Sutliff Cider


The Creative Brief

Sutliff Cider plowed new ground when it was one of the first to introduce craft hard cider to Iowa. Made with a mix of apple varieties and a bit of carbonation, Sutliff’s Cider is uniquely aged in oak barrels. When Wilson’s Orchard purchased Sutliff Hard Cider, they sought Creative Mellen’s help to develop its brand and packaging.


The Strategy

When we learned that Sutliff hard cider was the one of the first to be developed in Iowa, we decided it would be a top message to highlight. When we discovered that it is uniquely aged in oak barrels, we knew messaging that included these barrels would best represent the new brand in a meaningful and memorable way. We developed a tagline of “Iowa’s Original Hard Cider” to go along with the three concepts we presented. Based on client collaboration, we landed on an authentic illustrated barrel that incorporated an apple stem and leaf as the tap hole. Together with the color of the barrel, it creates a subtle shape of an apple.

In the future, Sutliff hopes to delight loyal fans with flavor releases. We recommended a palette of colors to portray new cider variations as they become available. Consumers will be able to quickly identify can labels on the shelf with the familiar oak barrel shape but with the flavor of their choice.

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