Home Wine Industry Spotlights Strategic Design Invigorates Brand Health

Strategic Design Invigorates Brand Health


“Clients call us when they need to revive a tired brand or bring a new brand to life, on the label and on the shelf,” says Ed Rice, Affinity Creative Group’s Director of Brand Strategy and Client Development.

1000 Stories 600

Affinity Creative Group is an innovative, brand development and design agency that’s gaining traction as the go-to firm for branding, design and print production services for wine, spirits and beer producers.

One of the company’s greatest attributes is its informed and intuitive grasp of current market trends.

“A smaller proprietor may need more direction, maybe even help establishing their tiering strategy, relative to where their wines might be arranged within a particular portfolio,” Rice explains. “To ensure we get it right, we begin our programs by working on a single, crucial varietal, (or SKU), usually from the client’s core line. Once we solve for that, we extend our design solution across other varietals and then ladder up as required, to differentiate other tiers and price points in the winery’s portfolio.”

Affinity Creative Group works upstream of the typical advertising agency, serving clientele that includes sophisticated industry giants ranking within the top ten of U.S. wine producers, as well as boutique beverage entrepreneurs who might be introducing a new product line for the first time.

“Regardless of size, when we collaborate with a client, we ultimately show them a generous range of a half dozen to a dozen, strategic brand design executions,” Rice continues. “Our clients get psyched. It’s so exciting to see it happen—to see people light up when they realize how their brand can evolve and project real impact and market power. Some of them say ‘holy s___! I never thought my brand could look this good!'”

A case in point is the well-established Ménage a Trois brand. Affinity Creative Group was tasked with finding a way to distinguish a new offering in a category that has become hugely popular, as well as stiffly competitive: Red Blends.

Menage a Trois Midnight

“To achieve brand prosperity, we began by playing with a richer, deeper dimension of taste communication… presenting our client with a range of design options that suggested the mystery, the magic and the darkness, of midnight,” Rice describes.

The end result is now seen at retail locations across the country: Ménage a Trois Midnight; a stunning canvas of deep black, with touches of rich reds and nuanced, silver images that consumers find irresistible.

The impressive team of ten professionals equates to roughly 20+ years of in-depth experience per person, when you do the math. The group has a nice mix of ages, styles, and disciplines that run the gamut from classic design treatments to edgy hipster vibes, giving Affinity Creative a high level of unequalled category expertise.

An example of the team’s ability to deliver a new-to-the-world brand design completely from scratch is Affinity’s work on Ste. Michelle Wine Estate’s recent initiative, Drumheller, a new wine from the Columbia Valley AVA.


Affinity Creative worked to generate a range of design solutions that would create an evocative sense of place while communicating the story, feeling and uniqueness of the Drumheller Channels.  The selected design solution accomplishes this, and more, by inviting further investigation, which drives consumer engagement.

Storytelling is often a crucial and valuable dimension to Affinity Group’s work. In their portrayal of the matriarch and inspiration for a legendary Napa Valley Family Estate, the Affinity team recast the previous brand mark and label with the creation of a new, compelling, iconic image of Flora on a crisp, clean, label, resulting in a powerful platform for the new icon and projection of an enhanced Flora Springs brand mark.

Flora Springs

Although in its relative infancy, three-year-old Affinity Creative Group has already amassed a remarkable portfolio of new client work now seen on shelves, in tasting rooms and across the country, shipped directly to consumers.

From its studios along historic Officers Row on Mare Island in the San Francisco Bay Area, this ensemble of multi-talented individuals helps clients reach new marketing heights through the development of stunning and effective brand design solutions.

“The essence of our business is to create, discover, or unlock the power of a client’s brand, so it will resonate with a key target audience,” Rice explains. “We do not design merely for the sake of designing. We do it in a way that makes smart business sense. The creative output must be strategic and contribute to the overall health of the brand.”

Start your brand health conversation with Affinity Creative designers at the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference in Yountville at the Lincoln Theater on August 17, or contact the team now for more information: affinitycreative.com


Previous articleKevin Hinchman Joins Lede Family Wines as Director of National Sales
Next articleBalletto Vineyards Adds Heather Mills as Hospitality & Customer Appreciation Manager


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.