because what we’re doing now just doesn’t make sense. I think it’s a win-win.” Wishkah River Distillery is located in Aberdeen, WA, wishkahriver.com. Dan Matauch of Flow Design can be reached at (248) 349-7250 ext. 22 or at dan@flow-design.com.

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Profile for Artisan Spirit Magazine

Artisan Spirit: Winter 2016  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.

Artisan Spirit: Winter 2016  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.