Stroud Brewery is the UK’s leading independent, organic and B Corp certified brewery, established in 2006. A much-loved brand with a strong and loyal regional following; the brewery creates classic style organic beers and places high value on their locally grown, organic and hand malted ingredients. Up until recently the brand had used their organic credentials to best explain their USP, but with an ambitious growth agenda including national and export opportunities they realised it was time to add weight to their story and take on a category saturated with brands, noise and an unhealthy dose of green washing.
“In a marketplace full of ‘green’ messages, we felt Stroud Brewery had been acting a little shy,” says Jenny Patton, Head of Insight and Innovation at LEVEL, “The Stroud brewery team had created a thriving business without compromising their values and in the post COVID world research is showing us that consumers are looking to build affinity with authentic, ethical brands like theirs.”
“When Stroud Brewery came to us it was clear Greg’s vision was to open up a new ethical and sustainable beer subcategory and encourage the rest of the beer brands into it. This wasn’t about leadership in a market share sense it was about leading from the front, flying the flag and leading by example,” continues Jenny. “Through our research we began to understand that the organic message is polarising, people have already made up their minds. We needed to go further, create a deeper connection between the consumer and the natural ingredients. We changed the core brand message to ‘drink responsibly – farmed beer’ and developed short, witty ‘change is brewing’ conversations to illustrate how a regenerative approach to people and planet equals better business and even better beer.”
“Redesigning the Stroud Brewery brand and packaging was a real honour,” says Adam Hinks, Creative Director at LEVEL, “it is well loved brand here in the South West for its beer and its ethics. We knew we had to cut through an already saturated and noisy category, we needed to combat the greenwashing going on out there and develop an exciting, honest and credible visual identity that wasn’t your traditional ‘organic’ look and feel. Stroud is every bit as ethical as the brewery, being the birthplace of many social and environmental movements, it was only right that we took creative inspiration from our local environment and positive yet activist culture.”
The team invited fans of the brand to contribute to its development, “LEVEL were keen to bring our fans on the journey,” says Brand Manager, Nadine Stroud, “we asked our fans for input to tell our provenance story and LEVEL incorporated their feedback into the development of the brand mark. Our fans also contributed to our ethical story and our favourite response ‘no nonsense, clear conscience’ now features as the nucleus on our glassware and across our comms.”
“LEVEL are a unique brand design agency,” says Stroud Brewery founder, Greg Pilley, “they are big agency talent but they also truly understand sustainability, both Jenny and Adam are well versed in the regenerative and circular economies and their knowledge has been invaluable in uncovering and communicating our brand values.”
Source: Level Studio