Artisan Spirit: Fall 2015

Page 45

BRAND BUZZ

THE IMPORTANCE OF

PROPER TIERING

IN SPIRITS BRANDING

WRITTEN BY

DAVID SCHUEMANN

Distinct pricing, clear hierarchy, product connection, and thoughtful planning are crucial for consumer engagement and vertical growth.

P

roper tiering plays a powerful role for

discounting and to build in an intrinsic

they are ready to splurge for a special

growing craft distilleries. Designing

value proposition by making it more

occasion, they are more likely to purchase

expensive looking than its price.

within your brand—a brand they already

the packaging appropriately for each price point, product type and quality

Top tier offerings need to set themselves

level is crucial in order to avoid confusion

apart as true luxury products, more

amongst the various tiers. When designed

limited and of superior quality. Here, the

properly, a tiered system will help attract

appearance of scarcity and something

consumers seeking products at particular

truly unique is paramount to supporting

price points and provide a strong family

a larger price tag. Often, consumers

look for your brand portfolio. If designed

seeking more premium or icon brands

improperly, products in a tiered system

are more experienced connoisseurs that

envision your brand growing? In the

may

one

will be looking for certain luxury cues

future do you foresee adding SKUs such

another’s sales by appearing too similar in

and information on the package that

as flavor extensions, an aged product that

quality or price, or worse, be so disjointed

communicates items such as specific

is in barrel now, or a more affordable or

that brand recognition is not achieved.

distilling methods, ingredient sources,

premium tier?

limited production, etc.

Make sure to discuss your long-term

inadvertently

cannibalize

PROPER TIERING PROVIDES CLARITY FOR THE CONSUMER. For example, entry-level products are often targeted to consumers who are uncertain about what product or brand they should choose. Entry-level packaging should be eye-catching and inviting to the consumer, and should reinforce the product’s quality without over promising. Mid-level

offerings

are

often

the

“workhorse” of a portfolio and should be designed with a strong value proposition in relation to the competition. Often, packaging at this level is designed to appear visually more expensive than the actual price point in order to avoid

know and trust.

THREE MISTAKES TO AVOID WITH TIERING

1

.FAILING TO PLAN AHEAD. Think long-term: how do you

While certainly not all consumers will

goals with your branding team so that the

be able to afford a crème-de-la-crème

design system created easily allows for

offering, proper tiering can allow your

growth and extension into future SKUs

most premium tier to provide a “halo

and tiers.

effect” of quality that extends to your

For instance, if you know that after the

other products. This establishes a value

launch of your primary product(s) that

proposition by leveraging the credibility

you may later add a more premium or

earned by your “top shelf” offering, and

limited offering, you should be careful to

applying it to your entire portfolio.

choose a design that is flexible enough

Properly tiering your brand’s offerings

to be extended without risking confusion

will allow consumers to access your brand

with your existing tier(s).

at the tier that fits into their comfort zone,

Even if you’re unsure of your future plans,

leading to greater repurchase rates and

be careful not to pigeonhole yourself with

brand loyalty. Then, as your consumers

a branding solution that is not flexible and

become more sophisticated or when

easily extendable. Although no packaging

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