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Why nature is the motif of brand refresh from Clonakilty Distillery

June 19th, 2024 10:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

Why nature is the motif of brand refresh from Clonakilty Distillery Image

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A CONSISTENT motif of nature along with a ‘founding family’ theme emerged as central to the story of Clonakilty Distillery.

The award-winning business has recently undergone a brand refresh, and has released a new slogan that encapsulates everything it wanted to express: ‘It’s in our nature.’

Clonakilty Distillery first started making whiskey in 2019, and as its whiskey matured, so did the people behind it, said Karina Collins, marketing manager.

‘This growth helped us become clearer about who we are and how we stand out from competitors. While we felt different, we realised we were not expressing it as clearly as we could. For that reason, we began the process of a brand audit, evaluating our current messaging across all consumer touchpoints, social media, advertising, marketing materials and website. Engaging consumers, staff, and retailers, we delved into what the brand meant to them and how it resonated,’ said Karina.


All the pieces of their story were present, but they needed better focus for greater impact, she explained.

‘Nature is woven into the fabric of our story, through our unique location next to the Atlantic Ocean — the salty mist that imbues our barley, grown on the family farm at the water’s edge, and the warehouse where our whiskey ages, just 460 yards from the ocean cliffs,’ explained Karina. ‘Embedded in the very essence of our brand is the nature of the founding family, who have farmed these lands for nine generations. And so, we arrived at the perfect slogan: “It’s in our nature”.’

This narrative also aligned with the distillery’s sustainability ethos, which was underscored by recently receiving gold membership of Origin Green and winning best sustainable drinks manufacturer at ProWine Singapore.

The founders learned a lot in the process and are keen to share their learnings with others.

‘As a small business, we don’t have the budget of big firms and had to think out of the box to make all this happen,’ said Karina. ‘Our takeaways are to focus on fundamentals. So, to identify what makes your business special. For us, it was our unique location and the nature that surrounds us and to simplify your message to its core elements. Avoid overcomplicating your brand story. Sometimes businesses feel they must tell you everything,’ she said.

Other advice is to engage with your community, talk to your consumers, staff, and other stakeholders to understand their perceptions and feelings about your brand.

‘Sometimes the golden nugget is so obvious, you might miss it. Finally be bold and consistent. When you know your message, don’t be afraid to repeat it. Studies show that people need to see something at least seven times before they remember it.’

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