Esprit Relaunch

The relaunch of Esprit

Distell’s 26-year old Esprit brand has been given a major facelift and was relaunched in early October 2010 – it now boasts a stylish new image thanks to the efforts of Just Design, the Stellenbosch-based design agency.

Esprit was first launched in 1984 as one of the first flavoured wines on the South African market with 7% alcohol by volume. The brand was re-launched in 1996 as a natural fruit ale with an alcohol level of 5% and six new fruit flavours. It remained an accessible, palatable drink offering, but sales were declining. An ideal time to rethink the brand.

Now under the guidance of Just Design account manager, Inge Thompson and team, Esprit has grown up over the years, from fruity and playful to more sophisticated.  Esprit’s consumers are predominantly female, aged 18 – 34, although male consumers are not off the radar. This is a new generation of consumers looking for something refreshing, low in alcohol, easy to drink, with a little kick.

The new pack development started with the curvaceous bottle shape which gives Esprit distinctive shelf standout and allows for maximum exposure of the colour of the liquid.  

The new logo was introduced as strong, with subtle movement. The iconic S reflects the curves of the bottle and becomes a distinctive embossing at the base of the bottle. The hummingbirds in the crest allude to the natural fruit flavours Mango Splash, Passion Fusion and Lime Swivel that make up the range. The abstract fruit icon and splash of colour is refreshing and aims to convey the fruitiness of the product.

Says Claudia Mills, Esprit brand manager: “Both the trade and consumers have responded exceptionally well to the new Esprit, with ambitious first month launch targets already achieved.”

Just Design is used to solving strategic marketing migraines for big brand FMCG companies. But it doesnt only offer its services to big brand names – the company stresses that it’s also passionate about assisting in the development of new South African FMCG brands, particularly entrepreneurial concepts.

“We are passionate and thorough in every opportunity to assist in the development and nurturing of a new brand, or to work with a brand in avoiding stale mate oblivion,” MD Alastair Haarhof says. “The team doesnt waste time in getting to the core of the concept, and delivering on client expectation. Just Design has a track record of success that shows years of accurate instinct, careful research and knowledgeable brand know-how.”