Vodka: intelligent design

High-tech design

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Ciroc’s light-up vodka bottle

Indeed technology, and how to best make use of it in terms of design, looks set to become a focal consideration for vodka brands in the future. A number of brands are already forging into new technological territory, pushing boundaries with increasingly creative alternatives to the conventional clear bottle and label.
“You have brands like Grey Goose, but they are fending off competition from brands that are challenging the status quo by doing things in a different more edgy way”, says Drake. “That’s what makes them more interesting. I think we will see a proliferation of similar brands with ever more creative concepts. It will be interesting to see how the big brands respond to that and how they try to fight back. We will see more guerrilla tactics.”

Belvedere, known for its tall, frosted bottle with an image of Warsaw’s Royal Palace, is already finding ways to combine technology with design. Late last year the brand confirmed a multi-million deal with upcoming James Bond film Spectre – the brand’s biggest global partnership to date. Unveiling the deal, the brand announced the “unprecedented” decision to replace its iconic image of Warsaw House in favour of the M16 headquarters on a limited run of 100 bottles. Its signature blue colouring, meanwhile, was been swapped for the spy agency’s green ink. A second limited edition bottle, a twist on Belvedere’s metallic and illuminated Silver Sabre bottles, is due to go on sale next year in a wider “but selective” market.

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Belvedere’s James Bond Sceptre bottle

“It’s the first ever laser-cut metallic bottle”, says Charles Gibb, president of Belvedere. “When its LED is active, the bottle illuminates through the laser cut etchings for an eye-catching product that accentuates the importance of the night and celebration. We pride ourselves in having an iconic and ethereal artful bottle that is uniquely sophisticated, captivating yet contemporary.”
Looking to the future of vodka design, Gibbs believes technology will become increasingly important, adding that the company is due to debut a new product this year that will “truly blow people’s minds”.

Millennial consumers are in part driving this trend for more creative packaging, a demographic that is demanding innovation more than any generation before them, says Gibbs.

“Belvedere Vodka understands its consumers and we are always in conversation with them”, he says. “They’re always plugged into the popular culture and consistently look ahead to start the newest trends first. They are socially connected, open minded and in the know, thus they appreciate the irreverence and boldness of Belvedere.”

While an emphasis on authenticity and provenance looks set to remain, technology appears to be the new frontier in vodka design – trends driven in part by Millennial consumers. In an increasingly competitive market, brands must innovate beyond the boundaries of convention in order to keep ahead of the game, with consumers more discerning and demanding than ever. While a quality liquid is imperative to securing longevity for a brand, design is its partner to success. As Gibbs adds: “Beauty comes from within, but sometimes what’s inside is more appreciated if packaged in a beautiful, cutting-edge and distinctively unique exterior.”

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