Unit 10 – Self Directed Project: Brief 2 – Research: People Buy the Wine Label, Not the Wine.

People Buy the Wine Label, Not the Wine. Do they?

The Label Itself

If the information searcher wants to build his own impression by going to a shop and reading the labels instead of asking for expertise in journals and specialized shops, it is of extreme importance that the label is striking enough to stick out of the vast amount of bottles surrounding it. Only then is there a chance of the bottle being perceived and eventually purchased. Consequently, a consumer looking for a wine that goes well with fish will be glad to see a fish or the picture of a fish dish printed on the labels, thus sparing him to read all the information on the back label, mostly written in very small letters.

In picture 8 I give an example for a bottle of ordinary Spanish red wine that is pepped up with a recipe of a traditional dish of that region, “Castillan-Style Paprika Chicken”. You can find a picture of the finished dish on the front label and the recipe on the back label. Both labels can be easily peeled off so you can even collect the recipe. Picture 8: Front and back label of a Sainsbury`s Tempranillo 1998 red wine (Madrid, Spain)

It doesn’t look very arty, but gives practical information and thereby gains a competitive advantage.

The quintessence of the stage of information search is to grab the consumer’s attention. One of the simplest strategies therefore is to design unusual or funny labels – even though the strategy is simple, the realization might be difficult. Some labels try to be funny, but aren’t. See the following examples to get an impression of how marketers and designers try to reach their aim.


As a conclusion, at this stage of the process the marketer has to provide information when and where consumers are likely to search. Therefore, it is crucial to use marketing strategies striking enough to gain the individuals attention. This aim can be reached by advertising and by creating eye-catching labels, adequate type lettering as well as shapes and colours of bottles.

For the majority of consumers, the design of a wine bottle consisting of the label, typography and shape and colour, indeed will be a good help in their decision. As mentioned before, a consumer is quite impressionable during the decision process.

But if you are part of the majority of wine-drinkers, you will feel quite lost when you look at the array of wine in the supermarket shelves and think to yourself: “Isn’t it just grape-juice, after all?” It is exactly then that you have to build up an opinion in order to come to a decision and therefore you’ll gratefully rely on every help you can get – a well designed label is one.

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