Eel River Brewing is the country’s first 100% certified organic brewery. Eel River saw the writing on the wall and began creating product lines that served consumers who were looking for cleaner, “healthier” beers. Four years ago, it created a hard sparkling water line that represented the Eel River organic beer brrand with its ethos: a clean beverage with simple, high-quality ingredients. This opportunity allowed Eel River to open its brewery to new consumers within the region and begin to expand nationally.
The product was quickly brought to market as “Craft Clarity” and launched around the same time as other hard sparkling waters like White Claw and Truly. Eel River Brewing used its knowledge and proprietary brew process to create a product that was cleaner, using only three ingredients. The hard sparkling water had 5% ABV, less than 100 calories, and many of the same attributes larger players in the space were touting.
Although the hard seltzer category has grown quickly, Clarity had a hard time competing against the larger names in the space. Without the distribution network and voice to differentiate against the competition, Clarity grew more slowly than the rest even though it was a superior product.
Given our experience within the category, we leaned heavily on the three clean, natural ingredients used by Eel River Brewery. We also wanted to elevate the brand equity built by the parent brewery as the true subject matter expert on cleaner, better for you, boozy drinks. Those two factors were attributes no one in the country could leverage and it helped Clarity to differentiate itself from the pack. We then used that to apply it to a brand refresh, packaging updates, sales/marketing materials, and a new website.
Brand and Creative: Clean, minimalist, and lots of white with strong pops of color was used to reinforce the simplicity of the product while elevating the ownable brand attributes.
Packaging: Looking at the existing shelf set we needed Clarity to really stand on its own when in a pack and feel gender neutral when being held in the can. We developed a system around the water drop and ripple effect to give the packaging strong brand blocking when together or individually, with messaging that aligned more closely to craft beer by encouraging consumers that buying craft was the right choice.
Sales Materials: A set of materials was developed to help the Eel River Brewing team educate distributors and retailers on why the product was different — and better — than products offered by the larger players in the space. We used this opportunity to bring in more lifestyle imagery in a black and white ghost to develop a communication hierarchy putting the product first and consumption behavior second to enable retailers and distributors to better understand the value Clarity provided.
Website: We designed and built a mobile first site to engage consumers on the go/at retail in a way that no other brand in the space had done.
Honestly probably my favorite hard seltzer to date.
Clarity Hard Sparkling Water has been picked up by retailers across the country with purchase orders preparing the brand for a summer 2020 relaunch. Brands and retailers have been incredibly receptive to the new packaging and updates as they plan to double down on better-for-you alcohol alternatives.
The roll out is still new so check back for updates.