What Wine and Spirits Brands Can Borrow from ‘Unboxing’

In the wine and spirits categories, it’s not enough to simply bottle your liquid in a glass container. Yes, the bottle has a function. But if you aim to elevate your brand and drive sales, it has to be more than functional.

The bottle needs to wow the consumer

On the shelf, a wine or spirits bottle has three key roles beyond merely containing the product:

1)  It must catch the consumer’s attention. On a crowded retail shelf stocked with similar products, a unique bottle design prompts curiosity and invites exploration.

2) It must prompt them to pick up the product. A beautiful bottle design almost demands to be picked up. We know that consumers use their hands to evaluate what they buy because tactile engagement with an item increases the likelihood that they’ll buy what they touch. We, humans, are wired to physically interact with beautiful objects.

3) It must connect with consumers on an emotional level. Once they’ve taken hold of the bottle and taken it off the shelf, how do they engage with it? This moment is your brand’s most powerful opportunity to share your story with the consumer. It’s like they’ve taken a book off a bookshelf and begun paging through — how does the bottle itself, along with the label and other embellishments, tell the story of your brand’s quality, origin, and history?

Designing a More Beautiful Bottle

So yes, the bottle is a container. It has to meet certain specifications: capacity, durability, production requirements, and the like.

For brands pursuing a luxury or premium position, though, a standard bottle is inadequate.

Today, more and more wine and spirits companies are investing in well-designed packaging — including bespoke bottles — to elevate their brands.

Competition is fiercer than ever. Here’s what you need to consider as you bring your product to market.

How can the package communicate to the consumer that the product is truly special?

When a client came to us seeking a package for an extraordinarily limited-edition run — just 75 bottles produced — we knew the bottle had to be as exceptional as the spirit.

We designed a bottle that was handmade of high-temperature ceramic. In a nod to the name, 
Filigree Gin
, we designed a filigree pattern that adorns the top of the bottle and the cap, all fabricated using age-old artisan techniques and plated in gold.

From the gold-plated bottle to the gorgeous artwork adorning it, there’s no mistaking that this is a super premium spirit.

How can we truly stand out in a sea of similar products?

Creating a distinctive and cutting-edge bottle requires a bit of courage. The brands we work with pay careful attention to the product itself: sourcing the best ingredients, creating innovative flavor profiles, aging the wine or spirit until it’s just right. Your product has a distinctive character; nothing else is like it. Why wouldn’t you expend the same effort to bottle it beautifully?

How does the bottle tell your brand story?

Your package is your single best opportunity to tell your consumer about the history and values of your brand. Our client Dutch45 had an appealing brand story — that this Caribbean Golden Rum was discovered by a legendary adventurer who traveled the world seeking the finest spirits.

We designed a bottle that featured a classic biplane against a beautiful sky. The label includes a compass rose, which we enhanced with a resin disc that stands out from the bottle and captures the eye.

How do all elements work together to create that "WOW" factor?

Every aspect of the packaging needs to work together with a common aesthetic.

A gorgeous label on an off-the-shelf bottle or a beautiful custom bottle with an ordinary label creates a dissonance that confuses the customer. Is this product great, or not?

In addition, consider decorative elements that enhance the package: medallions or other embellishments, the seal or capsule, decoration of the bottle with gradients or painting, embossing and debossing, and more.

Creating an exceptional wine or spirits package is both art and science. With plenty of experience in the field, we’ve gained a sensibility and understanding of what works and what’s beautiful. Let’s talk about your packaging project!

Book a discovery call today!

Let’s create something beautiful.

A complete Guide to spirits packaging design

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