Martini’s Extra Dry at Sams Club

Premium and ultra-premium brands have been important drivers in the growing vodka category. As Sam’s Club, one of the largest membership warehouse club retailers in the US, looks to maintain long-term growth, it is investigating opportunities in various categories and looking to create proprietary brands that drive club member loyalty.

Sam’s Club turned to international brand and design consultancy Dragon Rouge to develop the image for a premium Private Brand vodka that would appeal to consumers looking for ultra-premium vodka at a great value.

Dragon Rouge created a new brand identity for Rue 33, built around the concept of ‘French premier grand cru vodka’. The packaging mixes recognizable design cues from the premium vodka category (frosted background and see through effect) and the wine category (featuring a line of poplars, a traditional iconic representation of wine estates) to reflect the contemporary spirit, while subtly referencing the imported heritage of the product. Rue 33 was created for Member’s Mark, the Sam’s Club Private Brand.

“The Rue 33 signature identity was created to reflect authenticity, personal craftsmanship and sophistication associated with vodka making; a cool blue glow combines with the red of the brand and the white highlights on the trees to reinforce the French heritage,” says Marcus Hewitt, Chief Creative Officer of the New York office of Dragon Rouge.

“Dragon Rouge undertook a rigorous development process to deliver a unique and creative branding and visual identity solution that positions Rue 33 as an ultra-premium imported vodka,” says Maurice Markey, Sam’s Club’s VP of Private Brands.

Rue 33 will be available in approximately 200 clubs across the country in a 1.75 L size and  will be produced by the French distiller Louis Royer.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.