Page 37




Custom bottles can provide a unique look and add valuable brand benefits, including increased purchase intent and brand loyalty, but brand owners must evaluate the pros and cons before committing to a custom design.


n today’s competitive marketplace craft spirits packaging has to work hard on the retail shelf and on the back bar to attract consumer attention. Custom bottles are a powerful way to achieve this end, especially when finished with complementary packaging components. But brand owners must fully consider the investment of committing to a custom bottle before choosing this path. In the following article, I have outlined the pros and cons every bottle buyer should consider before embarking on a custom bottle design search.

PROS: .PROPRIETARY — BOTTLE AS BRAND ICONOGRAPHY. A proprietary bottle can provide a distinct, iconic look for your brand. Custom glass allows you to leverage unique shapes and the ability to incorporate your branding into the actual bottle mold. Proprietary shapes give cues to the consumer that the product is of superior quality and craftsmanship. Particularly astute brands have chosen bottle shapes that make it easier for their customers to scan for their brands on the shelf and the back bar. Some brands have taken this to its natural end where WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM  

their bottle is actually as much a part of their iconography as their logo or package design, even if the bottle acts as their primary brand communicator. Tanqueray, Crystal Head Vodka, Chambord, Bulleit Bourbon and Samurai Vodka all do this well.

.ANTI-COUNTERFEITING Custom bottles are a powerful anti-counterfeiting measure. The high cost of development, replication difficulty, and hurdles in inventory management provide strong barriers to counterfeiters as opposed to stock glass, which is much more easily accessible. .CUSTOMIZABLE

A custom bottle gives distillers the ability to highlight their product, accentuate its unique attributes, and account for production parameters to ensure their bottle will run smoothly during bottling. The option to use a custom glass bottle to highlight flavor or your product’s main attributes is one of the most underutilized packaging opportunities. Great examples of leveraging a custom glass bottle to accentuate a brand’s main selling points include Smirnoff Twist, which promises fresh fruit flavors, and Finlandia Vodka, which looks ice cold on any shelf.


To maximize a custom bottle, the structure should be designed with the overall packaging in mind. Custom bottles require in-depth coordination between the glass vendor, your designer and the production team. Be sure to allocate plenty of time for development, modifications to drawings, Lucite models, and production samples to ensure proper shape, fit to hand, volume, and bottling line optimization.


While some glass manufacturers may offer staggered production runs or warehousing of back stock not immediately needed, most manufacturers have minimum orders that will require brand owners to store glass beyond their immediate needs. Last minute orders will be difficult, if not impossible, and because of that, many artisan distillers who utilize custom glass choose to warehouse an overstock of bottles to avoid gaps during bottling or increases in orders or distribution.


Prices for custom bottles range greatly depending on where the production


Artisan Spirit: Spring 2016  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.

Artisan Spirit: Spring 2016  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.