SWELL and the Mazza brand have grown up together. Well, sort of.
They were about to turn 40 when we met and as we prepared for our 10th anniversary, they were gearing up for their 50th. Scandalous age gap aside, our businesses and their growth have become inextricably linked. When we first met, the Mazza family had recently expanded to include three individual wineries and were on the verge of opening a New York State’s first-ever combination winery, brewery, and distillery.
Their empire was growing to a point where the complexity was getting overwhelming. We entered to assist in bringing all three locations under one cohesive parent brand to contain the individual locations — and all of the growth that we didn’t even know was yet to come.
The first order of business was – getting the business in order.
After half of century of building, improving, expanding, and innovating, the Mazza family shifted their sights from getting butts in seats in the Lake Erie region, to getting bottles in hands across the state, nation, and globe.
We shifted, too. We reorganized their dozens of products into strategic collections to support the sales team’s storytelling — and inadvertently made the winemakers’ jobs a little easier, as well, by giving them a clear picture of where each wine would fit in the overall portfolio.
The shift from “Pennsylvania and New York wineries” to “Wineries from Pennsylvania and New York” embraced their local roots without being constricted by them — and spurred new advertising, a refreshed sales approach, and a newly imagined web presence.
The established parent brand allowed the locations to take on personalities of their own emblematic of the experience a visitor could expect, while remaining cohesive from a messaging standpoint.
It’s our role as “brand managers” vs. our role as “ad agency” that makes us most proud of our relationship with the Mazza family. They view us as a partner – not a vendor – which gives us license to think outside of the box and make an impact, not just ads. Today, we’re at the table – er, tasting counter – when big decisions are being made and we have access to all of the data behind-the-scenes. Being perpetually in the loop means we are able to think and act with up-to-the-moment intel and deliver strategy and creative that have a meaningful impact on their bottom line.