Bottle shapes with blank labels 01 300x300 - Labels - how does yours compare?

The most recent survey on label preferences continues to improve our industry benchmark for label design

How can you measure the “success” of a wine label? What counts as a “job well done” in the world of bottle aesthetics, so deeply imbued with subtle symbolism that resonates differently with each wine drinker? As explained in a previous article, the Wine Intelligence Label Norm attempts to set an industry standard for label aesthetics. It uses our Vinitrac® survey platform to ask consumers to rate each label on attractiveness, likelihood to buy and expected price. 24 bottles (12 red, 12 white) were carefully selected to represent three different price brackets as well as popular, well-known brands and unknown, niche brands.

2013 vs 2016

While our latest survey further solidifies our existing benchmark, it also illustrates some trends in the US economy. The latest norms for US consumers, surveyed from a sample of >1800, show developments compared to the 2013 survey. Some measures remained largely the same: the average attractiveness (those who rated a bottle as attractive or very attractive) rose from 52% in 2013 to 56% in 2016, an increase best explained by the revised selection of bottles tested. Price expectations rose on average from $14.84 (2013) to $15.28 (2016), an increase which is broadly in line with inflation.

A more significant difference, however, was evident in the likelihood to buy: respondents were asked what the likelihood of buying each wine would be if the price was right. Those answering “likely” or “very likely” increased from 45% in 2013 to 56% in 2016, a surprising increase.

While this jump may again be explained through the different set of bottles tested, a more intriguing explanation takes into account the growing confidence of US consumers, which has increased substantially since 2013. As other sources by Trading Economics and the Wall Street Journal have suggested, improved job perspectives have boosted confidence in US consumers for 2016 – the 2013 survey, on the other hand, still clung on to the doldrums of recession. In other words: aesthetically, consumers rate labels similarly now as in 2013, but they have become more willing to part with their money for a bottle of wine.

Furthermore, 48% are likely or very likely to buy unknown, niche brands, a tendency which rises to 53% for well-known, popular brands. Although US consumers are on the whole an adventurous bunch (56% enjoy trying new and different styles of wine on a regular basis), they still show a slim preference for popular brands over unknown ones.

Our Vinitrac® survey platform gives increasingly nuanced insights into label performance. Please contact Tetyana Halutva if you are interested in knowing how your label compares to the average.


Author: Lucas Frost