Guest author: Ann Bradford of Lyric, Inc. | Marketing & Brand Strategy Consultant
What’s at the heart of an iconic brand known to delight consumers across three centuries? The Old Log Cabin story began in 1840 when “booze” was flowing freely in American culture. In fact, that ubiquitous term for alcohol can be traced back E.G. Booz, founder of Old Cabin, as the brand was called back then. Only 16 years old when he distilled his first batch, E.G. Booz made his offering stand out by selling it in glass bottles shaped liked a rustic cabin. It took the market by storm.
While the brand changed hands multiple times, its staying power persisted. Despite cultural turbulence over the course of American history, including the Civil War, WWI, WWII and Prohibition, thirsty crowds kept their stashes of Old Log Cabin at the ready. Today, the owners of Old Log Cabin Distillery see themselves as stewards with reverence for the brand’s historical significance.
This is a heritage brand. It stands for American ingenuity that sparks social engagement. To pull that spirit forward and center our work on the consumer experience, we focused on these qualities:
- Warm – aglow in the art of gathering
- Nostalgic – reverence for the period and place that produced this remarkable origin story
- Confident – a brand that knows itself and acts accordingly
- Purposeful – everything for a reason with the grit to stay the course
- Outdoorsy – at one with the elements and in step with human nature
The design strategy started with the logo. We chose strong typography with a vintage feel, contained in a bold shape with warm creamy tones and an earthy red color. Inspired by the allure of a classic cabin in the woods, we carefully selected an illustrator to bring our vision to life across a variety of media channels.
The rural scene depicted on the Old Log Cabin Bourbon Whiskey label captures the simple pleasure of a hideaway with access to the bounty of nature at your doorstep. The incorporation of a red and black buffalo plaid on the label gestures to the coziness of a flannel shirt or a wool blanket on a chilly day while curled up by the fire. Embossing and metallic touches add a sense of richness and a premium quality to the finished product.
As with any brand initiative, consistency across all touch points is key. You may find Old Log Cabin in a retail store, bar or restaurant. You might see it on a branded sweatshirt, whiskey glass or coaster. If you go to the Web site or connect on social media, the golden light and warm vibes of the brand should be undeniable. Wherever Old Log Cabin shows up, the look and feel were designed to carry through seamlessly.
Another expression of the brand strategy and personality is based on the concept of the distillery as “Bourbon Base Camp” – a gathering spot for lively social experiences, such as tours, classes, game nights and pop-up collaborations, along with hosting of private events. As Old Log Cabin enters its next chapter, you can count on a convivial atmosphere and a generous pour of your favorite spirit when you walk through the door.
My creative team applauds the whole Old Log Cabin crew for their extraordinary collaboration with us from the first meeting to the launch! We know they can’t wait to welcome you.
Lyric Creative Team: Ann Bradford (strategy & copy), Jennifer Bartlett (creative direction & design), and Stephanie Krimmel (Web strategy & development) were hired by the Old Log Cabin team to create a new brand strategy, story, visual identity, label design system and Web site for the relaunch of the Old Log Cabin brand. Reach out to Ann (firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 719-8192) to learn more or share your comments.