The new brand identity, part of a £130,000 campaign, incorporates the three-legged symbol of its Isle of Man base and other elements of its Celtic heritage in a clean, contemporary design.
The brewery expects to increase export sales by 400% in the next year, which would double its profits. Okell’s will be sold in 2,000 outlets with plans to add 25% more sales year-on-year over the next three years.
The new brand identity will be applied to Okell’s’ traditional ales, including the core range of Okell’s Bitter, Olaf (dark beer), Jiarg (red beer) and IPA, as well as its special and seasonal ales and across its range of merchandise. The company has ceased production of its mild beer because of falling demand.
The brewery, owned by Heron and Brearley which recently purchased 15 pubs in the Market Town Tavern chain to complement its existing group of outlets, commissioned Good to produce a design that articulated the brand’s key values, using the agency’s unique, “Simple Truth” approach.
The award-winning agency applies the same, reductive method to all of its campaigns, creating a short, single message to define the brand that is then applied across a range of touch points, including packaging, digital, advertising, sales tools, experiential and public relations.
The company’s managing director Steve Pickett said: “We looked at the history and heritage of the brand and people’s perception of it and we thought, perhaps, it should be a bit more modern and extrovert.
“We have been an innovative company over the years and we also wanted to make sure there was the Manx message in there too.”
Keith Forbes creative director of Good, said: “Okell’s is a small brewery with big ambitions. They approached us after reading of our successful and award-winning rebrand of Fyne Ales and asked for something similar.
“With a history stretching back 162 years, a beautiful island location and a unique purity brewing law, we had an embarrassment of riches with which to define their values and position their beers to appeal to a wider audience.
“We're articulated this positioning graphically using a combination of island photography and contemporary illustration to create a look and feel that reaches right across the range.
“And, the beauty for Okell’s is that our “Simple Truth” approach to branding means that our solutions will run across a number of other brand touch points for the brewery: guidelines, website, sales material and products.”
The “Simple Truth” of Okell’s is encapsulated in the strapline “Pure Perfection” highlighting its Celtic island location, historic laws and independent spirit.
Founded 162 years ago by Dr William Okell, a surgeon from Cheshire, who adopted a scientific approach to the process of brewing, it was the first brewery in Britain to use steam to boil the brewery coppers instead of coal, thereby avoiding the charring and caramelisation of the sugars that often led to a burnt flavor in many final beers.
All of its beers are brewed in accordance with the Isle of Man’s Brewing Purity Laws which, similar to the Bavarian beer laws, forbid the use of any additives as a substitute for the natural brewing ingredients of malt, sugar and hops.
Good is amongst the top 1% of the most effective design agencies in the UK as listed by the Design Business Association (DBA).
Its work for Fyne Ales, a microbrewery employing seven people, was recognised at the DBA’s 2011 Design Effectiveness Awards, where it was named as one of the UK’s most effective brands.
Judges said labelling on the bottles, produced in a disused dairy farm building at Cairndow, on the banks of Loch Fyne, were more commercially effective than brands designed for a host of household names, including Guinness, Cadbury’s Buttons, Fairy Liquid, Benylin medicine and Rocky biscuits.
Following a redesign, Fyne experienced a 49% increase in sales – taking its turnover to £822,000 - a 20% rise in net profitability and it outperformed the market by 30.6%.
The company now sells to the off-trade in outlets such as Waitrose and Oddbins and to the on-trade in pub chains including Wetherspoons. It has also entered the export market for the first time, negotiating exclusive new deals in Sweden and Hong Kong.
Its ‘Simply Persuasive’ process delivers effective solutions to complex business problems that can drive entire communications strategies from one core idea.
Good’s founding partner, Keith Forbes, is a former creative business managing director of the year, an ex-board member of the Design Business Association and has been quoted on lists of the most influential members of the media and marketing industries in Scotland.
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