Back in the early 80s, Terry and Bev McCashin bought an old cidery in Nelson and set about brewing their own beer. The craft beer revolution didn’t get off to the smoothest start however; when Terry and Bev went to apply for a brewing licence, it’d been so long since anyone had bothered no one knew where the forms were kept!
Obviously it all worked out.
Fast forward 20 years, give or take, and a new generation of McCashins stepped up to the mark to have a crack, creating Stoke beer.
With an explosion of craft and micro brewing taking place in NZ and Australia, we spotted a huge gap in the category. Beer was either price-focused and mass-produced or expensive and ultra-niche. Stoke is neither of these. With a history of Kiwi ingenuity, a respect for brewing practices handed down generations, fine ingredients, and a refusal to compromise the purity of their beer, we positioned Stoke as a craft beer for the masses at a mid-premium price point.
In a retail space teeming with choice and often flamboyant brands, success for Stoke came down to a strong brand identity that portrayed their difference - a commitment to craft and their heritage of craft brewing.
Research revealed that two colours not often utilised in the craft beer market were gold and black, yet these are the two colours so often associated with superior quality.
The use of these colours, along with a unique treatment of images showing the brewing equipment in the background, are the hero of the Stoke brand refresh.
The packaging - which includes bottle labels, 6-pack cradles and shippers - was designed to reflects what makes the Stoke brand unique and reconcile the price point. The new identity of the packaging perfectly communicates that Stoke is a premium product with heritage that is understated and authentic.
Stoke could easily have faded in amongst the masses. Instead, it’s been a stand-out on shelves and in the eskies of our friends across the ditch, having achieved an increase of 600% in Australian sales with no other marketing support.