Khortytsa Vodka bottle

The Khortytsa brand is consistently ranked in the TOP 3 of world vodka leaders according to the International Wine and Spirit Research agency (IWSR), which presented a list of the world's top 100 alcoholic brands for sales in 2014. LBC designed Khortytsa Vodka bottle — how was it.


Maria Chugrova
Founder of London Brand, international brand expert
Khortytsa retains its 3rd place among the best-selling vodkas in the world so far. The vodka brand became the largest in Eastern Europe and the third in the world in terms of sales — after Smirnoff and Absolut. The brand identity of Khortytsa owes a lot to Maria Chugrova, who has been designing it since 2005, first as part of the London agency Identica, and since 2009 with her own LBC agency (London Brand Consulting).

Together with Maria, using case study of the Khortytsa we decided to clearly demonstrate that rebranding is not just a fad and a slight improvement in the visual, but an important element of the strategy that will increase sales and consolidate our market positions even in the most crisis times.
In 2003, Global Spirits, one of the world leaders in alcohol production, released Khortytsa vodka, which quickly broke all the records of popularity.

Even if you don’t drink and are far from the world of alcoholic beverages, you probably will now easily remember how roughly a bottle of Khortytsa looks.
The world is changing and companies are either changing with it or are becoming a thing of the past. Understanding this simple truth, in 2009, and then in 2012 Global Spirit turned to LBC with the task of rebranding and refreshing the Khortytsa vodka design in order to re-enter one of the most competitive alcohol markets.

starter pack
The alcohol market has always been very competitive. But it was precisely in 2011 that the peak of new launches of brands competing with Khortytsa fell. Due to such increased competition, the vodka design needed to be updated. GS were sure that it was the redesign that would help Khortytsa to shoot with renewed vigor. Such confidence is dictated by the main feature of the alcohol market — the consumer often makes the decision to purchase directly at the point of sale by evaluating the product on the shelf. As a result, packaging design is not only an important element of the brand, but also one of the main tools for its promotion.

At the shelf, the consumer makes a decision on trust in the product or its absence.

The main task with which GS turned to LBC was to rejuvenate the brand, but at the same time maintain its recognition for the consumer: without losing the existing ones and at the same time attracting new ones.
the Khortytsa vodka brand is a well-established brand and it was very important to maintain its continuity with the design familiar to the consumer
The work included bottle shape design, label design, cover design, selection of glass and film materials, production of prototypes and preparation of concepts for focus groups.

Studies have shown that it was necessary to strengthen the emotional component of the brand, make it warmer and bring it closer to the consumer. The design of the Khortytsa bottle was supposed to become more modern, much easier, but retain all the basic elements. In a word — old, but new.

brand development Khortytsa
Khortytsa is a brand that has established itself as a quality product with a high degree (sorry for the pun) of customer confidence.

We thought what best reflects quality, technology, durability and credibility? Cars. It was the auto industry that succeeded in restyling, moving forward with regular constancy. That is what served us as a source of inspiration.
Branding of Khortytsa Vodka — moodboard
Branding of Khortytsa Vodka — moodboard
Branding of Khortytsa Vodka — moodboard

Branding of Khortytsa Vodka — moodboard
Usually our team starts with computer renders. So clients are much easier to navigate and present the final product. But in the case of Khortytsa, when we had to show a lot of options for concepts and bottle shapes for the three rulers (mainstream, premium and super premium), we started with freehand sketches. We had to narrow down before moving on. Having outlined the way, we turned the sketches selected by the client into computer renderings.
Vodka Khortytsa bottle design sketches by London Brand
But even after this, several stages of design awaited us in order to consolidate it and bring it to the desired result.

In the final version, we saved only one color bar at the bottom of the bottle and removed the vertical label, making the product much brighter and easier design. The Khortytsa vodka label started to look younger, and the logo was softer, due to its embossed version (embossing), which replaced the hologram.
Vodka Khortytsa bottle designs
Vodka Khortytsa De Luxe and Premium bottle designs
Branding of Khortytsa Vodka — moodboard
Branding of Khortytsa Vodka — moodboard

Vodka Khortytsa De Luxe and Premium bottle designs
Another caveat when working with alcohol brands is the color of the liquid. In the Khortytsa line, in addition to transparent vodka, there was a position with pepper and plum tincture. We had to take into account their colors in the design so as not to lose the readability of the logo and visibility on the shelves. "Consider" means to test on color proofs, prepare up to a hundred iterations of label options and test them all on the packaging.

To achieve the desired effect in visibility, in the "pepper" label we used white as the first layer when printing, and added a white stroke of the logo.
Khortytsa vodka branding
As a result, the entire Khortytsa project took about 6 months and another half a year, before the product appeared on the shelf.
Khortytsa retains its 3rd place among the best-selling vodkas in the world so far
Branding of Khortytsa Vodka — moodboard
Branding of Khortytsa Vodka — moodboard

Khortytsa retains its 3rd place among the best-selling vodkas in the world so far
From the very beginning, we tried to create a "European" brand that would look organically not only in Ukraine and Russia, but also internationally. Considering how Khortytsa demonstrates strong growth in the US market and in Western Europe, we still succeeded.

premium
In addition to rebranding, we were faced with the task of developing a design for the premium segment in the Khortytsa vodka line. Studies have shown that there has been a marked trend towards premiumization in the market. We wanted to catch this trend by adding a truly premium product in our own absolutely unique packaging.
How we redesigned Khortytsa Vodka bottles
Branding of Khortytsa Vodka — moodboard
Branding of Khortytsa Vodka — moodboard

How we redesigned Khortytsa Vodka bottles
Of course, premium was already in the Khortytsa assortment, but it looked almost the same as the rest of the assortment. The difference between the standard and the premium range was very subtle, as the shape of the bottle was the same. The client needed to differentiate it and bring it in line with other brands in the premium sector at that time.

At that time, other premium brands on the market were usually in glass in the form of a flask, including an abundance of embossing, special printing methods, special covers and emphasized gold and silver.
in our case, one of the key features of the premium class was the creation of an individual form of glass
We spent a lot of time to give a unique look to the glass bottle itself, expecting that this approach would give us an advantage over other brands, and supported it by using the chrome effect on the labels and cap.

The designs of the De Luxe and Khortytsa Premium bottles are individual in futuristic modern classics. I would also like to note that since the development of Khortytsa, DeLuxe has not changed, which indicates the great durability of this design.
The designs of the De Luxe bottle
Branding of Khortytsa Vodka — moodboard
Branding of Khortytsa Vodka — moodboard

The designs of the De Luxe bottle

results
There is the German term "Gesamtkunstverk". Its literal meaning is a combined work of art.

This is the recipe for long-lasting design — when all the ingredients of the brand serve one purpose. In the alcohol market — this is especially important. The idea itself should be expressed in all components of the package: in the form of a bottle, color, corking and be maintained consistently in all communications, without departing from the central concept.

Khortytsa vodka design is a great example of such a gazamtkunstvverk if you want. Since 2012, the brand practically did not make any visible visual changes
but according to the rating of Spiritsbusiness 2019, Khortytsa retains its third place among the best-selling vodkas in the world so far
Our agency has created a design that is relevant and makes the brand profit for many years. Therefore, in our opinion, they coped with the task.

We would love to continue working with this brand when the time comes to take the next step.

tell us about your business and we will make an amazing brand story
tell us about your business and we will make an amazing brand story