Monday, 21 May 2012

Gaymers’ New Look: of Cider, Festivals and Branding Different

I love Gaymers. It transcends my two great passions in life – cider and festivals. It's synonymous with brilliant music, muddy wellies and frolicking in the sunshine. In the competitive cider market where virtually identical brands vie for the attention of young urban professionals their strategy of branding around music and bringing it to life through festivals is a stroke of genius.

Their packaging re-launch is yet one more step in that direction. It's a clear move away from the visual cues associated with ‘standard’ ciders such as Magners and Bulmers (see below) such as the bottle shape, gold label, focus on provenance and ‘originality.’ (N.B. Can anyone actually tell them apart?) 
Gaymers’ new look is clearly influenced by visual styles and emerging cultural codes associated with festivals. The bright block colours and playful retro typography come up time and again in the likes of Bestival and Lovebox and thus help position Gaymers as an affiliate of the liberal outdoor music culture. By comparison, the ‘standard’ cider look begins to feel formal and stuffy with their carefully crafted ‘signed’ labels.
When everyone talks about originality, it stops being original. The introduction of Stella’s Cidre brought a welcome shake-up to the category and drove many estbalished cider brands (including Magners) towards premiumisation. Gaymers have recently been hit by this trend as they were stuck in the middle, but the current move is a clever competitive response which should hopefully grow not just their sales but the cider category in general. I, for one, am really excited.

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