Few brands can rival Plymouth Gin for character. Like Champagne, its name is legally binding – it has to be made in Plymouth, as it has been for over 200 years, in original copper stills in an old Dominican Order monastery.

Plymouth Gin Distillery

Moreover, its bottle was rich in curiosities – like a depiction of a monk on the inside of the back label – “when the monk’s feet get dry, it’s time for another”. Such details, though, were lost in the brand’s 2006 move to an art deco inspired bottle. The new pack polarised – a striking design, certainly, but one which had little basis in the brand’s rich heritage.

Plymouth Gin Old
Two previous incarnations of Plymouth Gin

So came the call for a new design; one which evoked the brand’s past whilst simultaneously looking to its future. Over two stages, we explored a number of potential design routes created by Design Bridge. Our winner wasn’t always the favourite in the research’s hot debates, but we saw potential in the concept behind it. With our recommended optimisations, we guided the team to a pack which taps into its rich history, without feeling old-fashioned.

Launched in autumn 2011, the new packaging has helped Plymouth Gin exceed global sales expectations by 62%, the recommended retail price has increased by 50% to reflect the brand’s premium status, and distribution has increased to cover five new markets. As a result, it also won Gold in the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards.

Peter Droy, Client Business Director at Design Bridge, said:

“This project is a first class example of how packaging research can add real value to brand and creative strategy.

With deft facilitation and insightful analysis, The Big Picture were able to dig below the surface of the consumer responses to recommend a route that, whilst not performing that well in groups, conceptually delivered best against the brief.

This rejection of the ‘beauty parade’ approach, gave us license to progress with a design that is truly differentiated, engaging, and most importantly, effective.”

Plymouth Gin Close Up

Plymouth Lineup