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BRAND BUZZ

THE 80/20 RULE FOR SPIRITS BRANDING

WRITTEN BY

DAVID SCHUEMANN

Why consumers purchase packaging over product...

O

ne of the keys to creating successful spirits brands is exceptional packaging. By exceptional, I mean packaging that breaks through the ever-growing crowd of offerings with design that engages consumers on a personal level and compels them to purchase your product over the competition’s. There is no question about it: visually appealing packaging piques our interest, invites trial, and assists our recall of a brand we’ve tried. New research even suggests that packaging informs our quality perception of a product before, during, and after we’ve consumed it.

VISUALLY APPEALING PACKAGING PIQUES OUR INTEREST, INVITES TRIAL, AND ASSISTS OUR RECALL OF A BRAND WE’VE TRIED. If you are skeptical, consider your own experience in a different category. We’ve all been at a restaurant before, trying to decide what to order—you peruse the menu, listen to the waiter describe the specials of the day and then suddenly, your eye catches something amazing passing by on a plate. You weren’t able to taste the food, or perhaps even smell it, but it looked so incredible you chose to order it over your initial selection and the recommendation made by the waiter! Why? The reason is our sense of sight plays a huge role in how our other senses react to things in our environment. In some cases, sight can even override our other senses. Like it or not, we can’t help but judge a book by its cover. Not surprisingly, the same is true of spirits brands. Whether on shelf, photographed on a website, or sitting on a back bar, the look of a product’s packaging plays a large role in our selection process. It informs our quality perception of the product, gives us hints as to how it might taste, communicates the WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM  

price we would expect to pay, and ultimately determines whether we are willing to give it a try over something else. With literally thousands of choices at retail and on back bars to choose from, consumers are faced with a daunting task when selecting a brand for purchase. Simply having a high quality product is no longer good enough to gain a competitive advantage. Product awards, recommendations from trusted sources, advertising and other influences come into play, but these often occur away from the point of purchase and carry little weight when the consumer is making their decision at a store or bar. This truth is what I like to refer to as The 80/20 Rule:

EIGHTY PERCENT OF WHAT A PROSPECTIVE CONSUMER IS USING TO MAKE THEIR PURCHASE DECISION LIES WITH THE VISUAL APPEARANCE OF THE PRODUCT AND ITS RESPECTIVE PACKAGING. Because consumers can’t usually test a product at the point of purchase, they ultimately base their purchase decision on the packaging more than the product product taste and quality, that remaining 20 percent. However, simply standing out by being the loudest, brightest package on the shelf is not the solution. Instead, packaging that appeals to prospective consumers with the following strategies stands a much better chance of success.

STRATEGIC PACKAGING SHOULD:

1

.CLEARLY COMMUNICATE THE APPROPRIATE ATTRIBUTES OF YOUR PRODUCT’S TASTE, QUALITY LEVEL AND PRICE POINT.

Even value brands will benefit from packaging that positions them as a more premium choice than the competition. Packaging your brand so that it clearly communicates flavor

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Artisan Spirit: Winter 2015-16  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.

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