As twin brothers born and raised in Sonoma County, Chris and Brandon Matthies have dedicated their lives serving their community as a firefighter and police officer. In 2012, the two launched Sonoma Brothers Distillery, an artisan distillery focused on crafting handmade spirits in small batches. After working with a freelance designer on their original labels, the brothers realized some early success, but always felt the label fell short on communicating the brand story and the quality craftsmanship that went into each bottle. Furthermore, as the craft spirits space became more competitive, they started receiving mixed reviews from distributors and consumers on their “look”. When they reached out to CF Napa, the challenge for this project was to develop a branding solution that more effectively conveyed the unique, small batch quality of the product, the premium position of the brand and its humble Sonoma roots.
CF Napa incorporated a nostalgic, turn of the century look to give the brand an authentic and genuinely Sonoma craft feel. It was important to ensure that the new design looked premium and small batch yet approachable and inviting to the consumer. CF Napa adjusted the label hierarchy to make the brand name, “Sonoma Brothers Distilling” the primary focus, allowing for greater readability from behind a bar or on the retail shelf.
To give the brand a more proprietary look, we removed the barrel icon which didn’t have a strong tie to the product, the distillers or the brand position and instead incorporated an illustration of the two brothers, which better communicates the core of the brand story and the craftsmen behind the product. Intricate detailing and gold foil treatment elevate the quality perception and communicate the detailed care that goes into the product itself while a color system differentiates product SKUs, allowing for better product identification with the target consumer.
Within a few months of the re-launch, Whole Foods and Costco picked up the brand regionally in Northern California and Safeway picked up the brand in all stores across California. Their hometown of Windsor, California did a free photo shoot at their distillery and tasting room and is promoting them as a new local business. “We are constantly told that our label is ‘classy’, ‘high-end’ and represents our products as ‘top shelf spirits,” says Brandon Matthies of Sonoma Brothers Distilling. “I will say without a doubt, we would not have the same sales volume over time if we did not have your rebranding/packaging design.”
“Choosing CF Napa was one of the hardest decisions for us early on in our business. We knew of their award-winning work, but struggled with the investment in repackaging our spirit. We made many mistakes early on in our business (as most people do); choosing CF Napa was definitely not one of them. We can honestly say that without CF Napa’s spirit label design, we may not be in business today.”
Sonoma Brothers Distilling