Spirits Unlimited: Shaking Things Up for a Regional Brand

“We’ve been in the community a long time, but our customer base is fading.”

“Younger customers see our stores as dark and depressing, and perceive our selection as limited to cheap beer and lower grade hard liquor. They won’t even come in.” Spirits Unlimited was struggling, but my client had a vision for his business and his brand.

The first step was establishing the brand promise of providing the best selection and competitively priced variety with exceptional customer service and a positive local shopping experience. The next step was creating a tagline that delivered on that promise—“We Keep You in the Best of Spirits.”

The fun part was creating an appropriate logo. It had to have retail functionality—quick visibility and recognition in strip mall signage, newspaper ads, packaging, displays, printer receipts and coupons, the website, etc. The strategy was to have the logo be an evolution as well as a revolution. We wanted customers to know that this was the new and improved Spirits Unlimited.

Enhancing customer touchpoints for a unified brand experience was key. An updated ad template boldly featured the new logo and tagline, and incorporated a smart structure for better readability. Templates that rotated weekly included visuals of young, vibrant and engaged customers. Ads showed the list of store locations that highlighted Spirits Unlimited’s strong regional presence. “Online Only” specials appealed to the younger target audience, changing behavior by driving folks to the website. Once there, a more user-friendly experience showcased recipes, reviews, discounts, videos, social media and a blog. Store locations were renovated to be brighter, inviting, well-stocked and easy to navigate. All employees were required to wear clean, branded vests and provide friendly, knowledgeable service.

Over a decade into its revitalized brand, Spirits Unlimited is still adding locations and enjoying a strong brand image in social media that’s consistent with its brand promise and brand experience.