Let’s Chat

Brands we like: Smith & Forge

Ryan Parlee

By Ryan Parlee

Hard ciders seem to be quite a growing market in the alcoholic beverage world. While we’re mostly beer fans around the office, we can’t deny a great brand when we see one.

Smith & Forge has hoisted their brand to the next level by tapping into some humor and irony found in their colonial-era voice and persona that translates perfectly into today’s marketplace. No other cider brand has the same target or the same strongly defined brand personality. While the cider is brewed by MillerCoors, it’s branding is strong enough to stand on its own.

This targeted and unique brand strategy puts the beverage maker in a position to win attention through all types of media, where they shine even further by traversing seemingly paradoxical media with a wink and a gun  — or a wink and a hammer, perhaps.


The first page on their site makes a loud statement about their brand. You get a strong feel for the kind of bold, no-frills imagery that is used across media and the in-character messaging that even spills into the legalese that requests your birth date before entry.

Facebook is one of the places that Smith & Forge shines brightest, playing up the brand’s persona in hilariously clever ways. In every post, you see how they blend old and new to find comical contradictions and play off of them beautifully with their images and copy.


This screenshot epitomizes the brand; it’s clearly aimed at the text-message generation, but built on epic events in American history from the signing of the Declaration of Independence to the First Transcontinental Railroad and more. The attention to detail is what weaves together such a compelling brand and makes this image funnier each time you look at it. From the “Pigeon” carrier to the box camera option, this creative take is both planned and executed well.












As expected, Smith & Forge doesn’t abandon character on Twitter. Here, too, they connect current events and modern trends to the bygone era in some pretty great ways. This brand has done a great job of finding a niche in its market. They’re clear about who they are and who should be drinking their cider. This brand is for the strongest of patriots with a sense of humor. They’ve reached a difficult target with entertaining content – the kind of content that generates new consumers solely based on brand personality and then turns them into loyal brand advocates. The brand has expanded rapidly in the past few months thanks to their tongue-in-cheek take on everything from prohibition to Paul Revere.

This video shows one of the brand’s “Show of Strength” events. In a bar takeover, they set up arm wrestling and other strength-testing games, handing out free drinks to those who win. While obviously all in good fun, they’ve again taken the strength of their brand and dialed it up to promote the drink to new audiences.

Their humor and design make a strong statement for consumers, without anything that’s too serious. It makes for a great brand that’s already amassing a huge following of loyal customers.

All this cider talk got you thirsty? Click here to see where you can grab some Smith & Forge around the Des Moines area. We’d even be willing to join you.



Share Article

Close Video Player