Insights on beer marketing & PR by a beer-war vet

Archive for the 'Little Creatures Pale Ale' Category

15 March

Brand in the hand

One of the earliest lessons I learned from beer marketers was the value of the ‘brand in the hand.’

Patently obvious to learned FMCG marketers, the message was blindingly simple – all of your brand attributes could be (should be) summarised by the pack in your hand.

So… it continues to baffle me that so much effort frequently goes into brewing the beer while the design, the key message-delivery platform – the brand in the hand – seems an afterthought.

I’ve written about this before highlighting the sorrowful cringe I get seeing so many crap (‘yes’ it’s personal opinion and I’m no designer) designs for labels and packages.

I highlighted what I thought ‘good’ looked like in the work of Little Creatures: specifically the work done by braincells design.

cavalier packaging

Brand in the hand

So it gave me a buzz to see the Cavalier team reveal a cool, well-designed refresh for their Brown Ale (pictured) and Pale Ale.

I’m not sure how recent this refresh is.

Regardless: to me it shows solid design and clarity of alignment with their overall brand.

This is not an easy thing to do for craft and small brewers with limited resources.

And even for the big guys it sometimes represents a challenge: as the tortured Cascade brand shows I believe.

Here’s to good design helping brands look as appealing as they should! Cheers!

23 August

Craft beer design: big lessons from little creatures

I’m no designer but I do see craft beer brands that get it, and I cringe for the ones who don’t. ‘Cringe’ because so much passion and effort for the beer just fails to transmit due to dull design.

I’ve always been impressed with the design for Little Creatures.

Great brand name. It dares to be different via stylish clean lines. I especially love the chunky pint bottle pack. And the fresh hopped, bitter Pale Ale just happens to be one of my fave drops. Importantly the market likes it; it’s still here.

Beerlines tracked down one of Little Creatures’ founders, Phil Sexton, to investigate the impact of design. He’s moved on from beer to Yarra Valley wines with two well-known, and well designed, brands: Giant Steps  and Innocent Bystander.

Phil linked me up with Steve Boros, Design Director at the Western Australian firm brainCELLS Pty Ltd which designed Little Creatures and still work for the brand. They also did Innocent Bystander.

Steve played the central design role in the total package that is ‘Little Creatures’. He brought together the many design elements, notably the label and bottle shapes – including the lovely (I want to pick it up) pint pictured here.

I put some questions to Steve who provided these thought-provoking, professional responses.

Why is design important to craft beer brands?

Craft breweries and brands have exploded over the last five or so years: in America to start with but now on the rampage globally. Read more…