Refreshing change

Brand piece for New Design 106 focussing on Ziggurat Brands’ work for Bottlegreen.

The supermarket floor is the food and beverage brand’s front line. And nowhere is the fighting more fierce than the drinks aisle. Leaving aside the shelves of alcoholic product, soft drinks must communicate brand identity and difference in the battle for the customer’s attention. It’s difficult for the established names and even more challenging for the relative newcomers.

For over ten years Ziggurat Brands has worked with Bottlegreen to ensure that the company’s products achieve shelf-standout and attract the eye and interest of customers. The relationship has been a great success from both a creative and business perspective: Bottlegreen’s conical bottle shape and its ingredient-focused contemporary labeling makes it a distinctive brand; this strong identity no doubt helped venture capitalists sell the cordial company for £20 million having bought it for just £4.5 million three years earlier.

Bottlegreen's range of cordials

Bottlegreen’s range of cordials

Now Bottlegreen is looking to add to its product offering with a range of flavoured tonics – once again Ziggurat are on board to manage the packaging design and branding elements. The elderflower and pomegranate flavoured tonics see the brand making a transition across beverage categories from cordials and sparkling pressés to mixers. Furthermore, the new range will be targeted at the bars and clubs market in addition to supermarket retail.

The tonic waters keep the familiar conical bottle shape associated with the Bottlegreen brand (although use clear rather than green glass). The plant stem that anchors the ‘o’ and ‘g’ of the Bottlegreen logo on the existing ranges is mirrored by a cocktail stirrer with a gold foil brand marque. Elegant typography makes it clear the product is a tonic water with a green (for elderflower) or pink (for pomegranrate) blush lifting the text and communicating flavour expectation. The designers were hoping to achieve a look that was elegant, restrained and referenced a vintage glamour.

Bottlegreen tonic water range

Bottlegreen tonic water range

Ziggurat Brands design director Dan Kimmins explains that Bottlegreen approached the agency with an open brief: “Bottlegreen came to us because they had seen that there was a market for flavoured tonics and they asked us how they should go about it,” he says.

Communicating the correct tone through the branding and pack design was important. “We tried to pick up on Bottlegreen’s overall brand positioning ‘naturally stylish’ as well as the current fashion for cocktails and mixology,” continues Kimmins. “We looked into the history of cocktail making back to the Prohibition Era and thought that a great icon for these mixers would be a cocktail stirrer. It’s retro, perhaps a bit easy, but the way we have it in gold piercing the logo makes it a nice icon.”

Ziggurat’s relationship with Bottlegreen is longstanding with the agency having worked with the brand for over a decade. The design work for the tonic waters seeks to keep an association with the parent brand by maintaining a number of the established design elements. When the agency first started working with Bottlegreen, initially on its elderflower cordials, the major goal was to build a coherent and attractive brand identity. “Bottlegreen had a product that they believed had a future,” says Ziggurat client director Alison Taylor. “They wanted to create a beacon brand so the first piece of design was to look at a new bottle that would give the brand really good standout and take it to a premium position in the market.”

One key development was the introduction of the Bottlegreen logotype. “We created a strong brand marque that involved splitting the word ‘Bottlegreen’ across two lines,” continues Taylor. “It made it much easier for the consumer to remember and spot on the shelf.” Communicating the drinks’ use of natural ingredients has always been a priority. “One of the strengths of Bottlegreen is the ingredients,” says Taylor. “The elderflower is handpicked in the British country side – we are very keen to build on that.”

Labeling celebrates 'hero' ingredients

Labeling celebrates ‘hero’ ingredients

Dan Kimmins adds: “An illustration of the hero ingredient is placed through the logo so that there is an interaction between flavour and brand. We want to be contemporary – it would be quite easy to put photography on the pack or do something old-fashioned with a Victoriana feel – we were conscious of that. The graphics look as though they are printed directly onto the bottle although it is actually a clear label; we want to use the green of the glass as our main colour to give the product great shelf standout.”

“We don’t just tinker with packs, we deliver commercially sound packaging and communications that give our clients great results,” concludes Alison Taylor.

The tonic water range launched in the summer of 2013 and is available in major supermarkets as well as being sold in Fullers pubs and high-end gin bars.