Labels 2 - Worth a thousand words: What a wine label tells your consumer

Ahead of the UK Label Designs report later this week, we look at what a wine label tells your consumer

First impressions are always important, and this is definitely true when it comes to wine labels. While a number of factors often lead to consumer’s final decision when purchasing wine, Wine Intelligence has found that over 1/3 of UK regular wine drinkers say the appeal of the label is an important factor when selecting wine (as reported in UK Landscape Report 2017). The real story, we believe, is that labels also mean something for the other 2/3 of drinkers, but either they are unwilling to admit it, or else it is an unconscious factor in their decision making.

Wine labels are complex beasts.  While they need to convey key information about styles, origin and the brand, they also need to appeal visually to consumers.  Due to the wide variety of wines available, labels need to both stand out from a crowd and tell a story that compels the consumer to look more closely. Labels need to communicate their suitability for certain occasions, tastes and budgets within just a few moments – making it unbelievably important to make this first impression count.

The UK Label Design report, due to be published on Thursday 25 January, seeks to understand exactly what labels appeal to the UK consumer in 2018, four years after our first report on the subject. In order to do this, label design specialist, Amphora, once again helped us to develop 10 labels that best demonstrate the core features of each label category. While some labels are the same as our research in 2014 since they remain central to the wine category, we have introduced the following new categories:

  • ‘Crafted Luxury’ is an elite, opulent and deluxe design, sitting in the more premium price bracket
  • ‘Artisan’ follows the popular trend of hand crafted products, unique to the individual and reflecting the natural world
  • ‘Text’ brings the consumer one step closer to the producer through stories of winemaking, with an authentic ‘seal of approval’ from the winemakers themselves.

Therefore, with these new categories, the 10 label designs tested were Prestigious, Estate, Classic, Vibrant Classic, Crafted Luxury, Simple Elegance, Artisan, Text, Vintage, and Simple Contemporary.  Definitions and examples can be seen below.

Labels - Worth a thousand words: What a wine label tells your consumer

The UK Label Designs report will offer insights into the perceptions of common wine label categories found in the UK market. By looking at the overall attractiveness, perceived quality and occasions each label is suitable for, we were able to fully understand which labels engage consumers. One of our key measures looks at the likelihood to buy each label, allowing regular wine drinkers to really think about their wine purchasing decisions when faced with a choice of 10 labels.

Delving even further into our insights, we have been able to have an in-depth look at significant differences in label preference between gender, age segments and different types of wine drinkers. These findings will also complement our new UK Portraits Report, due to be published within the next few months.

Overall, when it comes to wine labels, our insights suggest that UK regular wine drinkers still seem to love all things simple and traditional. Categories that illustrate heritage and elegance, with only one or two key colours, are the most appealing and most trusted to consumers. Traditional looking labels typically signify brands that have a long history of making wine, who are proud of their heritage, and in turn something consumers often feel they can trust to be of good quality.

Further analysis and insight on label design in the UK market can be found in our bespoke label report due for publication on Thursday 25 January 2018.

Author: Cara Murdoch