Appleton Estate: A new brand narrative to lead the way in premiumizing rum

The Challenge

Gruppo Campari acquired J.Wray & Nephew Ltd. in 2012, Jamaica’s largest rum distillery. With a portfolio of over 25 rum brands, The Gild was asked integrate the portfolio into the business and reposition premium rum Appleton Estate.

The Approach

We took a lateral approach to uncover insights. As premium rum is a nascent segment, we spoke to influential consumers in adjacent categories rather than current consumers. We immersed in Jamaican culture to understand what made it special beyond the well-known stereotypes. Through a series of collaborative workshops, we developed a brand positioning that gave Appleton Estate and premium rum a new voice.

The Solution

We created a new positioning and portfolio architecture that offers a completely new narrative of premium rum – one of discovery and craftsmanship that celebrates the brand’s home in the heart of Jamaica. We brought this to life through a new creative direction, brand book and brand film, an array of launch materials and tools, and a new set of variant names that celebrated the uniqueness of rum and its flavor.

The Results

Throughout the world, local markets are launching Appleton Estate. A series of films were launched in the US in 2014, a complete redesign of the portfolio launched in 2015, and the visitor center in Jamaica is being overhauled to reflect the new vision for the brand.


Packaging design by Claessens, with all packaging and brand photography shot and directed by The Gild. Website built by TVGla using creative direction, photography, and brand assets created by The Gild.