Project Details

  • Brand Discovery
  • Brand Facilitation
  • Name Concepting

The Challenge: Create an ultra premium vodka brand

When the team at Double Cross first came to us, they had an engaging assignment — to capture the essence and spirit of a luxury vodka, produced at a family-run distillery, in a 13th century village in the foothills of the Tatra Mountains of the Slovak Republic. What’s more, the name had to be clear of any potential trademark issues, and had to speak to both contemporary and traditional audiences.

The Solution: Double down until you get it right

One of our early contenders was “Spire,” a name that evoked cathedrals, and European architecture, as well as the notion of reaching, climbing and aspiring. Like many one word brand names, this candidate faced potential trademark issues and was eventually passed over. The team re-assembled and went to work again, vetting dozens upon dozens of new names. In the fervent heat of one discussion, Double Cross was surfaced by a client team member. Was it too edgy? Could it backfire? Was there enough “back story” to give the brand meaning?

The name was examined from all angles. The deciding factor came in a flash of insight. The Slovak coat of arms had as its main symbol, a double cross. The name had it all, an acknowledgment of the brand’s heritage and a hint of its deceptively smooth taste. “Betray the usual” became the tag line. The fact that the name brought tears to the eyes of the Slovak producers meant that the name resonated beyond borders.

Managing and facilitating this process took over one year, but the end results have paid off. The distribution of Double Cross Vodka has grown from several locations in the northeast, to nationwide availability in premium steak house chains such as Morton’s. The process was a group effort, with the winning name fielded by working collaboratively to achieve the best outcome. The goal was met, a luxury vodka brand name worthy of its rich heritage. It’s high proof, that when done right, great branding can appear deceptively easy.


"Tungsten really gets the name game. Phil facilitated a creative process that ultimately led to Double Cross. We're grateful for the work he did in the early days of our brand."

Devin Wilson, Chief Brand Officer
Double Cross Vodka