Brand ROI: Ballast Point for a billion

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ROI comes up frequently in branding and marketing discussions. While the topic is always lively, and at times divisive, investing in your brand is an important element of today’s business success.

Why do some brands command a higher price point? Why do they have stronger top-of-mind recall? Why do they connect with their audiences on a more meaningful level?

It’s not price. And it’s not simply having a superior product. It’s brand. Widely coveted brands like Apple, Audi, Google, Starbucks, and now Ballast Point, are held up nearly universally, as stellar examples of category-leading branding.

Each one of these household names invests deeply in brand expression and experience in order to continue shaping perception and extending the connection between their audience and their brand.

With the recent $1 billion purchase of Ballast Point by Constellation Brands, the craft brewing industry is abuzz. Less than three years ago, with sales south of $10 million, Ballast undertook an extensive rebranding effort.

The team took a long, hard look at the direction they were headed, and chose to focus on developing a comprehensive brand strategy that aligned their brewing, spirits, home brewing, and hospitality offerings—an exercise that was culminated by their now well-recognized tagline: Dedicated to the Craft.

From there, we helped them reimagine: identity, packaging, signage, environmental, website, promotions, apparel, and more, powered by this new strategic platform.

At the time, the Ballast team struggled to wrap their minds around the idea that such a costly investment could pay off, especially after years of leveraging their in-house, homegrown design team.

Even with a friendly fee structure, they knew they were making an investment in themselves that was well beyond their comfort level.

Now, however, it’s clear the investment has paid astronomical dividends. While this is the kind of ROI that brand managers dream about (but question whether they can truly actualize), time and time again we’ve witnessed impressive returns on well-guided branding efforts.

Today, brands both large and small are embracing their brand goodness and finding that beyond engaging new customers, building a reputation, and outflanking the competition, they can also improve their bottom line by achieving a more premium market position—and subsequently, a higher price point.

So, as you consider an evolution of your brand, we encourage you to build upon a strategic foundation, push yourself beyond your comfort level, and look to ignite the passion of your audience.

And cheers to Ballast Point, a brand to be reckoned with.