Nederburg Refreshes Look On Their Wines In Collaboration With BRAVO Design

BRAVO Design Refreshes Local Iconic Wine Brand

Nederburg has been subject to rebranding in the past, but this time the elevation of the brand sought to really explore and research even the finest elements presented on the wine labels. For the past two years, BRAVO Design in Cape Town has been working closely with Nederburg on an exciting brand refresh to bring the wine labels and brand in line with modern consumer sentiments and trends.

The brief stated that the new labels had to ensure brand prominence on shelves, and had to serve as an important guide, pointing to the premium nature of the brand. While simple enough in thought, the execution resulted in a two-year project which nit-picked even the finest labelling details.

‘Nederburg has gone through many changes over the years, both in positioning and identity, and some more dramatic than others. We wanted to maintain the leadership (position) of the brand in the wine category,’ said Jackie Oliver, Marketing Manager at Nederburg. ‘We want the consumers to see a familiar wine brand, a brand that’s been within the South African industry for over 200 years, a brand that has a story to tell, that has equity. To retain the familiarity within the Nederburg brand, we had to look back at all the logos and how they’ve changed over the years. We had to try and find certain elements that bring across the symbolism of Nederburg and specifically, its values.’

With this as background, the team at BRAVO was briefed to look at the entire Nederburg range, from Nederburg’s flagship Two Centuries to its Foundation series. An immediate focus was the brand’s iconography: what it stood for, and what it revealed became important aspects to consider.

Without compromising on any of the owned elements of the brand, BRAVO Design had ‘free rein’ to update the wine labels with a design that would work in local and international markets. The goal was to simplify and refine the existing labels while also introducing a new style of wine. ‘Our heritage is important to us, and we wanted it to stand out with a clear name and crest, the latter which we wanted to have a more refined look by incorporating Nederburg’s iconic red,’ explained Oliver. They also did not want to compromise on any of the owned elements of the brand – the diagonal shape of the label and the Nederburg font.

‘An immediate focus was the Nederburg shield and the two anchors that have always been present on Nederburg labels,’ said Brenden Schwartz, Owner and Creative Director at BRAVO. ‘When we began our research, it wasn’t clear what the brand connection to Nederburg was. What we found was that the shield resembled that of Haacke Beck brewery, where one of the Graue’s was a director in the 1800s.’ The goal was to respect the old iconography, but to infuse it with meaning.

While the technical aspects of the rebranding were not complicated, the new designs had to factor in that the new labels would have to be printed at high volumes: the bottle, labels and speed of the labelling line had to work in unison. ‘We knew a wrap-around label wouldn’t work,’ said Schwartz, ‘and we also had to consider the type and number of embellishments included on the labels.’

BRAVO Design’s brand expertise also came into play: the team had an existing understanding of the Nederburg brand, and how it presented on-shelf. ‘For Nederburg, and for this specific rebranding, we really delved into the depths of the brand’s identity. It is so important for brands to understand their own identity,’ said Schwartz.

Nederburg’s new labels very clearly draw on the past, while also being distinctly refreshed. The brand’s new labels offer clearly enhanced assets, with the Nederburg crest, in vivid red, enjoying prominence in its centre. ‘The shield and its anchors now also stand for something,’ said Schwartz.

The anchors that are used as a symbol of hope and steadfastness have been further developed to not only be inspired by the original Haacke-Beck Crest but also to represent Nederburg’s vision, with the flame above the left anchor and a star on the right representing the brand’s journey of innovation and discovery. Unity, the core value to Nederburg’s success, is represented by the rope tying the anchors together. On the left of the mantel are the Oak trees and on the right are the iconic flowers of the cork trees, with the crown, representing Nederburg’s craft and pride of viticulture. Together, all the iconography in the crest represents the modern-day values and heritage of Nederburg.

Across the range, the brand name is presented at a diagonal angle, with Nederburg – in a black high-build varnish – mirroring the 35° slant at the bottom of the ‘cork cream’ labels. An intricate border, in gold foil, reveals a delicate pattern of vine leaves and tendrils, adding a sophisticated edge to the label.

‘I believe this brand refresh not only respected the premiumisation of the brand, but also created value. Superfluous elements have been removed, with each of the remaining elements conveying something about the brand,’ said Schwartz. ‘It was amazing working with one of the biggest brands in South Africa, one that is known internationally, and to integrate this global standing in the design we developed for the new labels.’

‘To Nederburg, BRAVO is not an agency, they are partners, and really an extension of the brand marketing team,’ said Oliver. ‘The team has an amazing understanding, willingness and curiosity in branding, and they are willing to take risks to try new things. We know that with BRAVO you can’t go wrong,’ she added.