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Reversing a three year decline for Aruba’s premium beer

LocationAruba, Caribbean

DeliverablesBrand Strategy, Brand Identity, Packaging, Brand World, Brand Guidelines

Aruba’s premium beer Balashi was in steady decline thanks to an outdated look, increased aggression from imported competitors and declining loyalty from locals. Having reached out to potential partners around the world, this Caribbean island brewery chose Thirst to restore relevance to its flagship brand.

With two primary audiences to consider, we wanted to create a brand that made locals feel proud of Balashi while also appealing to tourists’ love of the island. We evolved the Balashi brand to iconise their famous Watapana tree and premiumise their pack, then capitalised on a simple insight to tell their story.

Very few people are actually born in Aruba, but all feel a deep affiliation with the island. This insight inspired our brand story: We can’t all be Aruban, but we can all be Aruban at heart. Informing everything from pack to in-store to advertising, our new brand and story reversed Balashi’s steady decline.

“In our process of finding the ideal partner for this project Thirst was a standout in a long list of recommendations. From the first contact we felt that they understood us and our attitude. Balashi is a much loved heritage brand by both locals and tourists, the brand had not seen any updates since its launch almost 20 years ago so it was essential to get the branding right.

Thirst understood right away what we were looking for, to maintain the essence that is so loved while updating the overall presentation to a much more timeless feel. Working with Thirst throughout the production, we have both achieved more than we could have imagined, the brand has been energized and both locals and tourists love the new look!”

Yadira Harms Sankatsing | Marketing Manager

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