We’ve all been there – standing in the wine aisle, paralyzed by a sea of Sauvignon. With a price point and flavor in mind and still a million choices, many of us will reach for the label that catches our attention.
But winemakers are not the only ones using product packaging to stand out. When shelves are stocked with many similar products, brands use eye-catching packaging – whether it’s a wine label, a package of chips, or the box containing your new window blinds – to capture a consumer’s attention.
First impressions contribute to some of life’s most important moments: being offered your dream job or meeting a blind date. In a split second, we make subconscious judgments that can determine our direction. While we may not realize it, those first impressions also have a big impact on our buying decisions.
There are many factors that a customer considers when they pick up a product: look, price, reputation, taste. And sometimes those decisions come down to packaging preference. When done well, consumer product packaging can be a psychological stimulus, carefully designed for the customer to place the product in their shopping cart.
Here are some key factors that may determine whether you pick up that bottle of wine or bag of chips, or not:
Color can evoke a wide range of emotions. Everyone from vintners to banks to restaurants use the power of color to evoke emotions in potential buyers. For example:
If your business already aligns itself with a specific color, use that color in your label design. Your customers are expecting it!
Besides colors, product designers also harness the power of shape and texture. Inspiration for a wine label or product package should come from a theme or look you’re trying to convey to your target audience. Do you want your product to have soft, flowing lines or sharp edges? Will the label be smooth to the touch or textured? A compelling design will capture the consumer’s attention.
Not only should the design be eye-catching, but it should also be functional. The product should be easy to store and hold. If the product packaging is prone to damage in shipment, you’ve got unhappy customers on your hands. The product must be easy to open, but not so weak that the packaging falls apart before it’s delivered to your consumer.
How do you want your customers to feel when they hold your product in their hands? It doesn’t matter if your product is expensive or economical – it’s all about the attitude you’re trying to sell.
You want your product to exclaim what it’s offering the buyer. If a customer brings a bottle of wine to a dinner party, they may hope to impress or intrigue their friends. A sophisticated or eye-catching label lets others know they spent their money on a one-of-a-kind product.
Perhaps you’re aiming to offer your customer that elusive emotion of nostalgia. Using a throwback type, font, or logo could make customers with a passion for the past take a second look. When offering a label that looks vintage or familiar, you’re offering a comforting memory, thought, or feeling to come flooding back to your customer.
According to the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the US wine industry filled 717,866,271 bottles in 2017. And each of those bottles had a label for prospective buyers to see. In a sea of options, how can you ensure your product’s label will grab the attention of buyers?
Whether it’s a wine label or any other product, you have to ask yourself – how well does your product stand out? Does it blend in with the competition, or is it different than the rest? Many strategic decisions go into a label’s design, each of which must clearly and accurately reflect the brand.
Here are just some of the questions a brand must consider:
If you’re a family-owned winery with an established success of more than 50 years, your name adds value and trust to the bottle. If you’re a newcomer, however, your brand may try to express why you’re different than what’s already out there.
The only way to really know what your customers think of your product packaging is to ask them. Effective package testing saves money and further clarifies what your customer expects from your product.
A qualified research partner can help you perform package testing through methods such as online surveys, shopalongs, focus groups, and in-home product testing.
Product package testing should answer the following questions:
With a bit of strategic decision making, backed by thorough package testing and attention to best practices, your wine could be the toast of the town.
Voccii® has 25 years of experience helping major brands design effective packaging. Our research has helped unknown brands stand out, and at the same time helped major players in a category to better leverage their brand equity.
For more insight on how to create a product that will stand out, contact us.