At the heart of Tippsy is an undying passion for sake — a passion I’ve been privileged to shape and share as its Creative Director from its inception. This article unveils my journey of navigating the intricate nuances of branding, not just for Tippsy but for sake itself.
The essence of branding
Tippsy may be an online retailer showcasing an array of sake brands, but the branding of the store itself — formed through the overall shopping experience — is also essential.
However, each sake brand stands proudly in its unique character; Tippsy never overshadows them. Brands like Kamotsuru and Harushika exude a traditional “old-school” charm, while others like Ohmine and Sakari embrace modern branding aesthetics. That’s why, at Tippsy, we opt for subtlety over overwhelming “Japanese style” impositions, honoring the distinct identities of every sake brand.
The birth of our logo
Our name, Tippsy, is a playful twist on tipsy, capturing the essence of a simple, authentic and joy-filled sake experience. The challenge? Designing a logo that encapsulates this effervescent spirit. To ensure our logo would resonate with these sentiments, I aimed to keep it uncomplicated, yet infuse it with a subtle hint of Japanese sake.
Finding our voice: the tagline
Why Tippsy? Why now? For whom?
The answers gradually emerged during heartfelt discussions with our founder and CEO, Genki Ito. His vision was clear: “To make sake as beloved and recognized as wine in America, and seamlessly weave it into the American tapestry.”
But deeper than market goals was an emotion. Ito passionately expressed, “The world deserves to experience the euphoria of quality sake.” When I stumbled upon his words, “spread the love of sake,” everything clicked. That sentiment became our guiding star — our tagline. And while we aim to make sake an accepted part of the everyday American drinking experience, we also want to ensure that we preserve its uniquely Japanese heritage.
Setting the standard: brand guidelines
The world of sake is enchanting but can be daunting due to linguistic barriers. At Tippsy, we’ve meticulously curated guidelines that transcend typical brand aesthetics. From decoding intricate sake terminologies to ensuring impeccable English translations, we leave no stone unturned. Our commitment? Making Tippsy the gold standard for Japanese sake information in the English realm.
Crafting digital experiences: the website
The beauty of sake is sometimes lost in translation, especially with labels steeped in intricate Japanese. To bridge this gap, we always design the Tippsy website with both the novice and the aficionado in mind. Our product pages, adorned with intuitive icons and graphics, ensure a delightful and enlightening browsing experience.
Browsing is not only enjoyable and effortless, but we also prioritize ensuring that all information is both accurate and up to date. Our product team, led by Portfolio Manager Sachiko Miyagi, meticulously monitors every detail for our more than 400 products.
Furthermore, all our descriptions and text content are refined by Editor/Marketing Specialist Taylor Markarian, who masterfully transforms them into beautifully crafted English.
The grand vision: branding sake for the world
To elevate Japanese sake globally requires more than just marketing; it demands a movement. Our goal is simple yet profound: ignite a global love affair with sake. Every sip of sake is a symphony of history, culture, craft and emotion, rivaling the grandeur of fine wines.
We aim to capture and share these stories and sensations with the world. The future of Japanese sake on the global stage hinges on how effectively we can communicate its enchanting allure, as well as the fact that it is an ancient beverage that deserves recognition and respect.
To the world of sake, kampai!