Small Town, Strong Spirit
Crafting whiskey that respects the past, yet is inspired by the future, Templeton Distillery captures the essence of a small town with a strong spirit. With over 100 years of history in their hometown of Templeton, Iowa, their story is one built on the shared experiences of their community. Since 2006, Templeton has been leading the American Rye revolution, but as they concluded construction on their new, state-of-the-art distillery, the goal was to find a way to not only share where Templeton comes from, but where it's headed. Every good revival has its way of bringing history into the now. The story of how we, as the Templeton Rye design agency partner, led the Templeton team through a complete rebrand is no different. It's less about making things the way they used to be, and more about using the influence of the past to guide the brand's future. This is a story of how we worked closely with the Templeton team to breathe new life into the brand, tell their story of a rye revival, and share their town's deeply rooted whiskey way of life.
Strategy & Identity
The key to any rebrand is to begin with a thorough understanding of who you are, what you represent, and the foundational ideals that will carry your brand into the future. Our first goal with the Templeton team was to define these aspects of both Templeton Distillery (the place) as well as Templeton Rye (the product). Via extensive market research, stakeholder interviews, and a discovery visit to the cornfields of Iowa, we worked closely with the Templeton team to define how we would take inspiration from the true bootlegging stories of their hometown, yet begin to shift the perspective to the future and the growth potential of their rye whiskey in the American market.
Once the foundation was set, we got to work designing the center of the Templeton universe – the package! Our inspiration was both classic Americana as well as the town of Templeton, Iowa itself. Custom glass was clearly the way to go for this spirit, allowing us to both show off the liquid while still providing the opportunity to showcase the new brand identity systems we'd created. Using the same glass mold for the 4, 6, and 10 Year was important both for consumer recall as well as price per unit, allowing us to really embellish the newly released 10 Year to feel like the premium product it is, with a custom metal label, charm medallion, and custom closure. The result is a cohesive lineup with clear SKU differentiation.
In creating a system of Point of Sale and merchandising assets, our primary goal was to create assets that allowed the new package to shine. From shippers that double as a branded floor displays to informative sales & trade tools, these highly functional and clearly branded pieces compliment the new package rather than compete and help to complete the brand experience.
The redesigned website for Templeton Distillery was our opportunity to introduce the new brand to the world in a visual, functional, and immersive way. Uniting powerful imagery with just the right amount of information progressively disclosed to the user as they dive deeper into the Templeton story, we paired the launch of their website with an included microsite for their brand launch campaign. The final product is a website that is not only highly functional and informative, but powered the new brand and truly made a splash in the industry.
Photo & Video
The production of visual assets allowed us as the overarching Templeton Rye design agency to marry our redeveloped brand strategy with the newly designed package – showing, rather than telling, consumers, trade, and media what the new brand stood for and how it fit in market. Via a fiery videoshoot, meticulously crafted composite studio photography, and a raucous, "embrace the mud" lifestyle shoot, we were able to plan, execute, and deliver on a vision to truly bring this brand to life.
Knowing that consumers often take to social media to validate a brand, a coordinated social media launch campaign was key to our relaunch strategy. This would not only help to educate longtime fans on the driving forces behind the new package, but aid in new customers justifying a purchase or a follow. We were able to leverage Templeton's already strong social following in order to announce the new packaging and help generate organic buzz among consumers and press. Fueled by paid social ads, this was a true catalyst for both product sales and follower growth across social channels once the new package began hitting shelves.
Advertising & Campaigns
Through a coordinated effort with us as the Templeton Rye design agency, the Templeton team, and a team of PR experts and media buyers, we launched the new Templeton brand with a bang... or perhaps we should say a spark. Display and social ads drove web traffic and followership. Custom mailers and targeted press outreach drove organic press. All initial activation efforts surrounded the Strong Spirited Entrepreneur's Grant campaign, where Templeton recommitted to its theme of revival by fueling those with the spark of an idea, helping them to light their own mighty flames via three $10k small business grants, selected by a team of Iowa's Greats.