Bottle colours - Shades of judgement

How changing the colour of packaging can boost likelihood to buy

This year I persuaded my friends to play our annual soccer game wearing all black. Part of the decision was to hide our expanding waistlines, part of it because published research suggests that teams wearing black tend to be more focused and little bit more aggressive.

Did it make a difference? Well, it’s hard to judge. A proper scientific study would require repeating the game with different colours to try to isolate the colour effect which is practically impossible to do for us (especially as we become older and the injury excuses increase).

Thankfully for us, testing the impact of label colour preference in wine is more achievable using our Vinitrac® survey platform we use to gather the views of wine consumers around the world. To test the effect of label colour we just need to select a fictitious bottle and create alternative versions of it. Exactly the same wine, 7 different colours in our test.

We ran a Vinitrac® survey of 900 consumers across eight American states (who were all habitual spenders of over $10 on a bottle of wine) and we asked them to rate each bottle in terms of:

1. Attractiveness: how attractive they found each label

2. Price expectations: How much would they be prepared to pay for the wine?

3. Likelihood to buy: How likely would they be to buy the wine?



Bottle colours - Shades of judgement



So does label colour significantly impact consumer’s attitudes towards a wine?

The answer: definitely.

The bottles above are sorted by how attractive US consumers found them (the most attractive on the left, least attractive on the right). Nearly 75% of consumers found Red Concept attractive vs. just half for Grey Concept. So a quarter of the market can find you more attractive (or cease to find you attractive) just by changing the colour on the label. (A slightly random but possibly relevant corollary: research conducted in dating sites also found that people wearing red were found more attractive**).

Our research suggests that simply changing a packaging colour can explain a 22% increase in “intent to purchase” and an increase of $0.50 of expected price (comparing Red vs. Grey).

One of the initial hypotheses was that Black Concept would do very well in price expectation, as this is often considered a “premium” colour – but this turned out not to be the case at all. Also noticeable is that Blue Concept, a colour normally not considered appropriate for wine, was significantly seen as more attractive than Orange, Black, Green or Grey. Also Blue was significantly more likely to be purchased by US consumers than Green or Grey in our test which somehow contradicts conventional wisdom.

We all know there is much more in a label (and indeed the wine) than just its colour. A good label not only needs to be attractive but also needs to clearly communicate a set of values and intentions, it needs to help consumer understand what is inside the bottle, when and how to use the wine and most importantly reassure the buyer that they made a good choice. But in addition we now know how much consumer perception can differ just by changing one thing: the colour of the label.

We invite you to test how your designs perform with target consumers using our Vinitrac® survey platform.

*In case you were wondering, we won the game with a last-minute goal

** As cited in the interesting book: Adam Alter, Drunk Tank Pink

Author: Juan Park