Fourth Wave Wine Partners takes its sustainable wine brand Tread Softly into the spirits world with two new gins – one dry and one pink. The award-winning brand strategy and packaging design created for the original wine range by Denomination, has now been developed to disrupt the gin category and highlight Tread Softly’s sustainability focus.
The spirits market is dominated by masculine block branding, despite the fact that more women than men cite spirits as their preferred drink, according to Gallup. There’s also an abundance of less environmentally safe foiled label solutions. Fourth Wave wanted to take its sustainable, feminine and natural style into the spirits sector, and disrupt it with a ‘gently powerful’ presence on shelf.
“The original brand was developed as a ‘new generation of wine for a new generation of drinker’, and it exceeded budget forecasts by 515% in the first year,” says Nicholas Crampton, co-owner at Fourth Wave. “We felt there was room for that ethos to be carried over into spirits to respond to the growing desire among consumers for brands that care about the planet.”
The huge success of Tread Softly wine demonstrates the consumer thirst for brands with genuine eco credentials. Given the brand had already been established, Denomination wanted to develop an approach that built on existing brand recognition, while also bringing something totally new to the spirits sector, which is known for its innovative approach to labelling.
The aesthetic complements the brand premise and name. On the small front label, which is fashioned from natural paper stock, there’s a tiny illustration of a ladybird, encouraging consumers to lean in and investigate. The design on the back of the bottle is screen printed and features beautiful, generous illustrations of flora and fauna. The illustrations can be seen through the glass and the liquid, amplifying the natural message and reflecting the brand’s awareness of its environmental footprint. The glass used is made from 100% recycled glass, with its blue/green tint changing hues between each production run. There is no plastic security seal on the capsule, using instead a simple paper seal over a wooden stopper. All elements have been selected based on their sustainability credentials.
Rowena Curlewis, CEO at Denomination, says: “We originally created this brand to speak to consumers’ rising ethical engagement and awareness. One of the key objectives behind the strategy was to futureproof Fourth Wave’s portfolio and make room for sustainable diversification. Taking this ‘gentle juggernaut’ of a wine brand into spirits shows just how effective brand strategy and packaging identity can be when they are developed to flex and grow, accommodating business development and changing consumer needs.
“This type of futureproof approach is becoming essential as our industry responds to increasing environmental challenges and consumer scrutiny. We wanted to create a brand that would convey Fourth Wave’s commitment to safeguarding the sector and the planet.”
Denomination has developed a proprietary futureproof model in collaboration with industry leaders in sustainable solutions and global consumer insights, as well as some of the world’s leading packaging manufacturers, suppliers and printers. As such the drinks design agency was perfectly placed to partner with Fourth Wave Wines and progress its sustainability initiatives. “We worked very hard with our vetted network of suppliers to get the right production finishes and bottle choice,” says Curlewis. “It’s not simply about creating something beautiful. We strive to help businesses keep on top of sustainability initiatives and product innovations, connect with the right suppliers and keep up with shifts in regulations – all while keeping an eye on the bottom line.”
Crampton says: “Tread Softly is a brand with a clear agenda. We are planting more trees, using recycled materials in our bottles and always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Denomination understands that journey and how to convey it to consumers in an authentic way. We’re on the same page when it comes to safeguarding our business and the wider industry.”