What do Apple, Tesla and Nike all have in common? Excellent branding where even if you don't know the product you can say which company has produced it. With there being an ever increasing number of craft beers available to consumers, branding is more important than ever to make yourself recognisable to the public. This can be done in a couple of ways either by making all your labels, cans and pump clips consistent and uniform or by have a very unique style for everything you produce. Skinner's Brewery from Truro, Cornwall in the UK have just released their new branding and I have been able to get my hands on some of their beers to take a look.
According to the Small Independent Brewers Association (SIBA) members report for 2016 there were 49 new members in the organisation of which 15 joined in the first few months of 2016 alone! This is ~6% of the total number of members. What this indicates is that there is a large growth in terms of new breweries and beers coming into the market. As such to make your bottles and cans stand out from the others you will need to seriously consider your companies branding strategy. If we take a look at different industries, you can see the value added in getting some great branding. For instance in the electronics industry Apple have really got their branding down to a tee. If you see someone with white headphones then you immediately think that they are using an Apple device. So with this potential impact on consumers branding is now becoming key to every brewery and should not be overlooked.
If we look at the UK brewing scene some brewers have their branding sorted. Beavertown with their resident artist Nick Dwyer are immediately recognisable. The Kernel with their brown paper labels have a different approach in going for a very minimalist brand but are easy to spot nonetheless. After their take over by AB InBev Camden Town Brewery have just undergone a re-branding of their cans to help make them standout from the crowd. Another brewery who has spotted this current trend and have decided to refresh their image are award winning Cornwall based Skinner's Brewery.
Founded in 1997 and given their name from the founder Steve Skinner, Skinner's Brewery have won several awards including the prestigious CAMRA Britain's Best Bitter for their beer Betty Stogs and grown in size over the years with a focus on sustainability and an ethos where reducing their environmental impact is still to the fore. My impression of the branding from them has not always been that flattering as I felt the labels were focussed on innuendo and this didn't really appeal to me. So when I heard they were undergoing a re-branding I was immediately intrigued to see what they were coming out with.
To create their new image Skinner's have collaborated with six artists including; Alex T Fraser who has worked with bands like Mogwai and Ben Folds Five, Stevie Gee an underground artist who has designed for Paul Smith and Vans, to revamp the look for six of their core ales. In addition to this they have also retired Ginger Tosser from their core range and re-named Heligan Honey to Hops 'n' Honey to better reflect how it is made. My first impressions of the new labels were that by working with a series of different artists Skinner's have made a dramatic improvement on what they previously, and that their branding is now much more appropriate for a broader audience including international customers. I believe that this re-boot will be fantastically received and will help them get their fantastic beer into the hands of more customers by helping this family run brewery to stand out from the crowd.
If you would like to learn more about Skinner's brewery and their beers please visit www.skinnersbrewery.com