Sussex brands we love – The Brewhouse Project

Branding / 04.07.22
Mark Vaesen

Great branding deserves to be celebrated – whether it’s our own work or the branding of local businesses we buy from.

So we’re creating a series of articles featuring “Sussex brands we love” in homage to some of the great (non-Tomango) branding work out there.

These aren’t all big businesses, in fact many are very small. And they aren’t all perfect – but each one has something very special about them which caught our eye and makes them stand out from the crowd.

These aren’t clients of ours (not yet, anyway) so we’re assessing their brands from the outside.

Ultimately this means we don’t really know whether they’re a success or not – because we don’t know what market they intended to target or how many of those customers they’re actually attracting. But we suspect that they’re doing pretty well.

In this post, we’re shining a light on The Brewhouse Project.

About The Brewhouse Project

The Brewhouse Project is a family run bar and café which is attached to the independent craft brewery, Arundel Brewery. Based just outside Arundel in West Sussex, they’re in a fairly populous part of Sussex and conveniently located just off the busy A27.

Open daily, they serve beer, coffee and food during the day. Thursday to Saturday they’re also open in the evening for various events, such as music, quizzes and pop-up shops, with private event hire available Monday to Wednesday evenings.

The Brewhouse Project’s brand positioning

Everything about this brand tells you that it’s targeting people from their mid 20s to mid 40s who appreciate a quality experience within a relaxed atmosphere. References to school holidays and children being welcome (until 8pm) make it clear that it’s a family-friendly establishment.

They clearly differentiate themselves from pub or coffee shop chains by making their “independent, family run” status prominent on their website and social media bios.

The Brewhouse Project Instragram bio

The informality of the brand makes you feel welcome, however there’s a contemporary edge to it that makes it clear that your nanna and her friends probably won’t want to come here for a quiet cuppa.

They also make it clear that a certain standard of behaviour is expected from their clientele; this is a venue that won’t tolerate nuisance drinkers.

The brand also has a strong community feel to it, clearly focusing on its local market. Their monthly feature of a local photographer on their Facebook page or charity bike rides around Sussex are good examples. They’re also keen to support other local businesses. We’re confident that this is driven by genuine community spirit – rather than a cynical attempt to ingratiate themselves locally (you can usually spot those tactics a mile off).

What’s in a name?

The Brewhouse Project

Let’s start with “Brewhouse”. Perhaps they simply chose this to distinguish themselves from the sister company Arundel Brewery, but we think there might be more to it than that.

The word brewhouse has a different tone to it. It sounds more personal, intimate, a bit less commercial. In fact there’s good reason for this – originally brewhouses were breweries attached to private residences, rather than part of a commercial operation.

Using “The…Project” gives it a pleasingly retro feel, and also suggests that this is something which is a work in progress, always evolving and coming up with new ideas to delight their customers.

We feel the choice of name is one of their strongest assets, succinctly communicating so much more than the fact that they sell beer.

Visual brand identity

The Brewhouse Project logo

Their “house” logo enhances this feel of it being a small, friendly business. Sensibly, they haven’t tried to cram “The…Project” into the logo, just retaining the key “Brewhouse”.

Their monochrome logo and underlying colour palette reflects that of Arundel Brewery and is used to good effect across their marketing.

Instagram-style filters have been applied to photos to give them more contrast and ensure that the base of black and white never looks boring. They use a good blend of original photography (the filters helping to disguise any imperfections in less professional shots) and stock photos.

The ‘pinboard’ style presentation of the photos on the website and Facebook cover image gives them a suitably contemporary and relaxed feel.

The Brewhouse Project website

Tone of voice

The tone of voice across their communications is consistently informal and friendly, conveying their enthusiasm for their business. You feel that you’ll be welcomed when you walk in the door.

This includes when they are communicating more serious information – there’s a good balance between informality and getting their message across, without sounding officious.

The Brewhouse Project Code of Conduct
Their website’s code of conduct is a good example of this.

Being picky

No-one’s perfect, and there are a few things we’d change about The Brewhouse Project’s brand.

There could perhaps be a little more consistency across their marketing. Their Twitter account hasn’t been updated for a while and it looks like their current brand identity hasn’t been rolled out to it, yet they still have a link to it from their website. Plus, their menu and private events flyer don’t feel like they’ve been given quite the same level of design care and attention as their other marketing:

The Brewhouse Project private hire flyer
More could be done with the private hire leaflet, and the constant use of capital letters is inconsistent with other marketing collateral.

Also, although we like their logo, could it be a little too “naïve”? We’d maybe recommend something which is a bit more sophisticated in design terms, to give it a more contemporary, and perhaps warmer, feel.

But overall, we feel this is a great business making the most of their brand’s USP across their marketing.

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