Wine marketing and its importance for the wine & spirits sector

Aug 29, 2019 | design, packaging, process

Wine marketing and its importance in the wine & spirits industry 

The era of the Mad Men revolutionized the industry of marketing and publicity. Creating the best product was no longer sufficient: brands needed to communicate it and communicate it right.

The act of branding became intimately connected to the art of storytelling, which tells the story of a product and makes it desirable for the consumer.

In this way, concepts such as emotional marketing, experiential marketing, and brand equity were created, with the main objective being to reach and influence potential new consumers. These emerging marketing techniques represented a shift from product-centric marketing, to brand-centric marketing.

With brand-centric marketing, the focus is on creating a trust link between the brand and consumers based on authentic identity, integrity and image.


The Importance of Marketing in the Wine Sector

Marketing is important in every industry. It is the science that combines exploration, creation, communication, and delivery of value, so as to satisfy the needs of a particular target audience. It is the duty of marketing to define, measure and quantify the size of the identified market, and tap into its potential.

Without a marketing strategy, it is difficult for businesses to succeed. In organizations that recognize of the importance of marketing, a product or service is never launched without a prior marketing plan based on concrete data.

However, many companies, especially those in the wine industry, do not classify marketing as critical to their business.

But even the best products in the world require a strategy to communicate them to potential audiences. After all, if no one is aware of a product, who will buy it?


How important are labels for wine consumers? 

For wine experts, knowing which grape variety comprises the drink, their age, and reserve is enough information to make a confident decision.

For others, the sheer number of options makes it difficult to choose. Which wine will go best with a particular dish? Which has a stronger flavor? Which has a softer texture?

This lack of knowledge eventually leads consumers to choose a wine based on its aesthetic.

It is in this part of the customer journey that branding comes into play. A label, when carefully crafted, will influence the decision and help the consumer to choose based on feeling and values portrayed in the label.

The label is a critical component of packaging design and branding for all beverages. However, the label on a wine bottle is a particularly important marketing asset because it facilitates a choice far more complex than with most other beverages.

A consumer is often presented with a selection of wines from different places, with varying ages, intensities, and textures. All of these factors make it difficult for a less knowledgeable consumer to choose. But a well-crafted label can bridge this difficulty.

Two examples of effective yet different wine labels are Tic Tac wine and Herdade do Sobroso wine.


Main characteristics that a wine label should contain include:


The consumer is highly responsive to visual stimuli. For this reason, color employs multiple layers of meaning to a product. Something that must be considered is the type of emotion that is intended to pass through the label. For this, color is an important tool for defining the brand message.


Simple and bold lines are often preferred because they allow for easy distinction of the logo, even from a distance. These lines make the logo recognizable, leveraging the marketing principle of brand awareness. It is important to identify the graphics that effectively capture the consumer’s attention and trigger brand recognition and make these stand out.


Again, we want to convey a message to the consumer.

Typefaces with serifs tend to resonate with more advanced audiences and reflect a more mature wine, often already well established in the market.

In turn, sans-serif fonts are often more modern and effective at communicating with younger audiences.


Selecting a Wine Based on the Packaging Design 

So, what leads us to choose a particular label?

Once again, the “secret” lies in the marketing strategy designed for the beverage. An effective label is designed with a bottom-up approach, building around the objectives of the wine’s marketing strategy.

Depending on your target audience, you may approach the design process differently. More “fun” or vivid color labels often can catch the attention of younger audiences, while neutral color labels can capture more mature wine consumers. In fact, studies have reported that millennials are more easily attracted to brightly colored wine logos and non-serif fonts, rather than more traditional labels.

Wine labels have the potential to convey a vast number of emotions to a customer and reflect the flavor inside the bottle.

The visuals of the label can appeal to certain feeling or evoke certain memories. An impactful label can frame the drinking experience and even influence the taste.

The chosen combinations of colors, text, images and background, should convey the exact message that the wine brand intends to convey.

It is through the label that the wine “speaks” with the consumer without ever being opened.


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