Created more than 90 years ago, Ale-8-One is considered a Kentucky treasure. This is reflected in how Ale-8’s brand has developed through myth-like stories and raving endorsements of its most loyal fanbase in eastern Kentucky. To grow, new sales had to come from outside this core territory, yet regional and national grocery merchants did not take the Ale-8 brand or product seriously.
Build a brand that doesn’t “sell-out”
Ale-8-One was at a crossroads: continue business as usual or take the risk and grow beyond the Kentucky market. Typically, small to midsize soda companies expand by selling to Coke or Pepsi, but that wasn’t in Ale-8’s DNA. With bold plans and an owner committed to sustainable growth, Fieldtrip was challenged to update the branding to entice an unfamiliar audience, while still appealing to die-hard fans.
A century of heritage at our fingertips
Capturing the essence of the brand’s folklore was essential to its future growth. In order to do this, we needed to immerse ourselves in Ale-8 by talking to its people. We picked the brains of key company stakeholders, bottling plant workers, and the marketing team. We rode in delivery trucks, stocked shelves, worked in the plant, and attended meetings.
Then we met the people who turned this Winchester-based soda company into a legend. We spoke to fans with Ale-8 tattoos, six-pack collectors and many others with memories tied to sipping an Ale-8 with family and friends. We also tested the drink with people unfamiliar with the brand. After one taste they also considered getting Ale-8 tattoos.
Best in the bluegrass in the green glass
Ale-8’s history was the inspiration for its update and refined logo. Every element was carefully designed to introduce Ale-8’s eye-catching new identity, while still reflecting the company’s prolific and uncommon heritage.
Ultimately, the brand and design strengthens bonds with its most devoted fans and also offers an iconic look rooted in originality. As a result, Ale-8 was able to expand its footprint from Kentucky into other regional markets, along with connecting with national retailers like Cracker Barrel.