Wine Labeling

Labeling and packaging visually represent the brand experience for wine

It’s easy to see, walking down the aisle in the liquor department at the grocer or as a dedicated liquor store clearly points out, how wine and spirits are among the most competitive categories in consumer markets. Every inch of shelf space is used. There is literally a wall of brands standing shoulder-to-shoulder and faced to the edge all, vying for attention.

According to Nielsen, unlike spirits and beer categories, wine drinkers are explorers, with 37 percent making their purchase decisions in-store. So, in this environment, labeling and packaging have to work harder than in just about any consumer product category.

The right packaging delivers visual cues that stand as the first point of contact from the brand to the target consumer. This is especially important for consumers who make their purchase decision at the shelf. To help establish product differentiation and drive shelf appeal, brand owners should put a significant focus on their package, with visual cues designed to guide consumers along the path to purchase. Those cues afford the opportunity to evaluate product positioning and quality, which are essential qualifiers for choosing one brand over another.

A wine label works in concert with the bottle to establish a dialogue with the consumer. It’s about creating shelf appeal and communicating product attributes in a way that engages the consumer.

When it comes to making purchase decisions in-store, brands can leverage the opportunity in their favor by helping consumers decide what to buy. What truly helps is to understand that consumers make purchase decisions from two separate perspectives—one rational, one emotional. On the rational side is the reason for buying, such as product functionality and price, among others. The emotional factors are more motivationally complex. On the emotional side it’s about the experience they want from the product, the pleasure they’ll have consuming it, how it will make them feel, and how it validates their decision to buy it—as a reward, for taste, about who they are or who they want to be. These are the factors package designers have to consider when creating a brand identity for a wine.

Properly executed, a wine label defines both the brand and the consumer experience to create a moment of truth that establishes affinity. What brand wouldn’t shoot for that?

Amiel Hattar, Senior Account Executive