Strategic brand design agency Webb deVlam has repositioned Cruzan Rum’s Estate Diamond Distiller’s Collection with a new identity that celebrates its premium quality and 250-year-old Caribbean heritage, and sets it apart from its cheaper, fruit-flavoured sister range.
Cruzan recognised that there was a growing band of ‘casual connoisseurs’, people who enjoy the complexity and sophistication of premium rums, preferring to sip and savour – and that other premium brands were experiencing stronger growth. They asked Webb deVlam to take their Estate Diamond Distiller’s Collection – Light, Dark, Single Barrel and Black Strap – to the next level to appeal to this expanding ‘rum tribe’.
Over a two-year period, Webb deVlam worked with Cruzan, carrying out extensive research with focus groups, who felt the similarity between the premium and flavoured bottles diminished the high-end experience.
Webb deVlam also visited Cruzan’s home of Saint Croix in the US Virgin Islands to experience the passion of the people who work there, including Master Distiller Gary Nelthropp, whose family has been making the rum for generations. It was clear that the brand’s unique, authentic heritage had been lost over the years and that, if communicated in the right way, it could amplify the brand’s premium credentials – and celebrate the local ‘don’t hurry life’ vibe.
Classic premium-bottle ‘cues’ have been introduced, including broad shoulders, a long neck and real wood and cork closures. A tampered cut at the base elevates the product, and textured, darker-hued labels with slightly torn edges echo that elegant island-life feel.
An authoritative embossed-glass logo, which references the Nelthropp family crest and island motifs, has pride of place and allows the rum to shine through, showcasing the four distinct colours within the line, from clear to black. Gary Nelthropp’s signature on the Single Barrel and Black Strap editions communicates the care that has been taken with every bottle. Notes and illustrations have been added to the labels to tell Cruzan’s story, and tasting tips included to help consumers savour the individual notes and get the most out of each rum.
Webb deVlam Design Director José Padilla says, ‘The beautiful island of Saint Croix and the passionate people of the distillery gave us a true appreciation of the history of the brand. Experiencing the simple island life in person gave our team a deep understanding of the people and moments that make it special. It cemented the idea that rum can be an elegant and sophisticated part of the simple island life. Our new expression of the Cruzan brand brings to life the authenticity and attitude of this premium line of aged rums.’
Cruzan Rum is available in the US and in duty-free shops in international airports.