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Label Designs

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We are starting the process of label designs and have a few basic questions for those that have gone through the process:

1. How did you decide whether to brand under one single name (i.e. Joe's Vodka, Joe's Rum, etc) versus individual product names? We are currently looking at a quasi hybrid method of individual product names with their own image along with the distillery logo/name on the bottle? We've seen it done a variety of ways but are wondering how people chose what they did.

2. How much should it cost to have a professional marketing company do a package of 3-4 labels? We are working on labels with a designer friend (who is essentially doing it in his free time on the cheap) but are debating about turning it all over to a company with experience in this area. We're not entirely happy with the results thus far but they aren't horrible either. Just not great.

3. How did you choose between screen printing/paper/gloss/etc for the label itself?

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Hi SummitST,

Give me a call and I'll be glad to shed some light on your questions above.


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1. How much capitol do you have allocated to marketing? If limited, then it's financially wise to focus on one brand. If you've got money to burn then you might entertain launching other DBA's to push individual spirits on their own. Both have benefits and drawbacks, but if you're just starting out then it's best to keep it under one brand for many reasons, one being that it's easy for stores to take on new products of accepted brands then start off fresh with a new brand.

2. A pro Ad agency would charge about $1,500 per label. With this you're paying their overhead, account execs., traffic, copywriter, art director, creative director and print production manager. A freelance designer should cost around $500 or so, depending on complexity of the desired design. It's best to hire a designer who's had experience with the TTB and BAM/COLA/Formula requirements, this makes for less changes during the COLA approval process. It's also key to have someone who understands how to make a new brand stand off of the shelf so it's easy to identify. I did the design for CascadeAlchemy.com bottles and they are vey effective due to their simplicity and cost. They can be seen from across a store floor, are brand recognizable and are cheap to produce, all good points for a shoestring marketing budget. As always, Keep It Simple Stupid, and push the brand.

3. What's your desired COGS per bottle/label/cap/seal? What is your brand focus? These two things will tell you what your cost and look of your end bottle/label will be. If you don't know what either of these two things are then you need to tackle these first before designing your label.

If you'd like help finding your brand focus and also having someone who understands TTB/COLA/Formula requirements for spirit labels, feel free to drop me a message here on ADI. I've worked in the Ad agency world for the past twenty years and I'd be happy to help you launch a successful brand.

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