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The effectiveness of packaging design

The results of a recent readership survey by on the effectiveness of packaging design in the alcoholic beverages sector revealed that a reassuring 86% of producers considered packaging design “very important” to their drinks brand. The remaining 14% said it was “important” – noone considered it unimportant.

Approximately 70% of these respondents represented the spirits sector, 20% wine and 10% beer, and almost 75% of these brand owners had launched a new product or brand extension in the last year.

Asked how often they redesigned their brand’s packaging 12% said every year, 70% every 2-5 years with 68% of these having employed a design agency. Half of these brand owners said the agency chosen was one that was locally situated, 19% used a national agency and 31% an international agency.

When it came to the actual packaging suppliers, 76% said they relied on their usual suppliers, while 24% had sourced new packaging suppliers.

Who appointed these suppliers? Nearly half the brand owners said they decided on the packaging suppliers themselves, 18% left it to the designer agency, and 38% agreed it was a joint decision between brand owner and designer.

Sales increase

Asked whether a redesign of their brand had increased sales there was a 100% YES response. In domestic sales, respondents said they’d had a remarkable 91% increase in sales and, in travel retail, a 63% increase. Via their own websites or visitor centres sales had gone up a healthy 54%.

Finally, asked to outline the most important decision they had taken in the redesign of their brand, the following is a snapshot of the replies:

  • Making sure the new design increases the perceived value of the product
  • Keeping the brand's character by updating the image
  • Making an evolutionary rather than revolutionary change
  • Ensuring the design concept matched the brand concept
  • Creating differentiation on the shelf
  • Emphasising ‘craft made’
  • Having a point of difference
  • Having a clear understanding of the consumer’s shopping needs when deciphering the product hierarchy of brand, flavours and taste
  • Retaining brand recognition
  • Making the brand more personable
  • Keeping brand consistency and quality

Pictured Top: Spring Design Partnership bottle design for Brooklyn gin - winners of World's Best Design Agency and World's Best Gin Design
Pictured Above: Blue Marlin design studio

18 March 2014 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor