By Jennifer Acevedo


The story: NY-based brand design firm Swerve was recently approached by Lucky Dog Films, the producers of a new Food Network show, Kitchen Inventors. The premise: the show’s hosts had scouted the country looking for the next million-dollar idea, and once selected, the new product would be rebranded, renamed and have its packaging redesigned.
Enter Swerve. The firm was asked to rebrand the Wine Balloon, a clever tool used to seal an opened bottle of wine. Simply, a consumer blows up the “balloon” in the bottle using the hand pump. Once sealed, the consumer can store it. When the consumer wants to reopen the bottle to enjoy more wine, he simply uses the valve to deflate the balloon.
The challenge: After conducting an audit of the existing packaging, the team found it was cluttered and didn’t effectively display the product. The Wine Balloon logo wasn’t ownable or unique, and the package itself could be mistaken for a boxed wine. In a retail setting, the overall color scheme proved recessive at shelf.

From an analysis of the category, it was determined that the new Wine Balloon packaging needed to be friendly, approachable and clearly communicate what the product does. The team recommended moving away from the current positioning based in heritage and tradition based on a fundamental disconnect between an innovative product marketed with traditional cues. Instead, the product was positioned in the “cool gadgets” space where products are clever, simple, cool. Such products can command a high-end price range, but are still accessible at mass retail.

The solution: Swerve’s research proved that wine consumers were interested in the new product but were looking for both an updated, modern design and a reusable pack in which they could store their Wine Balloon after use, explains Nick McGreevy, Partner, Swerve. Swerve created iconography to help explain the process, while the giftable and striking new package allowed the product to be the hero. Additionally, the new name, Air Cork, supported the functional aspect of the product, helping the consumer understand that the product was a replacement for the cork.

The results: Due to the success of the rebranding, the inventor licensed Air Cork to Lifetime Brands, which is currently in the process of manufacturing the product for sale in stores nationwide.