Case Hooghoudt

How to design a brand strategy for new product development in home markets and abroad?

Hooghoudt, a family distillery from Groningen, has developed a diverse range of tasteful, high-quality liquors since 1888. Now, they have decided to focus and become a unique international powerhouse of innovation for the Dutch liquor Jenever.

To realize a sound brand strategy and support for new product development, the Young worked together with De Ronners, a creative graphic design studio from Rotterdam.

The challenge

The project started with a brand strategy and design for the Kopstoot, a Dutch tradition of Jenever and beer pairing. The Young carried out an extensive research study on the history and trends of this pairing up and found a strong strategic basis in combining the Hooghoudt Premium Jenever with different draft beers.

The solution

To find the right taste combinations and credible rituals for the Kopstoot, The Young & De Ronners decided to bring together a panel of tasting experts consisting of Heleen Huis (horeca expert), Nienke Oostra (jenever expert), Lennart Deddens (bartender & distilling expert), Peter Torenbosch (beer sommelier), Laurens Speek (food pairing expert). In the right Kopstoot experience, Café de Klomp in Delft, we paired possible combinations to find the best product infusion and tasting ritual for the Kopstoot.

The result

The Kopstootkabinet packaging is a concept that allows for a tasting of the Kopstoot as a modern ritual: to sip the Jenever and multiple beer flavours and enjoy both drinks slowly and with attention (rather than the old fashioned way of downing a drink as quickly as possible). The experts‘ tasting notes will help consumers find their own taste preference and inspire them to try even more. The drawings by Anje Jager embrace craftsmanship with a contemporary edge.

The future

Since the Kopstoot, The Young and De Ronners have continued to work with Hooghoudt on different brand strategies and new product lines. We created an international line of jenevers that truly embrace Hooghoudt’s values and experimental tastes and talents abroad. Additionally, we created a Brand Manifesto for future growth that allows Hooghoudt to showcase their ambitions and values amongst management stakeholders and provide the right energy and enthusiasm for their international ambitions.

Copyright photography ‘header’ & ‘The challenge’: Ewoud Rooks

“The Kopstootkabinet has been launched at Gall&Gall and it’s proven to be a great success since its launch. From consumer reviews we found out that our existing and new target group embraced the line completely. Additional to this tangible result, the contribution in strategy formulation and initial steps towards culture change are very valuable for our company. Together with The Young, we’ve realized a substantial change in becoming a value driven organization. ”

– Niels Grootenboer (Marketing Manager Hooghoudt)


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