Sonoma Vinegar is a great example of a client who comes to us looking for one specific service and over time, as we learn about their needs in our DISCOVER phase, our relationship turns into something much, much more. For Sonoma Vinegar our goal was to create a brand that was as compelling as the product inside the bottle. The first thing we needed to do was address the name, Sonoma Vinegar Works. It felt too mechanical and would not suffice when the owners moved the vinegar from restaurateurs and chefs in the Bay Area to a nationwide consumer market. The name Sonoma Vinegar shows a sense of place that is synonymous with the wine industry and craft beverages. After the slight name change, it was time to update packaging and extend this brand across all channels.
Messaging & brand voice
DISCOVER. DESIGN. DEVELOP. DRIVE.
There was much to discover with Sonoma Vinegar early on in the project. We took a deep dive into competitors, complementary goods, substitutes, and outside inspirations. Much of our research was around the ‘artisanal’ and ‘craft’ food and beverage boom. In addition to this research, we did a ride-along with distributor sales people and we took several tours of their facility. The more we got to know the owners and how they operate, the more we knew there was a story to be told that went well beyond vinegar.
We came away from our DISCOVER phase knowing we needed to convey Sonoma Vinegar in a way that would stay true to the quality product, but at the same time have a relaxed, Sonoma County feel. The owners of Sonoma Vinegar also own and operate a local winery and craft their vinegar on the same property as their winery. Some believe associating vinegar and wine is a faux pas, but we knew there was something to be said for a winery taking their approach and applying it to vinegar, so we explored options that leaned on the local wine industry and the down to earth feel of a small family business.
After we settled on a beautiful and unique design, we were able to extend this design to the various vinegars going to the consumer market as well as redesign the jugs that are used in restaurants. Once packaging design was done, we developed a new website, traditional marketing pieces for sales and trade shows, and did extensive research into digital marketing strategies and channels. By extending our design to other channels, the brand we created was starting to come to life and develop its own voice that clearly stood out from other high-end vinegar brands. With all that being said, there was still more Sonoma Vinegar had to offer...we worked closely with the owners to develop Fermentation Nation: A vinegar club not unlike wine clubs that let the geekiest of vinegar fans try some of Sonoma Vinegars' R&D vinegars and beverages.
We were now ready to drive the brand we built. For Sonoma Vinegar, this meant launching the new brand, website, and a digital marketing campaign which included, SEO, Google Shopping, Amazon Shopping, social media, and Google Display all to compliment the reintroduction of Sonoma Vinegar.