The Seducer

Project Type: New-to world brand creation

Appellation: California
Key Varietals: Red Proprietary Blend (Zinfandel, Syrah, Merlot, etc.) 

Price Point: Red Rendezvoux - $12-15

Background

In 2012 Guarachi Wine Partners was looking for super premium domestic wine brands to complement their excellent portfolio from South America. The company decided to pursue brand innovation rather than acquisition, preferring 100% equity in future domestic portfolio additions and assuming owner Alex Guarachi's proven palate and blending abilities would help ensure a product with high quality in the bottle at an attractive price.                    

Objectives

Create a $12.00 California red wine blend with rich, supple flavor in evocative packaging specifically engineered to appeal to female Millennial and Gen X audiences, based on its sense of passion, intrigue and allurement. The novelFifty Shades of Grey was extremely popular during the conceptualization phase for this brand and served as benchmark and guide for the creative process.

Challenges

Challenges mostly related to balancing a range of brand identity elements: relatively high premium price at or above $12.00 retail; contemporary, whimsical and overtly flirtatious visual imagery; and a serious, high-quality flavor profile. A secondary challenge was to avoid polarization with regard to either male or female audiences. The brand needed to appeal to women without alienating men, while also conveying a seductive visual message without seeming to objectify women. It also needed to look like it was worth more than its actual shelf price.

Solution

Early rounds of the design process explored at least a dozen thematic directions, drawing inspiration from harlequin novels and cartoon art. Finalist versions combined an elegant, upscale brand logo, with a woman's eyes peering out from the label in a suggestive manner (though without seeming promiscuous), all set in a stylistic framework of cartoon art reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein. The result is passionate yet fun, premium yet sexy, and in general a visually appealing, artistic package that is quite feminine while also being acceptable to male audiences. Since its launch in late 2013, the brand has gained distribution at Whole Foods, Safeway and other regional and national grocery channel accounts.

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