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Branding a legend—the story of Sisonai

We love working with people with ambition, heart and stories to tell. So when we were approached to create a new Georgian energy drink brand that embodied an infamous Gurian folk hero we couldn't resist.

Understanding a culture

The new brand is aimed solely at the Georgian market and needed to connect with consumers in a way that larger, more popular but broader brands can't. Georgians are a proud nation with great knowledge of their history, including some wild stories about a local legend...

Images of gurian outlaws and Sisonai Darchia

A local legend

Sisonai Darchia, the inspiration behind the brand was one of the famous Pirallies ('The Outlaws') in Georgia during the late 19th century. 'The Outlaws' were villagers instilled with the Gurian inclination to fight against State injustice, who took it upon themselves to hit back in Robin Hood-esque style.

Sisonai's exploits during the Russian invasion lead to him being revered as a folk law hero. He was immortalised in a song that is still sung in Georgia today, where he is remembered for his cheek, wit and mischievousness.

Image of the Sisonai face design

Putting a face to the name

We soon came to the conclusion that there was nothing more emblematic of Sisonai Darchia than his own face. His mustache is quintessentially Gurian and instantly identifiable, it also gave us a platform to incorporate a little cheekiness and charm.

To compliment the iconic face, we created a custom word mark that captures the energy and personality of the product.

Image of the word mark sketches
Images of Sisonai brand in use

A brand with shelf appeal

The packaging was a key focus throughout the project in shaping how the brand developed. The true test of any product is how it sits amongst its competition, and more importantly if it entices someone to buy it.

We wanted to create a design that clearly stood out from other products at the same price point. A design that looked premium and had character.

Sisonai energy drink packaging design
The Sisonai can design in original, zero sugar and lemon and lime flavours.

The packaging design features a both the cheeky face of Sisonai plus the word mark—rotated for maximum impact. A bold coloured wedge wrapping around the can subtly emphasises the shape of the face and is used to differentiate the zero sugar and lemon & lime flavour variants.

An image of of Sisonai amongst its competition, Red Bull, XL and Hell

Cheeky by nature

The energy drink market is full of brands trying to make their mark, so it was vital that Sisonai stood out in all mediums—from packaging to advertising. Drawing from the cheekiness and wit of Sisonai himself we created messaging and a tone of voice that takes a dig at the competition, establishing it as the scrappy new entrant to the market.

Sisonai poster adverts

Sisonai has now been launched in Georgia. We can't wait to see it gain traction and take on the big players.

We love exploring the story behind every company we work with and building disruptive brands. If you’d like to find out how we could help your product stand out drop Mike a line.