Independent Brands Australia Case Study

The challenge

Australian Liquor Marketers (ALM), Metcash’s Liquor pillar has two divisions, ALM and Independent Brands Australia (IBA).

IBA was established in December 2003 to create strong national brands, and a suitable framework for independent liquor retailers to compete equally with the chains and secure long-term sustainability. IBA’s national independent retail brands include Cellarbrations, IGA Liquor and The Bottle-O

The market IBA operates in is highly competitive and frequently price-driven. When IBA contacted BrandMatters, they wanted to increase awareness of their brands Cellarbrations, The Bottle-O and IGA Liquor and improve internal and customer understanding of what each brand stood for and why a customer would choose them.

Firstly, BrandMatters completed a review of the liquor retail market as well as their own portfolio of brands. Secondly, we needed to define the role that each of their brands played, and position and strengthen each of the brands to compete more effectively with larger retail competitors - and ultimately grow sales.

The process

We started with a portfolio planning process. Our desk research included extracting insights from previous market research. We then conducted depth interviews with internal stakeholders, retailers and suppliers, followed by an extensive market and competitor analysis and creation of a market map.

The research program included 12 focus groups in metropolitan and rural locations across NSW, QLD & VIC, and the insights led to the development of a unique brand positioning, brand story, tone of voice and key messages for each of the brands.

The brand positionings were translated into supporting visual identities for Cellarbrations & The Bottle-O, including colour palettes, fonts, secondary design elements and photographic styles (new logos were not required). Detailed brand guidelines were also created.

To help the brand stories come to life, we created brand videos for the Cellarbrations & The Bottle-O brands. Also included in the launch were posters, catalogues, uniforms and digital advertisements.

The outcome

The newly defined brands were successfully launched internally at a national conference of employees and franchise owners. Feedback was universally positive, particularly from retailers who were excited by much clearer propositions for their collective liquor store brands, and the effective visual identities and point of sale materials.

BrandMatters continues to work with IBA on product positioning and design projects, including most recently the brand creation and launch of Veras 1866, a white-labelled European beer available exclusively at Cellarbrations, IGA Liquor and The Bottle-O stores. That project involved brand positioning and strategy, brand naming, brand logo and visual identity creation and collateral development.

BrandMatters certainly gets the linkages between B2B and consumer brand and marketing strategy, and they were very clear in translating that strategic understanding into relevant and really distinctive creative design. We love the strategic work they did for Porter's Liquor, and the design refresh work they did for our Cellarbrations and The Bottle-O brands. We couldn't be happier with BrandMatters' work and the entire outcome on these brands. The feedback from our retailers, internal teams and customers has been universally positive.

National Brand Marketing Manager, Australian Liquor Marketers

BrandMatters services used:


Stakeholder engagement
Desk research
Market research - qualitative & quantitive
Brand insights & recommendations
Workshop facilitation
Stakeholder depth interviews


Brand positioning & strategy
Brand story
tone of voice & key messaging
Brand architecture
Brand naming
Brand logo & identity


Graphic design
Digital design
Brand guidelines
Marketing & communication - strategy

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