Eight Tips for Using Custom Wine Labels Effectively

by Maverick Label | April 15, 2014

Eight Tips for Using Custom Wine Labels Effectively  

Everyone has heard the old adage about not judging a book by its cover, but if people are honest with themselves, they will admit that the images accompanying a product can have a huge impact on whether or not it is an appealing purchase. This is especially true for vineyards, which face fierce competition for consumers’ attention; estimates for the number of wines available in the U.S. range from 7,000 to 15,000, with over $40 billion in total retail value. These numbers indicate that there is a lot of competition between brands and labels ...

but also incredible incentive to establish an effective custom wine labels campaign that will draw in consumers.

Here are a few things that vineyards may want to consider when deciding what types of custom wine labels they wish to use.

Custom Wine Labels

1. Develop a Brand Image to Accompany High-Quality Wines  

Branding is a powerful tool in any company’s marketing arsenal, and is particularly effective when it is used to reflect high quality standards for a product. If a vineyard can develop a memorable brand image, then pair it with great wines, it is easy for consumers to mentally associate a company’s name with a positive experience. This results in repeat business, and can help vineyards establish solid customer bases.

2. Identify Important Demographics, and Tailor Wine Labels to Them  

American vineyards often need to branch out beyond their home states in order to see real gains in business. This is a huge growth opportunity for these companies, but it must also be done with careful deliberation; many wine experts agree that adequate time and resources must be devoted to identify target demographics and tailor marketing campaigns to those groups’ specific tastes. For example, vineyards that are hoping to tap into the huge buying power of consumers in their mid-twenties to late-thirties may wish to create amusing custom wine labels that rely on jokes and quirky names. Companies trying to target baby boomers, on the other hand, might find it beneficial to use classic custom wine labels designs that recall traditional European vintages. By understanding their target demographics and customizing their wine labels to those groups, vineyards can see exponential growth in their out-of-state sales.

3. Provide Useful Information

Wine selection can be confusing, particularly to novice drinkers. Vineyards that provide one or two snippets of useful information on the back of their labels can help these consumers better understand what they are purchasing. Some wines, for example, are named for their regions of origin; champagne can only be called by that name if it is from the Champagne region of France. There is very little difference between champagne and sparkling wine, and U.S. vineyards that produce the latter may benefit from informing consumers of that fact, as customers who had been looking for champagne may then be more inclined to purchase a sparkling wine from an American vineyard.

4. Make Your Labels Appealing to Collectors  

Many wine connoisseurs enjoy collecting labels. For some this is simply a fun hobby, but others save them for tracking purposes, keeping them in wine journals to help them remember their impressions of a particular bottle and vintage. Removing these custom wine labels was once an easy task, but modern methods of adhering them to bottles has made this a little more difficult. Some vineyards have responded to this by trying to make their labels easier to peel off, and others have opted to make one corner removable. Those who choose the latter option will usually tailor their label design so that this corner provides all the information a wine collector would need, such as the vineyard, year and wine name. Vineyard executives who find this idea appealing should address it specifically with their label designers.

5. Invest in Striking Designs

Regardless of whether your vineyard opts for silly or classic images and naming conventions, you must be sure that your custom wine labels always make a statement. The image on a wine bottle is the advertisement for its contents, and must carry a deliberate message. One of the worst mistakes a vineyard can make is to expend a great deal of effort in producing a great-tasting wine, only to slap an inappropriate label on as an afterthought. If a label makes no impression, it will easily become lost in the sea of competition on the store shelf, so it is of the utmost importance that vineyards make decisions about its labels’ desired marketing message, and be decisive in its execution.

6. Check Out the Competition

While in the process of creating the right custom wine labels for their vineyard, decision-makers may find it beneficial to take a stroll through the aisles of their favorite supermarkets’ liquor section. They may want to note not only what their eyes finds appealing, but what designs seem to draw other shoppers. Internalizing this anecdotal data may help vineyard owners and executives determine what kind of message they want their wine labels to deliver.

7. Experiment Freely

There are some great digital printing label companies out there that will produce custom wine labels with low minimum orders, so there is no need to shy away from experimentation. Do not be afraid to do a number of trial runs with your wines, using different labels in various supermarkets and liquor stores. Thoroughly documenting the marketing performance of each label provides valuable research data to vineyard executives, who can use that information to produce increasingly effective labeling designs.

8. Don’t Rest On Your Laurels

Just because their wines are selling well does not mean that vineyards should stop putting any thought into their labels. The wine market is expanding and constantly changing, and all indicators seem to point to a future of increased competitors. If a vineyard’s labeling campaign is successful, it is important for decision-makers to revisit it regularly to determine why this is so, and whether these designs will continue to be relevant in the coming years.

The number of vineyards is constantly increasing, and the easiest way to get lost in the crowd is to fail to create effective custom wine labels that speak to the right demographics. Vineyards cannot simply rely on their products to sell themselves; they must strive to create memorable labeling campaigns that will leave an impression on prospective buyers. Companies that invest appropriately in these efforts often reap the benefit of increased sales and continued growth.   See our custom wine labels category for more information