Travis Shaw MD

Let's keep this

OVERVIEW

The Virginia Distillers Association represents craft distilleries across the state. Virginia's proximity to spirit moguls, Tennessee and Kentucky, awakened the need for the creation of a consumer facing brand.

My team prepared the winning pitch.

"Your presentation and suggested assets were the most succinct, versatile, timeless, and importantly – provided a gentle nod/tie to Virginia’s heritage."

- Amy Ciarametaro, Executive Director

Virginia Distillers Association

ViRginia Spirits

ViRginia Spirits

Developing a consumer facing brand for the rapidly growing Virginia craft spirits industry. 

This was the winning pitch. 

THE ASK

Create a consumer facing brand on behalf of Virginia's growing craft spirits industry.

THE APPROACH

My team investigated three, high priority areas.

CONSUMERs'

Relationships

with SpiRits

My team conducted 1 on 1 interviews, secondary research, and attended events such as Women Who Whiskey, to gage enthusiasm for craft spirits.

We spoke with experts of the Virginia craft spirits industry including the distillers, ABC store employees, and bartenders.

We wondered what was going to be enough to set Virginia apart from it's neighbors - Kentucky and Tenessee.

EXPERT VIEWS,

OPINIONS

AND AMBITIONS

Virginia's 

Differentiator

The CRAFT SPIRITS INDUSTRY

As my team dove into research, we discovered that the success of the craft spirits industry nationally was echoed in Virginia.

Virginia Spirits sales exceeded $6 million in sales in 2016.

WOMEN WHO WHISKEY

Eager to learn more, my team attended the Women Who Whiskey event put on by the Virginia Distillers Association. 

We spoke to the distillers as they manned their booths and the attendees as they walked around the venue trying vodka, moonshine, whiskey and bourbon.

I wanted to find something new for my husband. His birthday is next month.

Unless you count you count homemade moonshine, no I had not tasted a craft spirit.

We were just looking for something

fun to do.

WE LEARNED

Throughout Women Who Whiskey, we learned that many attendees were avid proponents of Virginia Craft Distilleries, but an equal amount were looking to discover something new.

STAKEHOLDER VIEWS

No two distilleries were alike. Each had a unique origin story, and ambitions for the future. But all seemed in agreement that one thing would hold the key to their success. It resided on getting liquor to new lips.

BARRIERS

There are barriers to trying Virginia Craft Spirits.

WE MUST OVERCOME BARRIERS TO VA CRAFT SPIRTS

PROBLEM

John Shiffer of Virginia ABC told us that Virginia Spirits account for less than 1% of Virginia ABC sales, alluding to a purchasing problem needing to be addressed.

INNOVATION

EXPLORTION

& SOUL

KEY LEARNING

All distillers share an ambitious and explorative heart.

Each distillery is constantly looking for new opportunities such as discovering new ingredients, collaborating with breweries and the creation of new products.

KEY LEARNING

All distillers share an ambitious and explorative heart.

Each distillery is constantly looking for new opportunities such as discovering new ingredients, collaborating with breweries, and creating new products.

WE REALIZED

Virginia's true differentiator.

BEFORE ANY OTHER STATE

Virginia

was about

exploring.

Virginians have always epitomized pushing forward into uncharted territory.

This explorer's mentality shared by every single distillery

is what inspired my team's final branding for VA Spirits.

STRATEGY

Invite the exploration of Virginia Spirits.

BRAND PROMISE

Virginia Spirits is a gateway to a universe of endless exploration.

Look and feel

We intentionally steered clear of whiskey and wooden tones in favor of highlighting the beauty of Virginia.

Inspiration was pulled directly from her landscape.

BRANDING

Long lasting as well as disposable branding opportunities were explored by our team.

IDENTIFICATION

We noticed that on menus, local Virginia menu items such as Virginia oysters were called out. In an effort to bring attention and distinguish Virginia Spirits, a stamp could be used.

This would allow customers to see things that they have been dying to try but couldn't necessarily identify. 

UNIFICATION

In an effort to unify all Virginia Spirits bottles, neck ringers will invite spirits lovers to explore and complete the map, showing that they have tasted distilleries from across the state.

THE FRONT LINES

My team recognized that not only bartenders, but the part-time employees of Virginia ABC stores are key to driving sales.

In an effort to allow them to feel celebrated, hosting a pre-holiday party where they get to try Virginia Spirits will increase advocacy.

Sharing WITH THE BOTTLE CLUB

Over and over, price was voiced as a barrier to purchase. We can combat intimidation by allowing friends to form tasting groups. They can collectively purchase a bottle and then everyone is able to explore together.

Patient intake was slow.

 

MY TEAM 

LET'S MAKE THIS SHORT & SWEET

ASK

Create a consumer facing brand on behalf of Virginia Spirits.

SITUATION

The craft spirits industry is growing rapidly - across the U.S. and in Virginia.

PROBLEM

Despite growth, Virginia Spirits account for less than 1% of VA ABC sales.

CHALLENGE

Unite all of Virginia's unique distilleries under a single brand identity.

KEY LEARNING

Distilleries across the state partake in collaborations. They constantly experiment and explore.

OPPortunity

Show that Virginians have always had, and will continue to have, an explorer's mentality.

BRAND PROMISE

Virginia Spirits is a gateway to a universe of endless exploration.

STRATEGY

Invite the exploration of Virginia Spirits.