Storytelling is a natural part of our everyday lives. It plays a crucial role in helping us learn, form opinions, and establish a deeper connection with people and brands. The more a story resonates with the audience, the higher the likelihood that it will be remembered.

In the premium drinks industry, a strong brand narrative is crucial for creating long-term connections between you and your customers. It’s also the one thing that no one else has. A unique perspective that no one else can take. So having a compelling story could be the difference between the consumer choosing your brand over a competitor’s.

The question then becomes… “How can I share our story in a clever and impactful way?” There are different approaches you can take. But here’s one that you might find helpful. We like to call it the ‘onion method’.

Layer 1: Telling the story

While intricately designed labels and embellishments can serve as a canvas for expressing your brand, the written content on your website, social media, and bottle carries just as much weight. This content provides your audience with the necessary background knowledge to decipher any other clues found on your bottle and start to help the customer build an emotional connection to your brand.

Although it might be obvious to you why you’ve included certain nods to cultural ties or symbolic elements, to customers browsing the shelf, you’re just another bottle. Context is everything.

Every brand has a unique story, and providing your customers with the history can lay the foundation for a strong relationship for years to come. So, it’s essential to focus on the written content and ensure that it’s informative, accurate, and well-crafted to make a lasting impact on your customers.

Layer 2: Showing the story

Incorporating visual elements that represent personality can be done using symbols, patterns, or illustrations that tell the story of the brand’s heritage or unique production processes. By doing so, a brand can create a more meaningful and compelling visual identity that resonates with its target audience. This can help strengthen brand loyalty and increase brand recognition in a crowded marketplace.

Herradura Marque™ label

Mexican Tequila brand, Herradura, uses its Spanish meaning of ‘horseshoe’ to depict an upside-down horseshoe, a commonly known omen of luck. The shoe features traditional typography, patterns and textures commonly found in Mexican heritage and art.

Selecting materials that reflect your brand’s values and subtly communicate things such as sustainability, brand heritage and the price point of your product. Combining embossing, debossing, finishes, and colours, adds depth to your label, creating a tactile experience for your customers.

Utilising die-cast metal embellishments in your branding can effectively communicate a sense of luxury and tradition. The weighty feel and cold-to-the-touch element of these materials can tap into the unconscious perceptions of your audience and enhance their overall experience with your brand. Meanwhile, lighter, environmentally friendly materials like wood can be utilised as a viable option to convey your brand’s commitment to sustainability as well as to reduce carbon footprint.

Glengoyne wooden cartouche. Narrow & Wellington sustainable charm, Doc Duro Iterwine Die-cast badge

Layer 3: Experiencing the story

Incorporate engaging details through QR codes, NFC and puzzles to create an immersive experience and enhance mental engagement with your brand.

Two Doctors’ Marque™ label embodies the unique story behind the handmade craft whiskey, captivating audiences with a hidden formula. Read more on how we collaborated with SingleDouble to combine contrasting print and extensive embossing techniques.

Two Doctors Whiskey - Marque™ label

Layer 4: Hiding the story

When it comes to building a strong connection with customers, incorporating hidden clues in your product can go a long way. This strategy can be achieved by weaving bits of your brand’s history into the product’s label and embellishments.

A great example of this can be seen in the design of Craigellachie Scotch Whisky’s label, which was developed by Stranger & Stranger. The label contains carefully crafted illustrations that conceal parts of the distillery’s history, including a nod to the legend of the founders’ cat. According to the story, the founders’ cat ran away when it detected the scent of the spirit vapour on the stills, which served as a sign to turn off the steam.

It’s about keeping something back for the most loyal. Stirring conversation and discussion amongst those in-the-know.

Layer 5: Variations of your story

Limited editions and expressions, to commemorate events or anniversaries, allow you to extend your storyline whilst being experiential in the market. In most cases though, it allows the opportunity for a brand story to feel relevant in new spaces. For example, the craft gin brand, Silent Pool, released a Coronation expression to reinforce it’s values of quintessential English tradition in modern life.

Silent Pool coronation Marque labels


Although every brand has its unique approach, the underlying objective is to create a multi-layered narrative that gradually unveils details about your brand, fostering an emotional bond with your audience. This can be accomplished by leveraging storytelling techniques and employing labels and embellishments to create a compelling and engaging brand story.

Need help telling your brand’s story? Let’s talk. Our team have over 30 years of experience when it comes to helping brands connect with their audiences through premium packaging solutions.


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