Craft beer or wine - Who’s leading the race in terms of design and trends?

Posted on December 04, 2017

Let’s be blatant about this – the most important part of wine or craft beer packaging is the label, and that’s a cold hard fact.

The labels job is to stand out from the others on the shelf and get noticed. However, directly after that is should also represent the wine / beer in the bottle, which is then no longer the same thing as simply catching the consumers eye. But how much of a role is craft beer playing in the market place, and how much of an effect are they having in competition of others – and especially the big brands?   

The truth is that things have changed enormously over the last decade – and even more rapid and dramatic changes have been taking place as recently as the last 3 years. There is a distinctive disconnection from traditional and conventional label design and a clear progression towards more modern, playful, bright and in some cases even slightly “risqué” creatives. Though this change in tendency is evident in terms of practically all alcoholic beverages, we somehow seem to notice an even greater migration pattern amongst the craft beer clans… 

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The cause of a knock-on effect... 

The neighbours re-painted their house, so maybe we should too…? But that’s exactly how competition in the market place influences and affects the other. People are really noticing the influx of trendy craft beer labels and these “smaller guys” are beginning to make quite a visible impression at restaurants, pubs and other social places - and the effect is awesome! People are loving the excitement and quality of these newcomers and a (rather hip) trend for “tasting a new beer” has definitely taken off amongst these fans. I can just imagine that the bigger brands must be feeling a slight pinch (if not more) – because if you look around you in a bottle store, pub or restaurant, how many “traditional” brands vs new brands are you seeing? More and more crafters are coming in to play – and the shelf space is only so big…  

In recent research it’s also become evident that amongst the mid 20’s to 40s social circles, taking a variety of new or “undiscovered” craft beers to a braai or other social gathering for all to try has become quite the thing! Why you might ask? – because you look the part sporting your crafties, adding spice to the party and bringing in an exciting topic for conversation! Others are bringing theirs so it’s a game of show and tell, compare and enjoy!  Besides, craft has become  a rather exclusive thing hasn’t it? 

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Therefore, considering what’s just been said, it would be only obvious that the wine guys follow suit – or pick up some pace in the race at least! People have become social media journalists in their own right – they look for things that jump out at them, intrigue them, amuse them - or shock them – whatever is it, it becomes a topic and post and that’s all they need for them to put it out there. Producers on the other hand might need to relook the power of this – the marketing value of what consumers are saying and spreading about their brands and products is likely to pack greater clout than traditional print media! (need we even compare the cost difference?) Why are more labels not encouraging social media interaction? “Selfie with me – post and win?” Just thinking out loud...  

One of the striking – and rather effective trends we’ve noticed of late are wine labels that no longer really look like wine labels – if that makes any sense? They bare less of the “prescribed info” in terms of the distinguishable wine descriptions and could possibly even be the label to a multitude of like-same products! But, regardless, the key is to make your brand impression with something unique or distinguishable – be it a look, style, logo, effect, you name it – but keep the thread between your products linked so that there is a clear similarity to push the brand through all the packaging. We’re talking image driven labels here, and they are the ones that are designed specifically to catch your attention, stir-up conversation or even provoke a little emotion. 

Change is a game with a high prize value. 

Those daring enough to be different are the ones that go out on a limb to grab new market interest. We have seen in some cases (without naming them) how some old and tired brands have re-launched with a new look and have suddenly seen dramatic gains in sales! They were always there before – they just had a little make-over!  

These exciting shifts are rapidly coming into play all around us. The next time you go into the bottle store – take particular notice of how much more shelf-space craft beers now occupy – and then imagine who has sacrificed that space for them to be there? I mean let’s be honest – is there anything more attractive and alluring than new customised labels? In fact, I can safely say, that wine lover or not, these beautiful wine and beer label designs can be enjoyed and admired by all!  

What captures the consumers attention – and what makes a label stand out?  

This is probably a highly debated topic in a boardroom of marketing and design individuals, but fortunately the “recipe to getting it right” is not a complete mystery....  

Things like textured labels and interesting cuts are right up there on the list of powerful impact changes. Multiple labels can also add a special look and feel to the bottle if incorporated in a tasteful manner and will add value to that highly desired “stand out effect”.  Up your game with your back label! More and more consumers take the time to turn the bottle around – especially when there’s not too much given away on the front - and here’s your chance to convince them! Tell a catchy story, share an interesting fact, add complexity, you name it, but use it wisely.  

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Veritas Labels are on it!  

Whichever way you look at it – you need your labels to sell your brand. Whether you require design input or creative support, reliable printing and delivery times, the team at Veritas Labels can – and will assist you! Driven by excellence towards customer and service delivery, you can expect consistent support throughout your labelling needs. We proudly offer state of the art style and printing technology thus we stop at nothing to meet your expectations.  Extensive knowledge, friendly service and fast turnaround time are some of our distinguished qualities.  

For more information or to enquire for about our service, please call us at 021 818 4100 or 082 706 5599.  

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