Turning a Vision of Gold into a Golden Brand
A step by step review of the journey Studio OAX embarked on to introduce a product in an established, crowded and competitive market while managing client expectations.
Authors: Christine Sweet & Petr Dubecky
When Studio OAX was introduced to the young privately held spirits company 3 Kilos Vodka in 2016, although driven with big ideas of becoming a global brand, the company was missing basic brand standards and direction to become one.
What makes a global brand global and how do you set up the scale of approach? How does a privately boutique owned spirits company compete with the beefy budget spend of household names? These are all questions Studio OAX naturally contemplated when accepting the challenge to build 3 Kilos Vodka brand identity and communication structure.
However, the first roadblock encountered was that the client had yet to identify whom their target market and audience was.
The first pitch by Studio OAX showcased a bold new brand direction and product design reflecting international industry trends and standards along with their minimal and contemporary design aesthetics. Through the freedom and support to test and explore in a honeymoon stage with their client, Studio OAX quickly recognized the risk and financial investment to overhaul the product and brand.
In this instance, moving forward with a new product design would completely trash the existing 80,000 bottles for new production and call for an introduction of the new brand image to the existing fan base. All of which, would have resulted in a mass financial loss for the privately held company and threaten the hold on their small, yet strongly loyal, consumer base.
This realization coincidentally brought OAX back to the core simplicity and magnitude of the product at hand, a gold bar-shaped bottle. Through the overpowering use of the image of gold 3 Kilos Vodka could become a visible brand and a recognized player in the already saturated liquor market. The owners’ contagious passion combined with Studio OAX’s industry insights quickly led to the universal understanding that the 3 Kilos Vodka patented gold bar-shaped bottle was something more than just another vodka, but rather being something greater, an empowering statement that everyone can own the gold.
Image and brand conscious Millennials whose personalities boast the fearless essence and entrepreneurial spirit of today’s go-getters, change makers, and trendsetters would be receptive to 3 Kilos Vodka patented gold bar shaped bottle and golden mantra of gold ownership.
“If it is gold, it must be 3 Kilos.” a consistent brand image lit in gold was born.
The golden mantra served as a link between the original conflicting brand elements, tying back together original pieces of the brand story and visual style that seemingly could not coexist together, e.g. 1937 - Fort Knox Gold Depository versus European royal heritage and opulence, two strongly opposing principles, just to name a few.
Additionally, it secured not only a successful curation of existing individual brand pieces but made the daily tasks of original creative content for the fast expanding brand with global outreach doable, especially within an intimate team of three.
Distribution increased from 5 to 15 countries and from 3 to 7 states just within first two-quarters of the full 3 Kilos Vodka brand launch under OAX’s creative direction and brand management.
Refreshing a template looking crest logo and introducing secondary logo.
Rewriting the story and crafting the voice and key messaging to reinforce 3 Kilos Vodka’s position as a player in the Ultra Premium spirits category was accomplished through three simple guiding phrases “inspired by history”, “luxury begins with quality”, and “if it’s gold it must be 3 Kilos”.
The first video campaign for 3 Kilos Vodka set the tone for launching the brand on the Ultra Premium spirits market, weaving together brand elements e.g. 1937 Fort Knox Gold Depository and New York based around the gold illumination from 3 Kilos Vodka Gold 999.9.
The signature 3 Kilos Vodka Gold 999.9 bar tool kit including a gold bar shaped drinking vessel and custom hexagon designed ice bucket, bring the 3 Kilos Vodka experience full circle, as a complementing statements to the original patented gold bar shaped bottle.
The 3 Kilos Vodka style shop was thoughtfully designed to incorporate 3 Kilos Vodka brand image into the everyday lives of consumers, empowering them as brand ambassadors with gold inspired lifestyle P.O.S. items that they can wear and use as fashion pieces, not just branded materials.
3 Kilos Ultra Premium Vodka is well represented with ultra premium sales kit gilded in gold.
Studio OAX identified Anchor Communications as the partner PR agency to raise the profile and awareness of 3 Kilos Vodka. Anchor Communications has since been responsible for strategically pairing the product as the exclusive elixir with key events that celebrate icons who embody the spirit of 3 Kilos Vodka, such as Joan Rivers Confidential book launch and Jane Fonda’s birthday party. Through the enjoyment of 3 Kilos Vodka and sharing the gold, we create golden moments together.
OAX team credits
Creative Director: Petr Dubecky
Graphic Design: Petr Dubecky, Tomas Nedoma
3D Design: OAX
Graphic Design Interns: Dini Su, Lucie Bole, Mengyi Ouyang