Head High is a Sonoma Coast winery founded by adventurers, watermen, and seasoned wine industry professionals. They came to us with the rather vague notion of launching a brand at the intersections of surfing and winegrowing. The project required a standard set of deliverables such as research and definition, promise and personality, and a graphic identity system. But those weren’t its most challenging (or rewarding) aspects.
Brand Positioning and Identity
Surfers can spot a kook from a mile away. So, the success of the project hinged upon authentically aligning Head High’s brand with surfing and winegrowing. Through a series of working sessions and exercises, we helped their founding team define core brand values: oneness with nature, the pursuit of pleasure and perfection, soulfulness, rejuvenation, and flow. Then we designed a strategic charitable giving program that engages issues central to their brand. Finally, we documented everything in brand experience guidelines to ensure consistency across a range of digital and physical applications.
Working closely with digital agency LION Interactive, we provided the content strategy, copywriting, and technical illustrations for Head High's marketing site and e-commerce experience. We developed user flows encouraging subscription to Explorers, an all-inclusive membership program offering discounts on wine purchases and other insider deals. To promote community engagement, members also receive a quarterly newsletter featuring travel tales from brand ambassadors, insight from winegrowers, and opportunities for involvement with relevant charitable causes.
Making an impact
Like us, Head High is dedicated to contributing to something greater than themselves. We worked with their core team to create a unique strategic giving program that engages issues central to their brand values. For every two bottles sold, Head High makes a donation to Sustainable Surf and the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation, reinforcing their commitment to environmental stewardship and community empowerment.
Head High makes delicious wines for the adventure-minded and endeavors to reduce their impact through social and environmental initiatives.
Head High's 2013 vintage produced nearly $43,000 in charitable contributions. As production scales, their giving capacity increases, allowing for additional partnerships along core values. This unique program serves as a valuable resource for meaningful brand engagement while also enhancing Head High's positioning by aligning their social, environmental, and business goals.
Spreading the word
The annual Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) Image Awards was the ideal venue to launch Head High's brand to a select audience. Not only is SIMA a leader in the surf industry, but its record of supporting environmental and humanitarian organizations dovetailed perfectly with Head High's brand purpose.
We supported the rollout with email marketing, promotional materials highlighting key brand attributes, product placement, and worked with SIMA producers to ensure maximum visibility at the event.