Sure, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but this never stops companies from essentially changing the cover of its books in the form of package redesigns. If a product is tanking, a flashier package may help; but if it’s doing well?
The Writer’s Tears line of premium and super-premium, critically acclaimed and in-demand Irish whiskies recently went through something of a makeover. We asked Bernard Walsh, (link to BW interview) co-founder of Walsh Whiskey (distiller of Writer’s Tears), what lead to the decision to repackage.
“We created Writers’ Tears, in it’s tall Victorian-styled bottle, in 2007. The brand proposition set consumer minds racing from the beginning, especially the creative community. Since then we have established the whiskey as one of Ireland’s best offerings, extending to over 50 markets worldwide.
“The redesign was prompted by a few things. Our strong belief, both in the further potential of the brand itself, and also the super-premium Irish whiskey sub-category as a whole. While always strong in the standard and premium categories, Irish whiskey has lacked range and depth in the upper, super-premium tier in comparison with Scotch and Bourbon.
“We decided to invest in the future growth of Writers’ Tears through a significant, but very respectful, redesign that strengthens the original brand through a stronger, more distinctive, proposition while facilitating the continued introduction of rare expressions.
“With strong support from the Irish National food and drink agency, Bord Bia, we commissioned the renowned London drinks packaging design and brand consultancy, Stranger and Stranger, to develop the brand refresh which has being applied across all livery for the six expressions of Writers’ Tears. The core range comprises three expressions, namely: Copper Pot, Double Oak and Red Head. Two of the limited-edition expressions in the range are under the Writers’ Tears Copper Pot line and feature rare cask finishes – Marsala and Mizunara. The third limited-edition expression is a Cask Strength vintage which is produced annually.
“Key features of the refresh include the application of a cork for better preservation, a slightly larger, debossed bottle featuring a whiskey (tear)drop, reframed labelling and packaging. The effect of these changes has been to create a more informative and aesthetically pleasing whiskey experience – one that sees the bottle and packaging catch-up with the super-premium quality and allure of the whiskey itself – well almost! We have also created an entirely new web-site complete with a ‘Flavour Wheel’ to help you find a whiskey to suit your own taste profile and a global search-engine to identify where our whiskeys are stocked (www.walshwhiskey.com).
“We have always known that in Writers’ Tears we have a whiskey that is worthy of a notably higher price point to reflect its quality. However, we understand that we are still challengers to the establishment, still building and still earning consumers’ interest and loyalty while competing with the biggest and the ‘best’. So we continue to set our prices to encourage people to join the Writers’ Tears community in our quest to find the perfect drop of An Uisce Beatha [On-Ishkah-Bahah]/ The Water of Life.”