bridge and partners


Basil Hayden wins Dieline Design Effectiveness Award

Date 2023-06-14

Often perceived as harsh and heavy, the bourbon category can be intimidating. Booker Noe, the father of small batch bourbon, knew it didn’t have to be that way. He set out to reveal the true spirit of bourbon, to shine a light on its layered depth and delicious flavor so everyone could know and love it the way he did. And so, Basil Hayden was born: a bourbon equal parts sophisticated and approachable. The golden liquid showcases bourbon in its best light, revealing every nuance and flavor note, creating a highlight reel of the bourbon experience.

But true innovators never stand still, and the brand had another recent reinvention, with design created by Design Bridge and Partners New York. Winning this year’s Dieline Designalytics Design Effectiveness Award in recognition.

Inspired by the central idea of showing bourbon in its best light, every element of the bottle harkens back to where the magic happens—the barrel itself. The copper and scorch branded monogram reflect the gleaming copper hoop of the barrel, the stopper references the barrel’s New American Oak bung, and the label is modeled after the tickets pinned to the best barrels in the rackhouse. Loaded with extra meaning, the bH belt has become the key brand asset of the new visual identity system, ensuring the brand stands out distinctively and cohesively: from digital and social to shippers, shelf, and beyond.

The relaunch of Basil Hayden has proved incredibly successful, earning plenty of consumer and commercial praise. Once launched, the Instagram unveiling the design was Beam Suntory’s top social post of all time, and a Robb Report exclusive article was one of the most-read pieces on the entire site. It’s clear that the new Basil Hayden strategy, visual identity, and pack are one for the record books.

The new design has also performed better at shelf, with a 71% purchase preference over the previous design. During the six months following the redesign, sales of Basil Hayden increased by 15% compared to the same period during the prior year, despite a modest decline in sales for the whiskey category overall.

The Designalytics Effectiveness Award was created to help elevate the role of package design by spotlighting the immense financial impact that it can have on consumer brands. Winner selection was entirely data-driven, based on sales performance in the marketplace, as well as rigorous quantitative consumer testing.

“Designalytics has analyzed thousands of redesigns, and the evidence is overwhelming: smart, strategic, consumer-centric design drives brand growth. It’s prompting a sea change in design management right now, and it’s exciting to watch. Brands like Basil Hayden are in the vanguard. They recognized that they could leverage design to increase market share and partnered with a proven, forward-thinking agency in Design Bridge and Partners to help make it happen. The results speak for themselves.”

— Steve Lamoureux, CEO and founder of Designalytics

Congratulations to the teams. See all the winners here.