Nice story, but so what?
Eristoff is fantastic triple distilled vodka with a mildly salacious history. Created in 1806 by the formidable Prince Ivane Eristoff of Georgia, legend has the original distiller being kept under lock and key so as to preserve the recipe’s secret. Such stories however, lack resonance with today’s consumer.
Throughout Europe, Eristoff was perceived as a rather parochial and generic looking Eastern European vodka – known for its low price rather than its history. We had to blow the dust from the brand and find a way of connecting with today’s audience.
Create packaging and iconography which would make Eristoff a relevant, aspirational choice for today’s 18-25 year-old consumer.
Giving heritage an edge
The trick was to suggest a heritage without looking backwards too much.
The re-design balanced tradition with modernity – a more elegant take on the distinctive ‘bell’ shape of the original, for example.
More significantly, we introduced the icon of the howling timber wolf (Georgia was once known as Virshan – ‘the land of the wolf’). This proved important, imparting a masculine energy and a sense of the mythic. Its distinctiveness has made it a central feature of the brand, from advertising to events.
New identity drives sales
Following the 2005 re-design, brand value has grown across all markets, in tandem with both volume and value sales. In France, Eristoff’s biggest market, price has increased relative to Smirnoff, with value sales set to rise further as people accept it as a premium vodka brand, worth paying more for.
Distribution also exploded in the on-trade. Once known only on the shelves of European hypermarkets, the brand has found favour with the thousands of bars and clubs across Europe now keen to stock it.
With further market expansion on the cards, Erisoff's new design prompted launches in Brazil, India and indeed the Dominican Republic, where the brand enjoys an 85% market share.
The new design and identity created wider awareness of the Eristoff brand throughout Europe. This allowed the brand to expand and innovate. The range now consists of 4 flavours (Core, Black, Red, Limskaya) and flavours represent 23% of total revenue.
The new iconography gave advertising a story to tell. Instead of the previous run of disparate campaigns and approaches, which lacked either consistency or true differentiation, now there was a single strong, united campaign centred upon the new brand icon.
The ‘wolf’ campaign is now in its 4th year, and drawing inspiration from both the wolf and the majestic blue colour we introduced as the core brand colour, it continues to go from strength to strength.