Young’s of London brand extension and development

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Responding to export market demands whilst retaining the brand’s essence.

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The existing export portfolio at Wells & Young’s is largely based on formats created for the UK market. 

This at times limited the portfolio’s potential in key export markets such as the USA, France, Italy, Russia and Sweden. Our challenge was to create an extension of the existing Young’s brand, for a range of beers, for export markets. 

This new range needed to draw on and combine the brand values of Young’s beers (natural ingredients, naturally brewed, and farmer friendly) and the long brewing history associated with the Young’s brand, and hence the Wells and Young’s brewery.

Analysis of consumer research, and further liaison with distributors, identified that the export real ale audience were generally younger and more experimental than their UK counterparts. 

A set of core themes were chosen quickly for the creative development; London and Englishness and/or British icons (research had shown export markets found it hard to differentiate between the two). 

In translating these themes into a creative execution the new Young’s of London range was born consisting of over 10 carefully selected products to cover the numerous export markets. The designs drew on the brewing heritage and strength of the Young’s branding and communicated these in a clean, stylish and contemporary way. This was a detailed and very specific complementary evolution of a recognised British brand.

Now exporting a wide range of products under the Young’s of London branding, Wells & Young’s have an export range differentiated from competitors with a distinctive and integrated value-driven proposition. One built on both the Young’s brand values whilst drawing on external perceptions of what defines ‘quirky Britishness/Englishness’.

The range created a cohesive brand range offering; from lager to pale ale, up to bitters and stouts. As a range it is more appealing to both buyers and younger beer drinkers and has the flexibility to grow further through the addition of new products. A full brand asset catalogue was also produced along with all core product brand and marketing material including pump clips, a bespoke pump handle, bottle packaging, towels, glasses, merchandise, printed literature and even a traditional enamel sign. Selected beers from the range are now being sold in USA, Russia, Italy and France.  

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Reinterpretation of UK heritage beer brand for key international export markets.

This project was a very interesting one to crack. We already had the branding a positioning of the Young’s beers in the UK, but we wanted to take the range further into international markets, which are so different to the UK. The challenge was to ensure that the international range for Young’s of London complemented the UK beers but also met the requirements of the new markets. Bonfire worked up a brilliant solution for us, which we were very pleased and excited by.

Head of International Marketing, Wells & Young’s
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