September 27, 2006

introducing stormhoek siren

[click on image to enlarge]

This is the new Stormhoek Siren package, inspired by the little open-source experiment we conducted last November with gapingvoid readers.

Basically, I asked my readers for feedback on the new package design, and they left their suggestions both in the comment section and the wiki. The result you now see in the photograph.

The photo really doesn't do it justice. It's an absolutely stunningly beautiful bottle in real life. Basically, we wanted something that wouldn't look out of place in a Mies van Der Rohe house, or a copy of Wallpaper magazine.

On the wine side, Graham tells me that the boys in South Africa culled out the best lots of ultra ripe and intensely fruity Sauvignon Blanc and really dense, dark and intense Pinotage. You might recall that the regular Pinotage won the trophy from the London International Wine and Spirits Competiton for being the finest Pinotage produced in South Africa. I am told that the Siren Pinotage is like the regular Stormhoek on steroids. There was a bit of open sourcing done on this as well, which the Stormhoek guys will probably tell you about eventually.

So, we have a $2000 award to give away to some fortunate gapingvoid reader. Though not one single suggestion led us to the answer we were looking for, interfacing with the feedback is what led us to our result.

So who should win the $2000? We thought we'd let you decide. Please go here and check out the comments and the submissions on the wiki. Tell us who you think we should award it to. If nobody's can come up with an answer, or we fail to come up with some sort of concensus, we'll give the two grand to charity.

Thanks for making all this a reality, Everybody. Rock on.

Posted by hugh macleod at September 27, 2006 7:59 PM | TrackBack

Hugh putting heads together and opening up the design process is excellent - and to have done this with a smallish client (not a P&G etc multinational) in late '05 shows leading edge. This is great (and now that I have my first 3 empty bottles of SHoek under my belt I await the uber-open-steroid SHoek making it to my local store)

methinks for another open-source trial that you could consider involving your readers for no cash pay back? If my design ideas where excepted (I can't design - don't worry) that in itself would be serious bragging results. I'd buy up a few cases and I would also probably be up against some serious contributing competitors. my gut feeling - and I may be wrong - is by offering cash its more like an open source amateur design agency affair than a true community affair.

They say 'the best things in life are free' - but also 'there no such thing as a free lunch'; dilemna.

Posted by: James Thomson at September 27, 2006 9:44 PM

This is fantastic! More products need to do this. It is the cheapest way to get your brand in the market place, gather focus group data and build a diverse, global loyal consumer!

Posted by: Joanna Pena-Bickley at September 27, 2006 10:16 PM

Very elegant. I've been trying to work out whether Stormhoek, as a *global* microbrand, is distributed at all in Australia. Any clues?

Posted by: Des Walsh at September 28, 2006 12:53 AM

Wow. The form is gorgeous, and I love the little wave details on the top of the bottle.

Posted by: Alvin at September 28, 2006 3:27 AM

Ah, but one of your reader *is* a charity.

Write the check.

Posted by: sbill30 at September 28, 2006 5:49 AM

Morning Hugh. Stormhoek... Lovely bottle and elegant simple label.

Checked the links you provided and reviewed the comments and suggestions. Kudos to every blogger who contributed, their efforts, ideas and creativity impressive and admirable.

Even Solomon could not single one person, or two, or ten relative to a cash prize. How about a Stormhoek "swag" prize, something like a really cool limited edition tee-shirt, with one shirt given ONLY to every person who provided either a comment or suggestion. And, the $2,000 still goes to charity.

Limited edition tee-shirt with a "gentle, kind and fun" Hugh drawing and a cool saying, something like, "Stormhoek Design Concept Team Member". The "gentle, kind and fun" drawing so the girl contributors can be comfortable when wearing it.

Sure this solution will cost a few bucks more, but the "Stormhoek buzz" will be fantastic. I can see newspaper articles, TV, blog comments galore.

The wonderfully creative people who contributed to the Stormhoek design project will indicate via their comments as to whether they like this idea. Also suggest you discuss the idea with your PR friend in New York City, the fellow who worked his magic with English Cut. Of course, the idea has to make sense to Stormhoek. Wow, talking about community and meaningfully expressed appreciation.

Posted by: Sheamus at September 28, 2006 6:50 AM

Hey there,

Thats a very minimal but pretty bottle, but I notice a screw top. I'm interested in your opinions about this. Not only do i like the cork, traditionalist I am, but I understand using cork is also key in maintaining the spanish/portugeuse cork oak forests, a truly unique environment.

Me, I can take screwtop on cheaper wine but if i buy a good bottle, i want a cork. I know it increases spoilage, but it really is a factor in what I buy.


Posted by: owen at September 28, 2006 8:06 AM

Elegant. Like it.

And screw top is fine. With the exception of a some very bloody minded reds, screw top is a good thing, especially for a gluggable.

I know price is crude issue, but how much?

Posted by: Hamish at September 28, 2006 10:40 AM

screwit... why not just donate the $$$ to charity?

Posted by: silverfoot at September 28, 2006 10:44 AM

The Siren, she's a little Starbuckian...

Posted by: Holly at September 28, 2006 10:08 PM

Clearly I should get the money.

Posted by: john at September 29, 2006 10:36 AM

Give the money to a charity or a community group who could use it well.

Alternatively if anyone chooses to me as an ideas contributer I will either give it to the Johnny Herbert Charity Karting Event which I will be competing in hopefully or put it towards the London Girl Geek Dinners events. I won't be keeping it for myself no matter what. I would rather it was put to good use somewhere.

Posted by: Sarah at September 29, 2006 2:33 PM

Find a charity that isn't terrible.

Hell give it to Darren @ problogger to buy chickens with.

Posted by: Paul Drago at September 30, 2006 8:28 AM

Sheamus, great idea! I vote that we give all of the contributors one of the limited edition puppy prints and we give the money to charity.

Owen, honest, the screwcap keeps the wine much better and fresher for longer.With no risk of corkiness.

And, Holly.. ahem... yes we kinda realized it after the fact. BUT, I swear it was not intentional. You know the Siren has real connections to the cape of Good Hope, etc. I don't know how she got mixed up with the coffee guys :-)

Oh, and the wine is about 8 pounds in the UK, when it gets to the US, we are thinking it will be around $15.

Posted by: Jason at September 30, 2006 10:34 PM

Thanks Jason! BTW the price-point information is useful for when the GREAT Stormhoek is (eventually) carried by the LCBO here in Toronto.

Posted by: Sheamus at October 2, 2006 11:32 PM

Who should win? I have no idea. Here's one. I should warn my friend Julien (no me, the other one) that the great design he put on your wiki is getting back to headlines. I'm not sure that there so much of his design in the new bottle (very nice by the way)but he made such an amazing work that I feel proud of my friend. Thank Hugh, you didn't forget your promise, rock on. feel so sorry about my bad english :)

Posted by: julien at October 6, 2006 7:39 PM