Bucking every convention, a new brand takes the bourbon world by storm.

Do bourbon drinkers want a new riff on an old tradition? A small distillery in Kentucky bets on yes.

New Riff has never quite fit the Kentucky distillery mold. Small, urban, employee-owned and relatively new to the spirits scene, the company had incredible products to offer—but no centuries-old heritage to stand on. We helped New Riff funnel its story, philosophy and category-disrupting craft into a fully realized brand that would resonate with bourbon lovers, new and old.

Capturing its independent spirit and obsession with craft, we developed a brand strategy, narrative and tone of voice that brings the New Riff ethos to life. The verbal strategy translated to messaging for packaging and product, website and social media.

To stand out from the crowd, the LPK team translated the brand foundations into a design strategy that defies convention and signals uniqueness, while paying homage to the great spirits that came before it. Using the Desires methodology, which focuses on our 16 universal, hardwired consumer motivations, we rooted our approach in the desire for Independence—something that both the brand and its consumers stand for.

The slim, sleek bottle—an outlier in the lineup of bulky, stout competitors—stands tall with its unique ombre design. “Everyone is just talking about how gorgeous the bottle is; how we’ve shown up so new, fresh and distinct,” says Ken Lewis, Founder + CEO at New Riff. “The first impression you’ve helped us achieve has been invaluable.”

  • Consumer Insights
  • Brand Strategy
  • Packaging Design
  • Brand Voice
  • Naming + Messaging
  • Actionable Consumer Desires
  • Brand Foundations
  • Brand Transformation

Project Outcome

From retailer to retailer, event to event, New Riff’s creative strategy is paying off: the distillery’s portfolio has been featured on numerous “Best Of” lists by major publishers, including Esquire, Paste Magazine, Uncrate and Maxim.

And at The San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the largest and arguably most prestigious spirits contest, New Riff took home five Double Golds in the tasting competition, as well as Bronze for excellence in package design—launching them into an elite new group of spirits brands.

5 Double Gold Awards
at The San Francisco World Spirits Competition

If New Riff is not on your radar, you need to follow them. They’re one of the most exciting new distilleries in the world.