Jack Daniel’s is an iconic global brand, an example of a true American Brand which exhuberates Americana aesthetic and personality. The brand has changed very little since the 1950's and with good reason. The small changes that have been made to both the bottle and the labeling have in no way reduced the instant recognizability of Jack Daniel's and have only simplified and cleaned up their appearance.
Jack Daniel's hired Cue, an agency based in Minneapolis, to give the packaging and branding a bit of a face lift in 2011. The changes that were made were not drastic enough to confuse loyal buyers, simply cleaning up the existing label and making it a bit easier to read. Small changes were also made to the mold for the bottle as well giving the glass a more masculine geometric shape but not changing it so drastically as without the label the form of the bottle is still recognizable for its shape, as well as the embossing of the Jack Daniel's signature in the glass.
A small touch that I enjoyed with the refresh was the notched corners on the new label that is wrapped around the bottle. The old label was just a square that wrapped around the three sides of the bottle where the new label now has the notches. When I painted the bottle I actually left the label on and painted over it. The paint is thin enough that you can still see the edges of the label and I felt that this small detail was important as it aided in the recognition of the packaging as a whole. This dieline is repeated on Jack Daniel's other offerings such as Tennessee Honey and Jack Daniel's Green Label. The dielines on all three bottles are identical and if all painted black would be indistinguishable from each other.
While the intention of this article is to focus on the brand through its packaging and physical attributes my research led me to a quite interesting fact. Jack Daniel's is almost 150 years old but has really only been a best seller since the 1950's, despite being quite popular with names such as Winston Churchill and Frank Sinatra. Between the mid-'50s and mid-'70s, Jack Daniel's was difficult for stores to acquire — it was available on allocation only. Demand was higher than supply, yet the brand kept advertising. It was telling people about something they couldn't have, which heightened the allure of the whiskey. Absolutely brilliant, marketers realized people wanted what they couldn't have.
A recent example of this was the Redbull Cola which had a cult following, people driving to other states just to buy the product in "test markets." In Redbull's case, however, the interest fizzled out once the product became more easily available.