Artisan Spirit: Spring 2020

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ou’re excited. Your distillery has been around a few years now, and it’s hitting milestones that felt impossible within recent memory. Your award shelf is overflowing with gold medals and your spirits are featured on cocktail menus at trendy restaurants and bars across the country. Perhaps most exciting of all, you’re starting to achieve the holy grail of consumer products: market differentiation. When a growing number of consumers think of a certain type of alcohol, they think first of your brand. Obviously, the quality of your hooch is a driving factor behind that decision, but you recognize that it isn’t the quality of the product alone that makes this happen. There are other factors at play. You chose the name of your distillery because it perfectly blended a childhood memory, a favorite musician, and a regional ethos. You picked a unique bottle to help your spirit stand out on the shelf. You chose the colors on the logo because they were beautifully accentuated by the color of your hooch shining through the clear glass of your one-of-a-kind bottle. The logo itself was designed by a local artist, just looking for an opportunity to showcase her skills, and you were excited to be the forum for that work. Again, your product line is the heart of your business, but you recognize that your brand is its lifeblood. One day you hear a purveyor of your fine tasting room mention how much they enjoyed a new restaurant that had just opened in the next town over. The customer asked if they were affiliated with your distillery, since the name was so similar. “Come to think of it,” said the well-meaning customer, “everything about the place seemed similar. I could have sworn that you’d decided to open a restaurant.” The new restaurant was employing the same color scheme, although one of the colors was just a tinge lighter, and the logo surely looked like that local artist hadn’t bothered to find a new inspiration, if indeed they had even created the restaurant’s logo. After a couple minutes of chatting with the customer, it was clear that this new restaurant was doing good business as well. “You could barely get a seat in the place.” Then the customer says something that really irks you: “Anyway, I know I’ll be back to that restaurant.” WWW.ART ISANSP IRITMAG.COM