A small mouth doesn't have room for just anything...
Small Mouth Vodka is a boutique, Australian made craft vodka that launched in February, 2014.
After noticing the popular trend for craft beers, organic wines and the gap in craft spirit market, owners Chris and Rohan created Small Mouth Vodka, a premium organic spirit aimed at small bars. I was approached to develop branding and digital collateral for the new business.
Responsive Website Design/Development
2014 - Present
Chris Payton, Brand Strategy
Branding & Packaging
The branding was built to emphasise a handcrafted aesthetic as well as utilising colour and texture to make the product stand out on crowded bar shelves. The smaller 500mL bottle size means that typically the bottle sits front and centre of a display (winner!) and the splash of yellow in the wax seal stands out in the vodka category where packaging is typically blue, red or silver.
The tartan check on the label hints at the company's roots, with the concept and name of the vodka originally conceived during a holiday the owners took in Scotland.
Brand Message /
Tone of Voice
We wanted to position Small Mouth Vodka as a refined Australian, premium craft spirit that was new age and creative, with changing perception of vodka as it's primary aim. The branding, as such, was to be aspirational, sophisticated and honest.
The "A small mouth doesn’t have room for just anything…" tagline eludes to the fact that the product contains no nasties like preservatives, colourings or additives. All that can fit in the smaller 500mL bottle is "Just the good stuff".
The hashtag #drinkbettervodka is also heavily featured across Small Mouth marketing. It acts as a quick reminder to consumers to consider the spirits they are drinking - that vodka like Small Mouth can have a complex taste profile and shouldn't be a colourless, tasteless liquid.
Graphic Style /
With a limited marketing budget at first, we explored ways to create content without employing external help from photographers. Referencing the handcrafted production method, an illustrative style was developed to depict cocktails, ingredients and the bottle that appeared sketchy and hand-drawn.
This has since expanded to compliment photography as well, but illustrations still feature regularly throughout Small Mouth collateral. Where possible, posts have an illustrative layer or border applied to them to maintain the handcrafted aesthetic of the brand.
We developed a social media calendar which showcased the product across a wide range of cocktails and mixes or reinforced the brand message and product point of differences like flavour and quality organic ingredients.
Advertising focussed on two main groups; the industry professional "Bs" (bars, buyers and bartenders) and general consumers. The social media calendar pitched Small Mouth multiple times per week on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Posts were published at different times of the day depending on the target audience.
The Small Mouth responsive website is a one page site that supports the brand's online presence. It was built in Wordpress for easy content management.
It provides product information, highlights main features and benefits, showcases cocktail recipes and product shots, facilitates enquiries, as well as directing consumers to retailers where they can purchase the product.
The Roll Out
Branding and Advertising for Small Mouth set the product up for an exciting launch and has evolved continually over the last 2 years to face new challenges like higher production levels and attracting larger audiences and distribution channels. Small Mouth is currently stocked in hundreds of bars, bottle shops and restaurants across Australia including all Dan Murphy's retail stores and is now being exported internationally in China and Hong Kong.
The flexibility of the branding has meant that other designers have been able to adapt the style to produce other print and web collateral successfully whilst maintaining consistency of the brand message and visual style of the business. The design aesthetic and brand promise has also led to collaborations with other businesses like Donna Hay, Cocobella coconut water and the Ken Done Gallery who think the Small Mouth brand resonates with similar ideals and at a quality that matches their own.
"When entering the super-competitive vodka category we knew we needed our brand to jump out and grab consumer attention both on the shelf and in digital communications. Jessica took the time to hear out our ideas and what we wanted to achieve, perfectly understanding the brief and bringing many innovative ideas to the table.
Jessica comes highly recommended by us as someone with a depth of creative style and ideas, a super keen eye for detail (great as we’re perfectionists) and presented with clear communication throughout the whole process. We continue to use Jessica in creating material for special events and campaigns where we always set the challenge to deliver a unique experience to our audience."
- Co-Owner of Small Mouth Vodka