Disrupting the tequila aisle: BRIGADE brings 21 SEEDS to life

BRIGADE BRIGADE, is an independent, woman-owned branding and design agency providing distinct creative solutions that re-energize tired brands and help savvy marketing teams take on the leaders in the category.

21 SEEDS is shaking up the spirits industry. The new women-owned tequila brand boasts a lineup of three handcrafted options with proprietary agave blends and naturally infused flavors: cucumber jalapeño, grapefruit hibiscus, and valencia orange. We worked closely with the 21 SEEDS team to build their brand and design impactful packaging for their tequila, in addition to a bold, cocktail-forward website.

Founded by sisters Kat Hantas and Nicole Hantas-Emanuel, and their close friend Sarika Singh, 21 SEEDS empowers an audience of Millennial women to connect across borders, share ideas, and make every drink and every moment special. The brand began as a creative idea in Kat’s home, when she decided to mix natural ingredients directly into tequila to add flavor. She shared her infused drink around the neighborhood, and its popularity made clear that she was onto something bigger.

The trio flew down to Mexico and met with their now-partners at Casa Maestri, the most awarded tequila distillery in the country. They refined their recipes, aligned on their direction, then came to us to help bring their brand to life.

Focused on craft and story

To help 21 SEEDS stand out in a crowded spirits market, we honed in on the brand’s essentials: simplicity, style, and natural flavors. We also considered their audience. 21 SEEDS is for clever, confident Millennial women — the tastemakers, trendsetters, and risk takers. These are women who work hard, stay in the know, and enjoy making connections and sharing fun.

We aimed for a feminine aesthetic — fun, light, and unlike anything else in the tequila marketplace. Our in-house artists hand illustrated patterns and flavor profiles for the bottle labels with a combination of pencil sketch, pen and ink, and watercolors.

Taking notes from Mexican-inspired fabrics and the blankets one might spot on sunny California beaches, the finely-detailed patterns complement a clean-lined glass bottle, elevating the consumer’s overall impression of the product. Textured paper provides a natural stationery feel to the label that enhances the tactile experience of the packaging. With its premium, handcrafted feel, the bottle stands out on shelf, on Instagram, and in the minds of movers and shakers from the west coast and beyond.

“The liquor store can be an incredibly cluttered space,” said Kirsten Modestow, Executive Creative Director at BRIGADE. “Labels are basically competing billboards, and there’s been an increasing focus on premium materials. We wanted to get down to the roots of how 21 SEEDS tequila is made and highlight the brand’s passion and artistry.”

Building on the craft story of the packaging, we designed a lookbook-style website that encourages sharing with friends. The brand’s cocktail-forward approach also emphasizes Seed + Soda — its signature low-calorie cocktail, made by pairing 21 SEEDS tequila with club soda and an optional garnish or splash  of fruit juice.

The creative helps 21 SEEDS separate itself from the pack on-shelf, while also anticipating a growing lifestyle brand that empowers its audience on-premise and off.

Making a splash in California and beyond

In addition to a consistent, enticing packaging and digital experience, 21 SEEDS will head to market with a dynamic promotional launch. Leveraging the team’s previous experience with Millennial media mainstays Refinery29, Brit + Co, and PopSugar, 21 SEEDS will build awareness across digital and social channels as the product debuts.

On-premise and off-premise activation will drive a rapidly accelerating campaign also supported by thought-leaders, influencers, sampling sessions, and partnerships with some of California’s hottest bars and restaurants.

From the distinct aesthetics of its packaging to the savvy communications of its rollout, 21 SEEDS is primed to be the center of every gathering. We’ll drink to that.

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