Tuesday Morning Focus Group: BrewDog Packaging
Our core range packaging has served us pretty well since we launched it just over 5 years ago. However is it now time for our packaging to evolve as we continue to grow our business? Does it feel a little dated or is it still as relevant now as it was in 2007?
We still love the boldness of the original design, however as we have became so close to the labels over the last 5 years we thought it would be good to get the opinion of the people who enjoy our beers.
So, should we look to evolve our packaging design or should we leave it as it is?
Thanks in advance for the feedback.
- Let's think about what matters if you want to be a leader rather than a follower:
Be confident about what you stand for!
Don't listen to market research - it just dilutes everything down to mediocrity!
PS Keep making great beer!
- Definitely time for it to evolve. I've always loved the branding, but it has stayed the same while beer culture has moved forward. In my local Waitrose, the Punk IPA bottles now look cheap'n'tacky rather than revolutionary when sitting alongside other craft and niche beer offerings.
My suggestions -
Richen the colour set. Bring back an edge to the style, reduce the cheapness.
Look at more distinctive bottles, if you can. Brewdog is now behind the curve here. The Abstrakt bottles are beautiful, but probably too costly for the core range!
Adjust the tone of voice. Your drinkers have changed. They are knowledgeable and discerning, the content should reflect that.mdja18.10.2012
- As a publican I can quite happily say that your bottles are some of the most eyecatching I've seen. Does exactly what packaging is meant to do. You can see the product, your logo, brief description, it catches your eye, and it looks fun, "if it ain't broke don't fix it" in my opinion :) debs18.10.2012
- I like the labelling but wish you'd move to larger bottles. All the other craft beers come in 500ml or 660ml. Although i love many of the under 6% abv brewdog beers, i usually end up buying Jarl, Schiehallion or Landlord instead because they fill a pint glass. I know you sell Punk in large bottles, but they look terrible. Needs to be a more distinctive bottle. UremaW18.10.2012
- Still no Zeitgeist, the best BrewDog beer of them all. thebushes17.10.2012
- Cans! Kerfuffle17.10.2012
- Leave the core brand as is, for the one offs and special beers, you need to use Johanna Basford more often. Regan17.10.2012
- Maybe a wee tweek to smarten it up but no radical change needed. Please change blurbs to acknowledge that drinkers are more educated about beer now and identify the malts, hops and IBUs in each beer. Adam Lawson Stalker17.10.2012
- Custom made bottles with a unique style and raised glass Brewdog on the neck might be good idea. Keep the labels as they are I reckon. sd16.10.2012
- I think the labels should remain the same.
But you should redesign the bottle .Tnecniv Rotciv16.10.2012
- leave the graphic as is.
You could add some tips using icons:
-best glass to use
- I love the current designs and they should stay as they are for now. However, please drop the whole blurb that says "you probably don't know what good beer is, yada yada yada" most people I try and convert are usually a little annoyed by this.
We all know that most other beers are shit, but when you start to offend peoples intelligence and make them feel stupid by writing paragraphs along the lines of the above, those people are put off by that type of marketing and are more likely to put the beer back on the shelf.
I would like to see more of the amusing story telling. Making people laugh when they read the label is much more appealing than telling someone they are stupid and know nothing about beer,
I see a number of people asking for ingredients, OG, FG etc. I don't think that is required as that information is on the beer page on this website. Iw ould prefer to see a QR code on the bottle that when scanned will take you to that particular beers page on the website where users can find out the hops, the malt, the OG, FG etc. One thing you would ned to do though is always keep the older beers pages accessible via this method as crretly you hide/disable a lot of the pages for the older beers that contain this information For QR scanning the page needs to remain active as some people across the globe may not get a partcilar beer for months after it has been in circulation but the page may have been taken don by that time.johncolemanuk16.10.2012
- Keep it for the main beers. The style IS BrewDog at the moment. You could vary the colours more, use more colours like the Tokyo bottle and graphics like the San Diego bottle. The BrewDog shield is a strong logo and I would like to see it on the bottle tops. Hop and malt details on the label please and more descriptive notes about the beer. It would be good to have more labels by different artists and designers, like the Mr Squirrel label, for the one-off beers - illustrations of the hops on the IPA is Dead labels, for example? Just something a bit different on these labels. Maybe experiment with a different but still recognisably BrewDog label style for the rarer non-core beers. Great discussion! Fanboy Puppy Lover16.10.2012
- OG & FG, coz im a beer geek! canyoureadthesigns16.10.2012
- Keep the design, but swap out the clever description texts every now and then. They're a joy to read, and we want more of them! Carr16.10.2012
- There is NOTHING wrong with the current packaging. It IS BrewDog and unmistakeably so. The core range should remain the same for the forseeable future as I myself have a Hardcore tattoo on my left arm inked in the same style and font. If this howling error of artistic judgement were to come to fruition, I may have to chew off my "unfashionably" inked arm and beat some sense into whoever decides to redesign these iconic treasures with it ! Grrrrr ! SashDog (rabid)16.10.2012
- I don't think you need to change a thing. On a trip home to Ireland, I surprisingly found some Punk IPA on the shelves of my local offie, the distinctive branding couldn't be missed.
Keep up the good work.Rotter16.10.2012
- i say keep them.
i like the idea of a QR code or something which will take you to the website where you can find malt/hop list, tasting notes, IBUs etc but for the supermarket shelves its seems much better to have big colourful logo and the in-your-face blurb to attract first time customers (even if they start to irritate regulars a bit).hughhopper16.10.2012
- would love to see something done with the actual bottle, love the labels though a change would be good. get some art on it! alex clunie16.10.2012
- I've always loved the bold design & choice of colors & fonts on the labels; as others have called it, "the grunge look." It's bold, distinct, and definitely suits your brand's messaging & ideals.
Is there room to evolve? Sure, but I think a "careful step forward" in design would be better right now than a full-on "abandon ship."
I'd agree with others on a hop/malt/IBU profile & some updated label diatribes.
Also, maybe you could put a QR code on the labels that links the drinker to a page with one of your videos and/or further details of each particular beer?Jim Wells16.10.2012
- Change the blurb's at the back, they're interesting to read once or twice but after that I ignore them. Anyone who picks up a Brewdog probably doesn't need to be reminded that other beers are shit anyway. Hops, IBUs and tasting notes instead would be great. irish_goat16.10.2012
- Your branding needs to evolve - not a complete make over, but there is always room for improvement in design.
After all you're in the Entertainment Business.Paul Rand16.10.2012
- Keep it as it is! The labelling stands out so much against all the other ales etc on the supermarket shelves and makes Brewdog's products distinctive.
If you're desperate to change something, then maybe fonts, but in terms of colours and the design on the labels they are sound.Ciaran Marshall16.10.2012
- Your beer and so your packaging is becoming famous in France.
That way, I think you should keep this one more time for our country.
I pretty sure your beer has a high potential to succed in the french market!Antoine16.10.2012
- I think they work well as they are. I love the boldness of the colours and the fonts etc are not dated at all. You have to still check the popular, crappy, tastless beer companies and they don't do much to their labels/logos and still sell alot. I would want a product that stands out and that is what they do. I do indeed collect the bottles after and my shelves are stacked with lots of colours, while still being identified obviously as brewdogs. The names of the beer are so different from 'normal' beer too, so I don't think there's any need to change. In this case, 'if it aint broke, don't fix it' is very appropriate. You have a range that is very recognizable, don't change it to blend into the crowd. Mike Andersson16.10.2012
- Personally guys, I think the original labeling should continue for the original beers. I like the coloring and fonts, as when I'm in a bottle shop, I can easily find the BrewDog section. However, should you want to do special labels for special beers, I think that would be cool. But definately keep the logo the same... Christopsy16.10.2012
- I'd be inclined to just keep it - it's so BOLD. People buy the beer and follow the brand because they love the product. I don't think it's necessary to change the packaging. MA 16.10.2012
- I think the design and branding is pretty spot on. I wouldn't make wholesale changes.
I like nice touches like the odd 'different' bottle i.e. International Arms Race / Sunk Piunk etc, but on the whole the branding is pretty spot on.
Ask some designers to come up with a few ideas if nothing else to give you variation on the core theme (or I'm sure Hampton Associates could give you a few variations with them being your current designers?)Johnny Mac16.10.2012
- Maybe a little facelift is in order, but donít think any big changes are needed at this time. The body typeface on the labels is a little too 90ís for me. A better choice there and the listing of hops and malts used, and maybe IBU should do the trick. Wes16.10.2012
- Please please keep them the same Pete16.10.2012
- The interesting comments are about the blurb. Worth you looking at the Bonny Doon wines of Randall Grahm as an idea for the subtle ways his manifesto is on his bottles.
Apart from that, the sales speak for themselves.Paul Johnston16.10.2012
- Entirely depends on the reasons. Changing it for the sake of it may result in it losing some of brand equity the beer currently has.
Changing the 'grunge' font on the label is not as simple as it sounds because this grunge aesthetic is used throughout the company - including the bars. Changing these labels in isolation may just do that - isolate the beer from the rest of the established Brand ID and Brewdog experience.
Any revamp/redesign should be based on a real requirement to improve the impact of the labels/packaging e.g:
1) As you are now competing in a more mass-market arena, does the beer need more 'stand-out'?
2) Does the label no longer reflect the beer or the ethos of the company?
3) Is the labelling/packaging limiting the kind of customer you want to attract?
These are questions only you as a company can answer and are but 3 of many more.
Great design is borne from a need to make a change - wasn't that what Brewdog were about from the start?The Kemp16.10.2012
- Keep the design but update the rhetoric on the labels - make it less crass and a bit cleverer ;) - also more details on the beer Lombear16.10.2012
- I tend to agree with the comments which suggest that the logo should stand out more. If the labels were redesigned, say, so that they were dominated on the left-hand side by the Brewdog logo so that the left edge of the label was shaped around the logo (and maybe with a consistent background color - the Punk IPA blue?) It would be awesome if each "main" beer had its own mini-logo: its own font, some stylish flourishes, etc. That together with the Brewdog logo would be all that would be on the "front" of the label.
Echoing other comments, I would ditch the blurb on each of the bottles. It's always come across to me as a bit obnoxious (though again, no doubt this attracted a number of people to try the beers!). Instead, just put more bare-bones details on what is actually in the beer, how it was created, and such like.
Brewdog has become much better known as a brand compared with this time five years ago, so I think there is less of a need to stand out with bright and bold labelling, fonts, etc. The beer is (it goes without saying) absolutely fantastic, and it deserves a slightly more "classy" package.Dan M16.10.2012
- Yep, they definitely need evolve but still retain the same spirit and feel
I'd commision this girl to come up with some designs:
- new place, new ideas, new horizons, new packaging....seems to fit together:-) Maroche Hajduk16.10.2012
- The look and feel has become part of the scenery - mentally I skip over it and feel no need to investigate it any further. Fizzgig16.10.2012
- Ask your design agency not a bunch of customers who likely know nothing about brand or design.
However having said that, I'd like to see something award winningâÄ¦ and maybe appeal more to the massesâÄ¦ ;)Ryan16.10.2012
- I love them as they are. But if you are looking for change, maintain the general feel of the bottles so that they are still recognizable. Minimalizarte16.10.2012
- I'd keep the colours and the front text, but replace the blurb on the back/side with some more info about the beer (hops etc) rather than manifesto-type stuff. That's the bit that's feeling a bit dated now, I think. sedmondson16.10.2012
- My two cents: Maintain (but slowly evolve) your current packaging design in the core range.
Donít fix what Ďaint broken, but never fear gradual change. Donít drastically change your brand identity as you will lose customers, but do consider evolving and adapting over time.
Although, do consider the option of altering the design on unique and rare beer releases. I absolutely love the distinctive Ďprint-on-the-bottleí design of Stone, and often shamelessly buy beer based on the label design. How about more of the fantastic artwork by the resident Brewdog artist?Roy Walker16.10.2012
- Any change needs to be an evolution, not a revolution. It's easy to pick out Brewdog beers from the shelf without even reading the text because of the bold colours and design. Huge16.10.2012
- Mix it up a bit, but off cause keep the shield. Maybe one that is not a rectangle? Also, please keep them easy to peel off, I reuse the bottles for my own brews. Sunk punk was horrible in that regard, but fun label though. Jørgen16.10.2012
- I think you should make the logo bigger stairs16.10.2012
- If you are looking at your packaging I think you have to look at more than just the label. I think your labelling looks great, it compliments your brand values (as I seem them) perfectly Ė it projects a young, vibrant, edgy, kick-ass brewery. Iím guessing your target customer isnít a beardy, folk music listening, leather tankard owning, warm flat ale drinking CAMRA member. In which case your labels are doing their job just fine.
I think you need to look at changing your bottles. Brewdog as a company screams Ė anti-establishment, anti-corporate & anti-standard. Yet your bottle is the one thing that is standard. From the back could you tell the difference between a Brewdog bottle and a Budweiser bottle?
Itís not a criticism, Iím guessing as a young start-up these bottles enabled you to get your product to market in the most cost effective way and allow you to maximise your margin and they continue to do that today.
So if youíre looking at your packaging can I suggest a bottle refresh that makes you stand out from your beige, corporate competition. It doesnít need to be some over designed, expensive piece of glass art. Perhaps just a different shape or different colour of glass or both?
Iím not some packaging or bottle toting pimp by the way. Iím just a dude that loves your beer and your attitude. You guys rock!
- I like it, no need to change it. It's distinctive, noticeable on the shelf as something different. I identify the different beers by their colours. I like the current style, if it's not broke, why change it.
As for the unique blurb on each bottle, maybe that could evolve. But that's then tinkering for tinkerings sake, it's made BD what it is today
You can't please 100% of the people 100% of the time whatever you do, some people won't like it. Stick to what you believe in.
The quality of the product talks louder than any label ever willMaverick16.10.2012
- I love them but feel some evolution would be great. Bex16.10.2012
- I think it is time for an update.
Change them before they start feeling old.Mr T16.10.2012
- Started to look dated in the last year or so, grungey text and effects are well past being interesting. Colours work, but the overall design could do with an update. John S16.10.2012
- As someone who works in marketing and brand identity I would say leave it almost as it is. I would leave the front label styling as it currently stands as it is quite a bold brand and has good shelf presence, however if you feel the need to spice things up a bit you could always look into your fonts... and the back labels could defo do with a refresh by the way so full steam ahead with that one! a_gnome16.10.2012
- Personally, I love the current packaging. But ultimately, if you guys want a change, then go for it. pinkbadger16.10.2012
- The use of different colours is nice when seen together, however they don't really do the character of the beers justice. The should feel unique and have personality, rather than being part of a series. Jahoolly16.10.2012
- I like the branding - it's individuality - It works well on both the bottles and cans. I also like the smaller size bottles & cans it means I can have variety without having to drink a lot - (although it do like to have the larger punk IPA bottle on occasion too). I do find the description text can be a little hard to read tho' - but then maybe i'm getting old James Marsh16.10.2012
- I'd love to see an evolution..
The grungey text just feels a bit dated, and doesn't leave you much room to breath and create different, distinct, stand alone artworks within the brand. It also slightly doesn't do justice to what is a craft product.
Of course, with everything, there is a balance between moving away from a tried and tested look and feel, but as Brewdog goes from being upstarts to established, so should your brand reflect that change.
On a side note, there is a lot of my friends who really don't like the branding as it currently stands, and actively avoid Brewdog. Whether they are in the minority or not, I dont know.
- I think the labels are still pretty fresh. I would however be inclined to make the Brewdog Logo stand out more, as I feel it is an excellent moniker and the brand should be the first thing that draws the eye. Perhaps a little larger and located on the same place on each type of beer with the same orientation using the well known blue and white logo with a black border. Just my opinion. Darthpeacock16.10.2012
- The labels are fine, although a little more info on the actual beer would be nice! Such as what hops are in it - If i was a first time drinker and really liked 5am saint, i'd 100% pick up the other bottles looking for any of those hops in your other beers. Barryw16.10.2012
- Original design of Zeitgeist is superiour imo. Bring it back! And sure, why not re-design a little? can always take the originals back after a while if you don't like it. Bit of variation. aestheticsbear16.10.2012
- Still excellent. Every person I've introduced Brewdog to (even those new to craft beer) comment positively on the packaging. They, and I, do roll our eyes at the dodgy blurbs though - like the bizarre moan about marketing on Facebook the other day. A little pretentious nonsense goes a long way :-) you could use the saved space for info on the beer itself (hop varieties etc).
Oh, and watch out for spelling mistakes! I've noticed a few shockers.cdpoconnor16.10.2012
- I'm torn. I know about BD so find it's good that I can easily spot it and pick it up at a supermarket or in a pub. However, it is a bit lagery and I wonder if you're missing out on casual browsers who won't take the time to read about its quality.
Changing packaging is not something to take lightly. Even the best market-researched change can confuse and alienate loyal drinkers.
I would suggest leaving it how it is but (temporarily?) adding a detail like a medal or a stripe that can draw the eye of new people and explain about the quality of the product
(sorry for long post!)Stunt Girl16.10.2012
- Leave them alone they still look great. sip0wicz16.10.2012
- Nah, they're good - distinct, consistent branding that stands out from the rest of the labels in both supermarkets and bars. Only bit I'd change would be the copy on the back of the bottle, to be honest... Jimmer16.10.2012
- Finally, a chance to vent my long held beliefs!
I think BD packaging looks cheap and dated. Please have a rethink!James D16.10.2012
- The colour range is perfect... and whilst it encourages me to try and collect them all, I always end up drinking them :/
(I know... I could display the empty bottles, but where's the fun in that?)rept0n16.10.2012
- The packaging is synonymous with what Brewdog set out to do and have continued to do though your brand philosophy. Whilst I agree it needs to evolve over time, a complete overhaul is perhaps not necessary. The current style of packaging still looks fresh and is so obviously Brewdog. Any changes need to be consistent with branding and design across all platforms. Not that Brewdog will, but many conpanies have lost clarity and direction through ill conceived rebrands or unnecessary tweaks that deliver little clout from a sales or brand comms perspective. Short term, some special edition / seasonal labels would be fun and appeal to the Brewdog faithful... long term, considered evolution that build upon the iconic standout and colour ways of label design that have set the scene so powerfully since launch. Oliver Carey16.10.2012
- It sticks out like a sore thumb on supermarket shelves, which is perfect.
Then there's the Archie Test: My 3 year old son can easily identify Punk IPA and 5am Saint. It's his party piece and I'm a proud daddy :) If you change it you'll be messing with a toddler's head.Jake Perks16.10.2012
- I love the labels to pieces, and the tone of the blurb (for lack of a better word) is spot on. Save the sleek for the Abstrakt range, long live the punk packaging! threefjefff16.10.2012
- I've always thought for a disruptive brand you have very conventional bottles. I guess bespoke bottles cost - but I think with the right bottles you can be more distinctive (sierra navada or macs being good examples).
Your best packaging is undoubtedly the cans, because they are distinctive - although I imagine portman wouldn't agree.
I'm relaxed on the look and feel of the labels. I think as a template it evolves for you to be relevant when you want (anabolics) or go pirate or space invaders or wherever. That doesn't mean you can't update the template though.
In my experience of relaunching brands packaging (that you sell in a shop - suspect online is less risky) every time you do it, sales will dip. If you get it right they will recover and get bigger - but right isn't easy and there are many that never get back to where they were.StillRustic16.10.2012
- I think changing it will just look like a change for the sake of changing, and is a bit reminiscint of Coke constantly changing their bottles in a way that rarely has any real purpose beyond giving their marketers something to do. The original label is very slick, and it's hard to see any real advantage to changing it. It's a strong style that doesn't date easily. Maybe in ten years it will be different, but I would be reluctant to mess with it now. foilistpeter16.10.2012
- I'd say leave it as it is - you've established a strong visual identity which complements the irreverent and iconoclastic approach of the brand and doesn't feel dated.
Strong use of colour and bold typography make the bottles stand out on the shelf, and it's a long way from the bland corporate branding of the mainstream breweries, which can only be a good thing!andyhawkes16.10.2012
- Don't touch it - it's iconic and easily recognised on the shelf. In countries that haven't had craft beer before, it's really refreshing to see a stand out label amongst all the corporate crap.
One thing you can change though - are your boxes. The almost immediately fall apart as soon as you pick them up. Makes the carpet smell nice for a couple of days though :)toffeeslot16.10.2012
- Still looks great to me. Distinctive and differentiated. Andrew16.10.2012
- personally love the packaging, worked in bottle shops in australia for many years. i found no one picked it off the shelf until i explained how amazing it was? stocksy_1416.10.2012
5 years is not a long time,
Your bottles look cool as they are!
Unless you have some new kick ass design in the pipeline, I wouldn't change it!eamonkerrins16.10.2012
- It's really quite dated. It has almost put me off buying in the past. I feel the packaging totally betrays the quality of the product in the bottle and doesn't communicate at all how good the beer is. The packaging looks cheap and nasty. Unlike the product. alfiegrey16.10.2012
- Very distinctive and bold, no need for drastic change. You guys have maybe lived with it too long and feel like a change but I can easily spot a punk on the shelf. Pete16.10.2012
- The current BD packaging range in superb. Please don't change it!
To be honest, the core products have now become recognised brands in bars/pubs/stores to the point where if you produced a new beer with the same style label it would be instantly recognised as a brew dog product.
On the other hand you could just put them all in dead animals or something....Carter18216.10.2012
- Still relevant, still stands out on the shelves! :) Pete16.10.2012
- The label design is still strong 5 years on. It defines the brand, would stick with it maybe add subtle change ;) Thomas back16.10.2012
- I think the packaging design should remain the same. I'd say people associate the colours and in-your-face font, even at a glance, with Brewdog. Gareth Slack16.10.2012
- Personally, I love the bold, colourful design of the labels, but the copy/tone of voice is pretty crass. James Tulloch16.10.2012