Stout Bottle Opener is a throwback to that forgotten time when things were built to last. Crafted of stainless steel, Stout is designed to mount in that perfect spot for you, your family, and your friends to enjoy a drink together.
Featured on the acclaimed website, Uncrate.com, Stout Bottle Opener was developed as a product that could last a lifetime. This project was a collaboration between a product design engineer friend of mine and myself that was successfully funded on Kickstarter 8 days into our 30-day campaign. It raised a total of $46,000.
Stout was a two-fold project of product design and brand design that required thought-out solutions to meet specific criteria that we put in place at the start of the process. We wanted to make the experience of opening a beverage effortless and satisfying. It also needed to withstand the elements in order to last a lifetime, be produced in the USA, and be elegant enough for a kitchen, but rugged enough for a workshop.
We launched Stout with the intention of building a business. Therefore, it was extremely important to create a brand around the product. A name was chosen, a custom script designed, and a story around the product was formed.
When we launched the Kickstarter campaign for Stout, we wanted people to feel that they’d just received something special. Our goal was to provide a sense of purpose in the product we developed, not to be exclusive, but in a “welcome to the family” way that offered a sense of belonging. We teamed up with a local letterpress printer and designed custom packaging that would give the consumer the sense that we were invested in each individual opener shipped out.
Each detail was intentional down to the blind impression and hidden messages within the packaging. We wanted people to tangibly feel that the life of their new Stout Bottle Opener would far outlast the latest iPhone. Die includes thumb cut-out for easy opening and an internal die cut fold-out houses the opener and creates a compartment for the screw set.
After the campaign was funded, we set up stoutbottleopener.com to be a spot for people to order the product post-Kickstarter campaign. This site had to tell the story that we built the campaign around, but in a much more e-comm friendly manner.
We teamed up with photographer, Caitlin Ahlenius, to create the community-oriented feeling we were going for with Stout. One of the big ideas behind the opener was that it wouldn’t become the object that’s the center of attention in any room, but that it would become the place your closest friends and family thoughtlessly go to to open a beer when they’re at your house. Stout isn’t meant to be top-of-mind when your friends come over, it’s just supposed to be present for those special moments we enjoy with the folks we care about. The sense of belongingness was the essence we wanted to capture in the photography.
One of the requirements of running a Kickstarter campaign is to provide a series of award levels that give value to pre-determined donation amounts given by the project’s funders. We offered a shirt with the Stout logo on it and a limited edition screen print poster that proudly proclaimed that Stout is yours to do whatever you want with it. The headline says, “Put Stout Wherever You Damn Will Please.” and shows a collection of 35 icons to get the wheels turning on what that location could be for the consumer. Sure, the essence of Stout is belongingness but the character of it makes sure that it’s done on the owner’s own terms.
These illustrations were developed to support the idea behind putting Stout wherever one damn well pleases.