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Judging a Wine by its Label

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Judging a Wine by its Label

WinelabelA couple of weeks ago, Mike Carter reported on his Serious About Wine blog about a new study that was published last month in the Journal of Marketing.  Titled "Holistic Package Design and Consumer Brand Impressions", the main finding of the study is that yes, we do in fact judge a wine (and many other products) by its label. Many studies have been done that have emphasized the importance of the label and packaging in wine and any other retail products, but this study went a step further. It tried to get answers to exactly how we are judging the packaging, and what factors are influencing our judgments. The authors of the study, two marketing professors (one from Oregon and one from Germany), photographed 160 wine bottles. Then they showed these photos to 125 graphic designers to analyze the aesthetic attributes of each bottle. They sorted the designs into five primary design types: massive (or bold), contrasting, natural, delicate and nondescript. Then they showed the bottles to 268 consumers in Oregon, asking 15 questions about each bottle's brand personality. Not limiting the study to just wine, the researchers repeated the analysis with photos of 120 fragrance bottles. The results of the study will assist brand managers in selecting or modifying package and label design for achieving desired consumer responses to their products. For example, the label pictured here for Wine by Joe is categorized as a massive design, and people found these designs eye-catching but they expected the product to be lacking in sophistication and to be less expensive. If you are interested in learning more about this study you can read the full report here.