Pappy & Company Taps Rockfish as Strategic Partner for Brand Activation, E-Commerce

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The companies collaborate on brand identity and e-commerce executions to reach its target consumer: the bourbon aficionado

The new Pappy & Company e-commerce website features a responsive design

The new Pappy & Company e-commerce website features a responsive design

Rockfish has created a next-level e-commerce platform for our company to connect with bourbon aficionados and offer the stories and lifestyle products that speak to the bourbon lifestyle.

Pappy & Company has named Rockfish its Agency of Record, with assignments including branding, design and digital activations in efforts to successfully launch the national retail brand.

This week the companies launched, a responsive website that showcases Pappy & Company’s selection of dry goods and wares for the bourbon lifestyle and content tailored to its growing, bourbon-loving audience. It comes on the heels of the Rockfish-designed company logo and brand identity.

Pappy & Company is owned and operated by three sisters who are daughters of Julian P. Van Winkle III, president of the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, which produces world-renowned whiskeys including the 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve.

“The branding and website bring to life the Pappy & Company vision to continue the Van Winkle family legacy and heritage of bourbon,” says Carrie Van Winkle Greener, who co-founded the company with her sisters Louise Van Winkle Breen and Chenault Van Winkle James. “Rockfish has created a next-level e-commerce platform for our company to connect with bourbon aficionados and offer the stories and lifestyle products that speak to the bourbon lifestyle.”

A Mobile-Friendly E-Commerce Website
The new Pappy & Company website features a responsive design that works seamlessly across desktop, mobile and tablet devices, and integrates best-in-class e-commerce functionality.

The design features the company’s brand identity, including warm, bourbon-tinged colors and a clean, classic look and feel that reflects the company’s Southern roots. The website favors a content-forward approach to e-commerce: Product descriptions give shoppers the story behind a product, allowing glimpses into the sisters’ hand-selection and curation of goods. This is continued throughout the site in “The Bourbon Lifestyle” blog, which allows readers a peek into Van Winkle family traditions, including recipes for Julian Van Winkle’s Manhattan (the “Vanhattan”) and chocolate bourbon pecan pie.

“We put much so much thought and care into hand-selecting each item that we offer,” said Carrie Van Winkle Greener. “Stories behind products are essential to us, and we love sharing that throughout the site with our customers.”

Logo and Brand Identity Reflect Company Heritage
As part of its work in launching the brand, Rockfish also designed the complete Pappy & Company brand identity, including the company’s symbolic logo, which is featured prominently on the website. The three keys at the center of the logo represent the founding sisters and are reminiscent of the five keys that hung outside the Stitzel-Weller Distillery (the predecessor to the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery) — keys that represented the five steps in the making of bourbon as well as a symbol of hospitality (“The Keys to Hospitality”). The top key includes a “VW,” for Van Winkle, a further nod to the family heritage.

The logo and brand identity speak to Pappy & Company’s vision that its products are exclusive and stylish, yet “not stuffy” while representing a new kind of Southern hospitality. Color plays a big role in carrying the brand identity through to all design executions, with rich earth tones that hint at the beauty of the natural world that has been shaped and crafted by human hands: the brown of fine leather, the green of a well-manicured backyard and the burnt mustard of aged parchment.

“The Pappy & Company brand exudes personality, history and a lifestyle that every bourbon fan wants to be a part of,” says Dave Knox, Chief Marketing Officer for Rockfish. “We brought this into focus at every consumer touch point, from the content to the shopping experience to the branding itself. Rockfish was thrilled to bring our agency’s e-commerce, design and digital expertise to this project in partnership with Pappy & Company.”

About Pappy & Company
Pappy & Company offers dry goods and wares for the bourbon lifestyle. Sisters Carrie, Louise and Chenault, fourth-generation Van Winkles, founded Pappy & Company to continue their family’s legacy of bourbon, a long and proud tradition. Even as they each embarked on their own careers and ventures, the family business always seemed to call their names. Through Pappy & Company, they found a fun and creative way to not only be a part of the Pappy legacy and heritage, but to offer it to friends and fellow aficionados. Pappy & Company offers hand-selected products made with the same dedication to taste, quality and style that their great grandfather’s original vision embodied. Pappy & Company is based in Louisville, Kentucky. For more information, visit

About Rockfish
Rockfish is a full-service digital innovation partner that drives business for some of the world’s largest brands. We build groundbreaking digital solutions through expert integration of strategy, creative and technology. Founded in 2006, Rockfish has offices in Dallas, Austin, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Northwest Arkansas, Portland, New York and Chicago. Rockfish is part of WPP, the world leader in communications services with 170,000 employees in 110 countries. For more information, visit

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Kari Wethington
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