Message on a Bottle: What Impression does your Packaging Give?

product-packaging-affects-customer-perception-of-qualityI’m not much of a wine drinker. Every once in a while, I’ll take a sip to see what all the fuss is about, but in general I’m content to sip on club soda or the occasional iced tea.

But that doesn’t mean wine doesn’t interest me. It captures my imagination. I read tasting notes and wine reviews with strongly conflicting emotions. Fascination that someone can tease out so many different tastes and aromas. Admiration at the descriptive language. Jealousy that I’m missing out on such an amazing sensory experience. Skepticism that the experience even exists.

As it turns out, the skepticism is probably warranted. There’s plenty of documentation that wine tastings and ratings yield inconsistent results.  

But that’s nothing compared to a study where the same wine, the same exact liquid, is served out of two different bottles, one a bottle with a high-end label and the other a bottle of table wine.  The wine from the fancy bottle was praised, while the same wine from the low-end bottle was bashed.

And that’s where wine gives us its greatest lesson…

It’s what’s on the outside that counts.

Of course, no one likes to hear that. We all grew up hearing the opposite, that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, that who we are on the inside is all that really matters.

On a personal level, I believe that. But from a marketing standpoint, it all starts with the outside package. Your brand, your logo, your website, your sales materials, your social media interactions. Those create an expectation, good or bad, that will shape how your new customers view their experiences with you.

Of course, you can’t just skate by on a fancy label if you’re selling rotgut. Customers will see through that eventually. But it’s just as important to remember that even a fine wine can’t overcome the stigma of a bad label.

So take a close look at your bottle, at what you do, and how you talk about yourself.  Does the label match the wine?

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