Winners 2022/ Gold, Grand Prix

Project: Billson's Rebrand

Client: Billson's

Design: Cowan

Staff numbers leapt from two to 28 following Billson’s complete rebrand. Reimagined and restored to its former glory, the business is now in the top 3% of local employers and its cordials command a premium price, 89% higher than the market leader. 

A dilapidated factory in Australia could have been lost to history, but in 2017 a young couple fell in love with the building and to save it, risked taking on the unprofitable cordials business it housed. Aiming to transform the failing business into a sustainable one, they worked with Cowan in 2018 to completely rebrand.

Inspired by the factory’s 150-year history, the cordials business’ new positioning, identity, packaging design and name leverage its rich heritage and local values in a way that appeals to modern consumers. Emphasising the quality and craftmanship of the products and tapping into nostalgia, the design differentiated Billson’s in the market and helped unlock distribution in over 1,000 local stores. 

The success of the rebrand saw Billson’s double its first-year growth target. This enabled the business to invest earlier than planned in cordial innovations, which by year three were generating an additional 609% in revenue. From a base of $160k and despite the pandemic, Billson’s became a $7.6million business within two and a half years, significantly impacting on the local area’s economy and employment.  

The business and building have been reinstated to their heyday, and with Billson’s ready-to-drink range securing national distribution, an additional production facility is in the pipeline to keep up with demand.