You have seconds to grab the attention of a customer on store shelves. Is your wine brand unforgettable?

In a Texas Wine Marketing Research Institute and Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University study from 1991-2006 there was an

“Unmistakable trend: the better the recognition rating a wine brand received, the more likely it was to survive. No such link existed between quality evaluations and a brand’s success.”

This means that even if your wine is perfect and everyone says amazing things about it, if the packaging is not unforgettable people are not going to remember it.

Science has shown that our senses take in about 11 million bits of information every second, but we are only consciously aware of about 40 bits of that information.

This means that our brains are often taking shortcuts when it comes to packaging design. You are walking down the wine aisle and what are you really taking in? Are you consciously noticing each font on the label, the paper type, Pantone colors, foil, and embossing that were used? No, you are picking up wines that you have already purchased or it has a label that you like and is in a wine varietal you want to drink. This is why it essential that your wine brand have a label that is professional and shows off your brand.

According to the 2017 Consumer Packaged Good Trends, smaller brands grew revenue about three times as fast because “consumers choose brands because they offer authenticity, a connection to local growers (Cabot Creamery), the promise of healthy ingredients (Bob’s Red Mill and Annie’s Homegrown), or a quirky story (Ben & Jerry’s).”

Packaging can continue to influence a company’s sales as it grows larger, too. MillerCoors’ sales slumped last year, but the Miller Lite retro can bumped sales by nearly 5 percent. MillerCoors didn’t change its beer; it just changed the can it came in.

Here are my top 5 tips for packaging a new wine brand:

Define your core customer

Often when I ask clients which wine drinkers are you targeting? They reply with “All wine drinkers.” The problem with that thought process is that there are actually different segments inside the wine drinking population. Paying attention to who exactly your customers are, will help you create marketing campaigns that precisely target your niche.

For example, are they driving a Mercedes or a Honda? Are they shopping at Aldi or a gourmet grocery store? Those answers help you define where you should be placing ads on social media and in print. Not sure who your customer is? Have your customers take a survey. If you are a new brand, take a look at the How 6 different brands target 6 different consumers.

All startups want to be as unforgettable as Apple and Tiffany & Co., and that type of recognition starts with a product’s packaging. How can you make your wine packaging stand out from the competition?

Create a brand strategy that is different

When I talk to wine clients and speak at conferences about creating a new wine brand, one thing I always try to emphasize is making sure their brand is differentiated from other wine brands. What does this mean?

It means knowing what makes your brand different and promoting those benefits to a very specific target market.

Three brand strategies that many of the most successful wine brands have used:

  • Wine Type (exclusively produce one varietal, like Pinot Noir, Norton or Chardonnay)
  • The Place (The AVA or a beautiful scene)
  • Personality (Charismatic winemaker or owner)

Once you decide on your target market and how you are different try this exercise. Fill in the blanks in the below statement based on your above strategy: Only (your winery) delivers (unique differentiating benefit) to (target audience).

Have a clear Hierarchy

Many wine drinkers shop by wine varietal. They know they like Merlot, but are looking for a new brand to try. While your brand icon/name should be the most memorable, the varietal should be listed in a font that is easy to read. Yes, script fonts can look beautiful, but if you can’t read it at a glance it will not be effective.

Do color research

In the wine world especially, color is extremely important. The more colors thrown into the wine packaging, the less sophisticated the product is deemed to be. Brighter the label is overall, the cheaper the wine. The more white space, the higher the price of the wine brand. This is why it is so important to research what different colors mean to your audience and then to use colors that will appeal to them.

Don’t skimp on the label paper

I often see at wine festivals that wine brands have their wine bottles in ice buckets and the labels are bubbling up and starting to peel. Or they have the cooler strategically positioned with frozen water bottles that don’t touch the labels. This can be easily solved by talking to your printer about using a higher quality paper. One of our clients, KC Wineworks, took each type of possible wine label paper and did an ice bucket test. Every hour they pulled the wine bottle out and took photos of the different labels. Great idea!

Are you a new wine brand?

My gift to wineries —> Take our free 7 week wine marketing class to learn how to sell more wine with a powerful brand, email marketing, social media, online ads and more: Sell more wine