Don’t you hate stupid click bait titles? I do, but not enough to not use them satirically, even though it’s kind of the same thing; is it satire, if it creates the same level of annoyance? Does doing something ironically make it any less stupid as shit? Okay, never mind, this question is for a different post.
A couple of weeks ago the gap-toothed red head, Alfred E. Newman’s handsome brother Dane, wrote a lot of intelligible verbiage about how 24 packs of Irish Death are coming soon. Read that here. Despite his acute business acumen and enthusiasm for turning ideas into gold, his insistence of maintaining a corporate-buzzword-to-regular-speech ratio of 1:2 is both humorous and deserving of mockery.
At least I think so, but that could be because I lack self confidence and resort to sarcasm in order to protect my weak, flowery heart. I’m not sure.
Anyhow, I’m going to do my best to keep up with Dane’s use of power suit inspired jargon, and explain what the point of this post is.
One of the net effects in producing 24 packs is that it gives us a chance to analyze our internal and external feedback mechanisms as they relate to our visual identification models and potentially make cogent modifications in order to minimize customer confusion and ensure we are equitably represented within our brand universe without compromising the producer-consumer journey.
Or to put it another way…
We get to redesign our 6 packs.
Starting in mid March our 6 pack packaging will be new. Gone are the days of ripping off your fingernails in order to get to a delicious Irish Death. Gone are the plastic pack-techs toppers that annoyed the most savvy independent beer drinker.
Irish Death and Finger Gun are the first two packages to hit the marketplace in these mini cardboard boxes that look like they should be holding donuts. Here’s a little insight as to what we were thinking in designing them.
The hardest part about designing for this beer is that messing with it, even a little, seems stupid. Irish Death makes up such a significant piece of our brewery that I often wonder if we shouldn’t just rename ourselves Irish Death Brewery. The brand is so recognizable that altering it any way seems like a recipe for disaster. Anyhow, the approach to this design was to take existing imagery, apply it to the box and kind of just leave it alone. We did want to highlight that it is a dark, smooth, ale not a porter, not a stout. And because we can’t help ourselves, we put some random, border-line-annoying messaging throughout the package; mostly because it’s fun. (hint, these boxes can double as a portable movie theatre.)
Finger Gun IPA was the second beer to come out in cans. (the first was high five hefe) We wanted to create a brand image that was familiar to most consumers but still distinct; which is why we chose a dark can, the ihb skull, and yellow highlights. When it hit the market, this proved to be a pretty effective strategy. Consumers recognized Finger Gun as an Iron Horse Brewery product and all was good. Then we, finally, introduced Irish Death in 12 oz cans. All hell broke loose. That is a bit of an overstatement, but the truth is, having two black cans, with skulls on them, using the same now-over-used font caused confusion to both our wholesalers and consumers. We were able to rectify this slightly by adding yellow pack tech to the finger gun cans as a point of differentiation. So that’s the backstory.
Now that we have a much bigger canvas to work with, we took this opportunity to redesign Finger Gun IPA. You’ll notice on the box, the skull is gone, the fingers are more playful, the type changed for better readability and the yellow is more vibrant, less “greenish-yellow.” The can is still the same on the inside and eventually we will redesign it to match, but not now, because we have gobs of the original cans to get rid of first.
In both designs, we tried to use consistent elements and lines so that you, my best friend who is going to invite me to dinner tomorrow night, should be able to recognize and Iron Horse 6 pack from across the room. Like you recognize the hot human staring at you, only to realize you have TP on your shoes.
I’d love to know what you think about these when you see them in the store. firstname.lastname@example.org is my email, or just talk to your Sloppy Jared next time you are [ the pub ].
Lastly, I will leave you with this thought about, well, you tell me what this says.
The synergistic alignment of the iron horse brand identity is critical for our three customer groups; wholesalers, retailers, and consumers. Having a consistent strategic vision will allow us to create a synergy between what is in our wheelhouse and what falls outside the box, so that we can be disruptive innovators in both vertical and horizontal markets which will ultimately become a game changer for the indie beer marketplace. Also, Big Data. Viral. Paradigm Shift. Three…Sixty…Approach?