We worked with Gusbourne, makers of the finest English Sparkling Wine, to support the growth of international sales and to help consolidate and build their reputation as a luxury global brand.
In refreshing the Gusbourne brand, we saw the opportunity to focus on the uniqueness of Gusbourne and to reframe their relevance to an expanding international customer base.
Gusbourne is already established and regarded for the exceptional quality of their wine, and they were keen for this to be leveraged as the business continued to expand and product awareness and recognition grew.
Long term partners.
We have worked with Gusbourne since 2006 when the business was established. We were initially engaged to define the Gusbourne values and brand offer. We built up trust and the confidence of our client, giving us freedom to apply unique insight in new creative solutions.
We had a clear understanding of the Gusbourne offer. This was an understated English winemaker, influenced by tradition, yet innovative in every element of their craft. Gusbourne were known for their exclusively vintage wines, carried by trusted retail partners who shared values similar to their own.
“We were determined to apply the learnings of the previous years to further define and differentiate the Gusbourne brand from the growing sector by remaining firmly rooted in the notion of exclusivity and scarcity,” says Francis Court, Wondersphere’s founder.
We implemented a radical change in the bottle’s shape and glass colour, to help distinguish the product. The bottle went from green to black, a change that reinforced the credentials as a premium product. Since wine is understood to deteriorate through exposure to light, the solid colour helped in protecting the contents through extended ageing. To make the product more striking, tactile and balanced in the hand, the neck of the bottle became slender and more elongated.
Another change was our single-label design, an innovative way of presenting the necessary regulatory information without compromising on the overall label aesthetic. We added a unique ‘goose down’ texture to the label for added tactile richness, while maintaining the clean and pared down look when viewed from afar.
Our redesign included new, magnetised boxes that double up as interconnecting retail display units. We even came up with unique concrete coolers to keep the wine at optimum drinking temperature.
Tone of voice was central to our work, ensuring that Gusbourne continued to speak with clarity and precision while remaining understated and true to the values on which the business was founded.
An important element of the strategy involved developing a unique and differentiating personality for each wine. This allowed us to focus on presenting consumers with a clear product offer that recognises and celebrates the inherent quality of each individual wine from Gusbourne.
On the digital side, we designed and developed a strategy built around a new website as a content hub, with social media integration for the growing base of loyal followers. This site acts as a central customer database, allowing Gusbourne to connect all consumer activity be that sales, vineyard visits or social media interaction.
Price and Perception.
For wine, the proof is in the taste. But for us, the proof was in how we were able to change people’s perceptions about the intrinsic value of Gusbourne. The average retail price per bottle has grown steadily by 60% from 2009 to 2018, and our rebranding supported a sales revenue increase of over 130% between 2015 to 2018.
“The effect of the brand refresh and packaging update is clearly visible on the overall sales revenue,” explains Francis Court. “Our creative solution, launched with the new packaging in mid 2015, broadened the appeal of Gusbourne to new audiences and galvanised retailers and consumers already familiar with the wines.”
Our client believes this too. Andrew Weeber, the founder and chairman of Gusbourne, says: “Of the many contributions made by Wondersphere, the single metric on which we measure their ongoing value is their influence on driving the perceived value of each bottle.”
We’ll drink to that.