How a new US spirits company increased brand awareness and cut its weekly design time.

Westward Whiskey is a US spirits company that crafts distinctive American Single Malt whiskey, inspired by the American Northwest. Their unique process and elevated flavors set the standard for American whiskey.

The Problem

When Westward Whiskey’s CMO approached me, they were looking for design direction during an upcoming rebrand. The main goals were to attract more of their ideal whiskey connoisseur and increase brand cohesiveness. A secondary goal was to help teams cut down time spent preparing for presentations.

Spirits Branding & Design

The whiskey market is highly competitive and also competes directly with Scottish whisky brands. It takes a lot to get an avid whiskey consumer to be open to trying a new brand - especially an American brand. It takes a lot to get an avid whiskey drinker to be open to trying a new brand - especially an American whiskey.

Westward’s CMO knew they needed to rebrand their online experience, digital marketing, and presentations if they wanted to stand out from the nearly 2,200 US producers.

Presentation Templates

Internally, Westward Whiskey’s teams realized the need for quick, efficient, and consistent presentation templates that reflected their upgraded branding. They needed a single template design that could easily be used by marketing, sales, project management, and their business development teams.

Increasing Brand Awareness

The company is still relatively young, making brand awareness a critical part of their CMO’s strategy. With a new brand carefully curated to attract their ideal demographic, the company needed to pour resources into marketing.

Requested Services and Results

That meant they needed design direction to craft ads for social media and search engines.

  • Staff now creates 3-4 hour presentations in under 30 minutes using our 100+ slide template deck.
  • The new deck design helps them raise more funding and allows the client to come across as a more professional brand.
  • Their new web design attracts the brand’s ideal audience, which increased sales.
Westward Whiskey Presentation Design

Strong imagery based on Westward Whiskey’s proud Oregonian roots.

The Strategy

The project had three separate components: design consulting, presentation template design, and digital marketing ads. In any large project, I always approach design and branding elements first, as it’s the foundation of the business.

Whiskey Is A Lifestyle

Since increasing brand awareness was key, I started with a review of the brand guidelines and conducted several staff interviews with marketing and sales team members. I needed to understand what drove consumers at each stage of their customer journey to find gaps. The team had a great grasp of their consumer and where friction points were in the journey. Still, I saw an opportunity to lean into design that embodied the lifestyle Westward Whiskey’s ideal consumer wanted to live. They needed to sell their brand as an extension of that lifestyle.

The CMO and design team agreed and got to work on the design of the site. During the five month process, I acted as a design consultant and was available to guide them to a more cohesive brand. See the new website for yourself.

Presentation Templates to Increase Productivity

The next phase of the project was to tackle the company’s need for a single master presentation template. At the time, there were several versions floating around and being used by marketing, sales, and management. Each had different colors, fonts, and variations of the logo. Each presentation was being updated and modified each time someone needed to create an internal or external presentation.

To create cohesion, I designed a scalable master PowerPoint template with over 100 easily editable slides and design elements including an icon library, cover pages, style guide, on-brand images, device/mockup library, charts, and more.

Once the Master was approved, I used it to create templates for different use cases such as a sales deck, 90-day review deck, board meeting presentation, marketing decks, and more.

In total, there were 8 presentation templates created that stemmed from the Master template.

Creating Brand Awareness Through Ads

The final phase of the project involved approaching the company’s need to go out and create brand awareness. The CMO’s vision was to create targeted Facebook and Google ad campaigns that allowed them to be more proactive.

The spirits company had a great grasp on who their ideal consumer was and knew they needed to seek them out, rather than waiting around to be discovered. (Something most whiskey consumers don’t do once they find a favorite drink.)

I set up the ads accounts and provided troubleshooting/consulting as their talented marketing team launched their ad strategy.

Colors and imagery come from nature, inspired by the ‘rugged’ personality of the brand.

Westward Whiskey Seasonal Growth

Moving Forward

Westward Whiskey was extremely happy with the results of these three projects. They’re still a relatively new brand in the world of whiskey, yet have seen an improvement in brand awareness and market share each year following the website rebrand.

On an internal note, staff have seen their productivity increase since adopting their presentation templates. Teams are spending less time building slide decks for routine meetings and more time doing their jobs. (Something everyone is happy about!) Presentations that used to take 3-4 hours to complete now take under 30 minutes, with each department able to send in their slides to one person to consolidate.

Since starting to work together in 2020, we’ve continued to work on projects to support their design and marketing efforts. I always enjoy working with them and look forward to watching them grow.

Let me help you with your next presentation

Looking for help with presentation design or web? I have extensive experience helping spirits companies, like Westward Whiskey, create branded designs to attract and convert their ideal consumer. Reach out to discuss how I can help you.

Westward Whiskey Packaging