Why Branding & Art is Key to Funky Buddha’s Success

funky buddha

If a brewery has no qualms with its quality, then taking steps to advance itself in the marketplace is going to come down to branding and marketing.

Art can capture a consumer’s thirst before the first drop of beer is poured. John Linn, the Brand Director at Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park, Florida has seen to it that his brewery stands out in the crowd.

Focusing on bringing a “childlike excitement” to the beers while being innovative has helped the two-year-old brewery to create fans.

“It’s not enough to just have good beer — you have to also have a good brand,” Linn said. “Branding for your products includes everything from the label to the tap handle, the mother cartons, the carriers, the vessel in which the beer is packaged and everything in between. People need something to associate your beer with in order to make it memorable or unique, so the art or design on your label or family of labels [brands] plays the biggest part in that.”

Each label needs to be recognizable within the family of Funky Buddha brands, Linn explained.

“Since we’re very illustrative in our approach to design, we have to rely on a set of brand characteristics to stay consistent such as label shape, placement of our logo and icon, font families and layout,” he said. “Even the general tone and concept of the illustration should feel like it fits within the brand.”

Linn says, the name and beer concept usually come first.

“Once we’ve got that, we generally brainstorm on the design concept, either by ourselves or in conjunction with our ad agency,” he said. “Our names are generally pretty creative and out there, so they often provide a good basis for us to play off of with the design. Mostly our inspiration comes from this concept of the beer and the ingredients used. So if the beer uses raspberries and habaneros (the brewery’s “Fire in the Hole” Red Ale features a giant raspberry grenade) we let those ingredients drive the story of the beer too.”

funky buddha

Linn says he loves the “Nib Smuggler Chocolate Milk” Porter, a Miami Vice-ish look to the label with a cow flaunting a wad of cash.

“It’s clever, a little silly, and eye catching,” he said of the art is a mix of hand drawings with digital effects.

Funky Buddha sells its brand to consumers by addressing its unique approach to brewing which uses natural ingredients to recreate food items or flavor experiences that people have had.

“So in our labels, we try to convey that through a sense of fun, or almost childlike excitement at the sort of interesting and unique attributes we’re throwing into a beer,” Linn said. “We want people seeing our labels for the first time to get sort of an understanding that these beers are very unique and the ingredients used in them like coffee, vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate, tropical fruit, peppers, etc. are going to be present and create a very different experience from what they may be used to.”

As the labels have progressed over the first two years, Linn said his team now has a clearer sense of what direction it likes to go.
“But with each product we also have an expectation to sort of “best” what we’ve done previously, which keeps us on our toes,” he said.

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