In all Bruketa&Žinić OM agencies we deal with tackling communication challenges that our clients face on their markets. Design is only one of the tools that we use. Stina is one of the particularly effective projects realized by Brandoctor and Bruketa&Žinić OM Zagreb agencies in the past two years, which has been given the most media coverage. Recently, the project has won another professional award at the London International Awards, which was the occasion for us to talk with Ana Volk, Brand Manager of the “Jako vino” winery from the island of Brač.
What was the task, or rather, what were the aims that you set for Brandoctor and Bruketa&Žinić OM for the branding of your wine?
We have always wanted a label that would depict our Brač origin. We thought it important for the label to show the wine came from Brač. Brač used to be a relevant spot on the wine map of Croatia but this notion has been lost with time. We managed to reinvigorate it. We wanted a label that would give a clear indication of the original locality of the wine, but we also wanted something with an edge, something contemporary, attractive and giving a hint of good wine. We wanted to be different because the market is very saturated and everything is virtually the same, there are very many bottles and it is difficult to shine through, so we primarily wanted something that would draw attention to itself.
The white label, designed by the agency, was based on research and brand strategy, on a story deeply rooted into the essence of this wine and of its Brač origin. On Brač, man and stone have lived and created together for as long as one can remember. This is why artists and stone were the inspiration for the story of this wine. The story has been acknowledged by professionals, but what were the reactions coming from your clients, distributors and customers?
When we first saw the label and had an office presentation, we were aware there would be all kinds of reactions. We were aware that we were embarking on something that would draw attention and arouse curiosity, not necessarily a positive one. However, our distributers, clients and our own experience at fairs mostly gave positive reactions and comments. The label has achieved our goal, which was to inspire, encourage expression, give a good representation of Brač and maintain a link with the Brač artistic tradition. This only means that we have fulfilled our intention to use the label to promote Brač as an island, a wine-producing region and to promote the wine itself. It has been a rather bold choice, but our intention was indeed to be different. We find the label to be progressive, it has a certain edge and this is something we and our clients see as an advantage.
Some people disliked the white Stina label, they say it is illegible.
There have been complaints, yes, but we always listen to our suppliers and we make a special effort to reply to everyone, to meet their requests and to improve our product if needed. The name of the wine is clearly printed and all the data can be found on the back label, but there are also caps on the wine, again, clearly stating the wine variety. Therefore, I think this solves the problem of illegibility.
In only a few months’ time, with no media budget, Stina has obtained 1.5 million kuna worth of free publicity. Did this help you to achieve your goals?
A well-known enologist once said that the most important thing for a wine was label, label, label. Somebody then asked him what about quality, and he replied – quality goes without saying. This is the law of the market, not only in Croatia but in general. You have to find a way to draw attention. It is not enough to have high quality, from grapes to technology, but you need to have something that will attract the buyer, and this is what we have done with this label. Of course, it reflected on our sales, as well as market positioning.
We are satisfied. This project has brought high-quality winemaking back to Brač. Everyone who has visited our vineyard, especially in the vine-growing area near Murvica which is situated on extremely steep terrain and where vine literally grows from rock, was impressed. The label design illustrates just that. It interprets our stone and the art of winemaking, the tending to our vineyards and the island as an inspiration. The project has also enhanced the tourist offer with a winery situated in the centre of Bol, in the premises of the first Dalmatian wine cooperative.
What were the specific reactions at international wine fairs?
This label provokes interest and curiosity, it leaves no one indifferent. The label is what people notice first at fairs and what motivates them to taste the wine. The label provokes questions and demands answers, people come up with various ideas for their own interpretations of the bottle. Different ideas also came from our clients. Some used the labels as birthday cards, some put table numbers on them at weddings, while others wrote poems and verse. Everyone finds their own inspiration.
What were the local community reactions?
In the first year, the local community gave us an award for special contribution to the Brač tourism. Also, we buy grapes from local vine growers because we currently lack sufficient amounts of our own. We cooperate with local wine producers as subcontractors for vineyard cultivation and purchase.
It has been over six months since the wine was launched. Stina is now also distributed abroad. Where exactly?
We have managed to position ourselves on the Croatian market but we are particularly happy for having been able to start exporting, primarily to European countries, in a relatively short time – to Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, Montenegro, Russia. We are particularly proud of being able to position ourselves on the most demanding, French market where sales are to begin shortly. Of the countries closer to us, we distribute to Austria and Switzerland. There was even an enquiry from the Maldives.