Chase Vodka Design strategy - Case study

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Chase Vodka Design strategy case study.

Looked into the evolution of the brand, used Ralf Beuker's 'The 5 Design Layers' model to conduct a design audit of the brand and its current packaging.

By analysing the physical product using the Layers categories of Aesthetics, Interaction, Perfomance, Construction and Meaning of the layers it was concluded that Chase positioned itself as a luxurious British Vodka without losing its focus of creating a fantastic vodka product.

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Chase Vodka Design strategy - Case study

  1. 1. RUPINDER DOSANJH S11734461 MA Design Management DESIGN STRATEGY DES7001 2011
  2. 2. MA Design Management / DESIGN STRATEGY MODULE / DES7001 / 2011 1 CONTENTS THE CONTEXT....................................2 THE BRIEF...........................................3 THE DESIGN STRATEGY.....................4 THE PARTICULARS............................5 DESIGN AUDIT....................................5 SAMPLE..............................................5 DESIGN LAYERS ANALYSIS...............6 THE RESULTS...................................10
  3. 3. MA Design Management / DESIGN STRATEGY MODULE / DES7001 / 2011 2 The Context Chase Vodka is the product of a Small Business that was set up by the Entrepreneur William Chase, trading under the name of Chase Distillery Limited, which produces various alcoholic products from their Distillery based in Herefordshire. The company employs ten people, consisting of five in the office and five involved with production (Chase 2011). It prides itself on being the only British produced vodka using potatoes grown in Chase’s Herefordshire farm (Chase Distillery 2010). The Spirit and Liqueurs market in the UK was worth approximately £8.4mil and vodka accounted for 32.4% of the entire market in 2009 (Keynote 2010). All products are produced at Chase Distillery, Rosemaund Farm using traditional methods which allow them total control over the whole process: “use a unique hand-crafted copper batch pot to produce our vodka. Although this makes for a laborious process, it allows us total control of the vodka making process, from seed to bottle” (Chase Distillery 2010) Chase Vodka is branded and promoted as a ‘premium vodka’ and is stocked in Selfridges, Waitrose and Sainsburys. The Distillery have their own online shop via the website and control distribution by dealing directly with selected bars, hotels and wholesalers. Clockwise, the process used to create the UK’s only potato vodka. From collecting the potatoes, mashing, fermentation, stripping, rectification, finishing & hand processed bottling William Chase, the Entrepreneur behind the Chase Distillery Hand-crafted copper batch pots
  4. 4. MA Design Management / DESIGN STRATEGY MODULE / DES7001 / 2011 3 THE BRIEF TARGET AUDIENCE The brand is targeted at sophisticated, mature audience who prefers a higher quality of living and enjoys the fruits of their labour. Most are in professional careers for a number of years. Another target audience are young, up and coming city dwellers who prefer niche underexposed brands. Both groups consist of university educated or entrepreneurs, conscious consumers with an average income of at least £25,000. FEATURES “WHAT IT HAS” EXPERIENCE “WHAT YOU’LL FEEL” BENEFITS “WHAT IT DOES” IDENTIFICATION “WHO YOU ARE” Marty Neueier The Brand Gap (2003) Target Audience Word Clouds. Mosaic UK (2011) Tyrrells Vodka After the sale of Tyrrells Potato Chips brand, Tyrrells Vodka had to be rebranded due to conflicts with the buyers. But Chase used this as a way to create a differentiation from his previous venture (The Telegraph 2010). A strong brand identity was needed to communicate the personality instilled into the product by Chase. A ‘product story’ was created from the processes used and embedded into the brand strategy to differentiate it from the competitors. By explaining the process and purity of the product, the Distillery hoped to connect with the customers by reinforcing its high quality standards. It was also a great opportunity to take the Chase brand into a different direction from where Tyrrells was and to reach a more affluent audience with more sophisticated tastes.
  5. 5. MA Design Management / DESIGN STRATEGY MODULE / DES7001 / 2011 4 THE DESIGN STRATEGY This case study will be focussing on the company’s need for creating a strong brand strategy. As Neumeier (2003) asks that ‘three little questions’ need to be answered: 1) Who are you? 2) What do you do? 3) Why does it matter? Using the above questions as guidance, a set of brand values could be created and thus, instilled into the product and throughout the company. Brand values are defined as a type of code by which a brand can live by. The values can act as a benchmark to measure performance and behaviour (Brandchannel.com 2011). BRAND VALUES Borja de Mozota explains brand values as a ‘sedimentation process, which envolves and changes’ (2003). ‘Quality Produce’ (Chase Distillery 2010) The company is proud to emphasize the raw materials used to create their vodka is grown and controlled on their own farm. ‘Provenance and pedigree’ (Chase Distillery 2010) The product story is embodied by these two characteristics. It gives the brand an authenticity that conscious, niche product craving consumers will buy into. ‘Super Premium’ (BBC 2010) Chase Vodka is establishing itself as a ‘super premium’ (BBC 2010) vodka. The distillery is placing itself with well- established competitors such as Belvedere and Grey Goose. By highlighting Chase Vodka’s production methods, the company is able to justify charging an average £38 (Selfridges 2011) for their product. The overall design strategy encompasses Marketing & Branding, Innovation, Technology, Research and Development and Sales. image courtesy of emerson•utracik (Flickr 2011) Googleimages(2011) STRATEGY & VISION EXECUTION DESIGN EXECUTES STRATEGY INNOVATION TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT MARKETING & BRANDING SALES
  6. 6. DESIGN AUDIT By performing a design audit we are able to deconstruct the product and see whether the brand values have been achieved. We will be using an adapted design layer model, based on Ralf Beuker’s ‘The 5 Design Layers’ (Acton 2011). SAMPLE There are many product variations of Chase Vodka. For this study we shall be analysing their Special Edition Chase Vodka Gift Pack. It consists of a gift bag, gift box, Chase Vodka bottle and finished with a tag. THE PARTICULARS Adapted version of Ralf Beuker’s ‘The 5 Design Layers’ Aesthetic Sensorial layer What the product does to the senses: looks, smell, touch & sound Interaction Behavioural layer How the user interactions with the product & what kind of behaviour it invites Performance Functional layer What the product does, problem it solves & functionality it brings Construction Physical layer How the product is made, construction & technologies used Meaning Mental layer Meaning & emotions the product conveys
  7. 7. MA Design Management / DESIGN STRATEGY MODULE / DES7001 / 2011 6 GIFT BAG DESIGN LAYERS ANALYSIS INTERACTION AESTHETIC MEANING performance Gift Bag Aesthetic Looks like gift bag from a top end shop. Ribbon detailing & foil block logo emphasizes attention to detail paid to product. Gives it a touch of luxury. Interaction Invites user to ‘carry’ the bag rather than holding it in hands. Performance Acts as a carry case of box & bottle. Solves handling issues - allows user to hold like a shopping bag. Strong enough to carry weight. Finishes off ‘whole packaging’ process. When gifted to someone, no need for extra packaging (e.g. wrapping paper). Construction Matt coated paper construction. Folded & glued. Meaning Reinforces connotations of a high quality luxurious gift.
  8. 8. MA Design Management / DESIGN STRATEGY MODULE / DES7001 / 2011 7 GIFT BOX DESIGN LAYERS ANALYSIS Gift Box Aesthetic Chase Distillery logo & product description foil block printed. Wrap around graphic print of roots in light grey contrasts against dark grey box. Union Jack tag made from fabric. Back of box contains ‘product story’ & signature of William Chase (owner). Interaction User will feel heavy, good quality & very robust gift box. Performance Acts as a casing for the bottle placed inside it. Construction Cardboard. Internal contains foam to hold bottle neck in safe place during transportation. Meaning Feels special when removing box from bag. AESTHETIC AESTHETIC INTERACTION performance
  9. 9. MA Design Management / DESIGN STRATEGY MODULE / DES7001 / 2011 8 BOTTLE DESIGN LAYERS ANALYSIS Bottle Aesthetic Clear bottle with white wrap around graphics. Elegant. When touched, user feels the print of graphics. ‘Chase’ logo overprinted onto white roots in black ink. Union Jack print emphasizes it is a British made product. Interaction User will be first greeted with sheer weight of product. Read the short description printed on side & is invited to consume product. Performance Bottle acts as a elegant casing for product. Distinct design makes it easier for user to distinguish from other products. Construction Glass. Plastic casing around bottle neck. Meaning Transparency & use of white emphasizes it’s a simply made product. Elegance & clarity AESTHETIC AESTHETIC INTERACTION INTERACTION MEANING performance
  10. 10. MA Design Management / DESIGN STRATEGY MODULE / DES7001 / 2011 9 TAG DESIGN LAYERS ANALYSIS Tag Aesthetic Tag catches the eye of the user. Touch to bring user’s eye closer. Read tag for product description. Interaction Invites user to remove tag from bottle neck or read while still attached to bottle. Performance Gives a description of ‘product story’. Makes the description available to read if missed by the user on the gift box & bottle. Construction Constructed from matt coated 300gsm artboard. Similar to a business card. Finished with a half fold & black string to house around neck of bottle. Meaning Nice finishing touch. Attention to detail. Conveys key brand value of ‘provenance & pedigree’ AESTHETIC INTERACTION MEANINGperformance
  11. 11. MA Design Management / DESIGN STRATEGY MODULE / DES7001 / 2011 10 DESIGN LAYERS CONCLUSION the results The designer has managed to manifest the brand values throughout the packaging. By using tactile textures, tones of greys, foil blocking, black and white colours it emphasizes the placement of where the company wants to position their brand. Unlike other brands of vodka (e.g Ciroc made in France, Absolute created in Sweeden), the product is 100% British made. When the product is viewed on the shelf, the packaging makes it a focal point against the competitors. Since its name change and brand development, the Distillery has launched a range of ‘vodka-based fruit liqueurs; raspberry, elderflower, rhubarb and blackcurrant’ (Room 58 2009). ‘Williams Gin’ and ‘Chase Marmalade Vodka’, like Chase Vodka is created in the Distillery using gluten free potatoes has also proved to be highly successful in its own right and is a staple in many high end bars such as The Ivy and The Ritz. Chase stated in his interview with The Bottom Line that the Distillery will go into profit after two years (BBC 2010). As the winner of the prestigious World Spirit Awards 2010, Chase Distillery intends to build on this success. The company has expanded into more global markets such as the USA, Brazil, UAE and China. After a second still is installed, production will be boosted from 5,000 to 25,000 bottles (Guardian 2011). Borja de Mozota states that the hidden face of a brand is made up of production, research and development, innovation, technology and taking risks (2003). However, the Distillery has reversed this and effectively used these aspects to build their brand upon. Throughout their packaging, print media and online content. On their website, the process of production is documented along with a video containing William Chase explaining production, research and development, technology and innovation. People are spending less on mid ranged vodkas, however are willing to pay a premium for a good product. The vodka industry has been trending towards premiumisation of brands. Major companies such as Diageo and LVMH are now investing millions on their brand strategies and targeting consumers who are willing to pay more than £30. The Chase Vodka rebranding is a great example of a product that has not lost its focal point unlike other premium vodkas in the same market. The brand has not taken over the product and thus, remains true to the product, the vodka.

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