Wine is a tough market to break into. We explore how New Theory is rewriting the rule book.
It's strange when you think about it. We'd never consider eating the same thing, night after night, however much we like it. But when it comes to wine, most people tend to be creatures of habit. So, breaking through with something new is not an easy task at all.
One brand that had found some measure of success was Nouveau, created by Charlie and Thom Bradley, two brothers on a mission to work with some of South Africa's best winemakers and smash down the walls around wine.
Charlie and Thom looked to the old methods of winemaking but took a revolutionary approach to marketing, for instance, throwing raves instead of tastings. This fresh approach helped them tap into new audiences and build a strong community around their product. But that wasn't enough for them.
Feeling their branding needed to better reflect their revolutionary approach, they decided to rebrand to New Theory.
The new brand reflects their mission to rip up the rule book and show a new way and 'theory' of doing things in the world of wine.
Logo and characters
When it came to the new brand, Thom, who previously worked as a graphic designer across design and direction, wanted to retain the hand-drawn, DIY element of the Nouveau branding. Collaborating with Clara Isaksson, previously at type foundry Play Type, Thom and the team brought this concept into life, crafting a logotype that was packed with attitude. This design helps New Theory stand out from old-school wine brands and reflects the carefree and accessible nature of the wines.
Illustrator James Graham, meanwhile, worked with the team to build a world of characters to adorn the front of each bottle. From a large nose and dancing dice to wind-up teeth, each bottle of New Theory has its own identity. As Thom explains: "We wanted to create a brand for wine that doesn't take itself too seriously".
The characters aim to bring a smile to the faces of New Theory sippers and can be found hanging out across the website, raves and retail installations.
To add to the rebrand, Thom and his friend Tom Bunker (ACD Man vs. Machine) were determined to create a mascot encompassing the brand. Although used sparingly, he's likely to pop up in various places, and New Theory has big plans for him and urges fans to "Watch this space".