Southern Comfort: The genuine spirit of New Orleans

Southern Comfort had many of the ingredients necessary to make a great brand – authentic roots, rich history, strong name recognition – but had lost its relevance. A trip into the heart of New Orleans revealed that the soul of the brand could still be found in its city of origin. Along the way, we discovered a story that, like the product itself, is genuine, intriguing and inviting.

A most unique place


The Southern Comfort story originates in New Orleans. With diverse cultural influences and a rich history, New Orleans is one of the most interesting cities in the world – the embodiment of freedom, possibility and originality. Through inspiring sights and sounds, the Crescent City inspires a mindset that is relatable beyond the boundaries of its Southern locale to just about anywhere in the world. Laissez les bons temps roulez!

Our own exploration of New Orleans revealed a place richer and more diverse than the cliche of Bourbon Street. One of the oldest cities in America, New Orleans is the product of a variety of cultural influences – vibrant, authentic and inspiring.

All roads lead to New Orleans


From imagery to iconography to typography, Southern Comfort is rooted in the culture of New Orleans. Little discoveries and idiosyncrasies of the place show up in the details. Juxtapositions of new and old, bold and refined, familiar and unexpected, all contribute to delivering a sense true to New Orleans, where something surprising and new might be around the next corner.

We invited artist Christian Northeast to help capture the energy and vibe of New Orleans. The result is a collage of rich, eclectic imagery that not only conveys a sense of the city, but translates to just about anywhere people enjoy life.

Building on a legacy


It was important to weigh existing equity against opportunity for improvement. Southern Comfort had high consumer awareness but had lost relevance over time. We retained familiarity of the label, but looked to the brand’s heritage for inspiration, giving the label a proprietary shape.

The bottle was one of the more iconic and authentic feeling components retained from the existing packaging system. The new label shape was created to work with it and enhance its unique qualities. The “vibe” of New Orleans is delivered by way of illustration in the neck wrap.

Creating the brand language


Southern Comfort brand iconography emanates from elements within the primary package. Original typography, brand shorthand, imagery and label shape are activated in unique ways. The system is rich and extendable, but connected to the core to strengthen the brand and create consistency.

 

Extended brand family


Whether emphasizing the brand’s premium position, delivering more masculine cues or creating flavor and color systems, product extensions expand the brand language while retaining strong ties to the core.

 

Activation elements


The visual language is designed to be highly extendable, bringing the brand to life in unique ways across a variety of venues. The brand avoids a cookie-cutter approach by providing on-premise, point-of-sale and other brand experiences that are original and appropriate at each point of contact with consumers.