“It’s nice to have this international recognition,” says CJ (he’s earned this moniker to avoid the confusion with Macca, the other Craig in the Strategy offices). “The Juno logo and bottle design is probably my favourite piece of work in my career.”
However, like any true client-focused consultant, CJ is well versed at side-stepping the praise and shining the spotlight back on Juno: “The big success is Jo and Dave (the founders of Juno Gin) having their dream come to life. Playing a part in this sort of success is always the big reward.”
So, how did this all happen? Was it just a matter of playing around with some illustrations?
“Jo and Dave came to me with the name Juno and the copper idea, inspired from the sleek simplicity of the copper still where gin is made. We then defined two personalities that the Juno Gin brand would embody. These were ‘artisan’ and ‘goddess’.
“Obviously the goddess personality was derived from Juno being the Roman goddess and it also spoke to the premium brand positioning that Jo and Dave were intent on creating from the get-go. The artisan nature of Juno really stems from Jo and Dave’s attention to detail and their commitment to making it right—local, fresh, delicious and kind to the planet.
“The bottle itself definitely captures much of the goddess concept, being elegant, black and sleek. We wanted to make sure the silhouette of the bottle was dominant and had immediate impact. And the black bottle also helps to protect the gin from damaging light strike.
“With the logo, we wanted to tell a story of the artistry behind the gin.”
“We wanted it to spark interaction with the user,” explains CJ who hand-drew the logo in ink pen. “It links the divine with the frailty of earth. There’s the goddess at the top and, if you look carefully, you’ll see there’s a little bird skull right down the bottom. The juniper tree (which is the botanical used to flavour all gins) is the link between it all.
“There’s life and death, Mt Taranaki and also the botanicals. And there’s a secret little detail of Jo and Dave’s initials inscribed into the tree. The vertical text provides more of a canvas for the story to be told and the curves of the U and the N help to carry the narrative up the bottle.”
“Part of the success of this project has been Jo and Dave believing in my creative process and giving me the freedom to explore potentials,” reveals CJ. “They’ve really believed in us and this synergy between Juno and our team at Strategy Collective continues to work really well to take the brand further.”
But has it all been roses? Or have there been some lessons learnt along the way?
“The main thing was getting that international feel from the get-go. It needed to be a high-end product, so we wanted it to be all about the gin, building a strong brand. This goal has been achieved, but we’ve also seen the importance of highlighting the people behind the brand.
“Due to their connectedness, authenticity and open-heartedness, Jo and Dave have really boosted and embodied the Juno brand—particularly in the local market. It goes to show that being yourself is just as important as having a stunning brand. They’re a world-class couple.”