Considering re-vamping your wine brand? Then start by reading this article from Fast Company, July 2007. This will convince even the skeptics that packaging is Very Important. Extracts below:

Branding consists of a range of different but strongly interconnected activities that are all geared towards creating a lasting, positive impression in the minds of consumers that will ultimately be good for business. Branding experts like Richard Bates, Senior Partner and Executive Creative Director of the Brand Integration Group (BIG) at Ogilvy & Mather, stress that the branding process is like telling a story, and absolutely everything contributes to the narrative.

Product packaging, though just one part of the process, is considered the most important by many. “Packaging is the number one medium to communicate the brand,” states Laurent Hainaut, founder of design agency, Raison Pure. “You need to pay attention to this area in your branding strategy because it is the first thing someone sees, touches, and essentially buys. Packaging is often more than a medium — it can be part of the product.”

The branding experts who talked to Fast Company seem to unanimously agree that companies that want people to pay a premium for their products need to package them accordingly. But repackaging does not necessarily imply addition or enhancement: “Sometimes it’s about stripping away the layers to discover why a product was successful in the first place, about finding the core element and unleashing it from the burdens of some of its marketing initiatives,” explains Bates.

“Good packaging is the result of good collaboration between marketing, advertising, design, the supply chain and other teams. It is a very complex process that involves several teams and levels of people,” states Hainaut.

“There are several questions that have to be asked,” he adds. “Is the packaging telling the story we need it to tell? Is it telling the right story for the particular category it falls into? Are we using the right language for that category? How can we expect to differentiate our product but also stay true to our brand? How can we differentiate between different products within our own brand? There are various levels of communication, multiple analyses of the kind of messages we want to deliver and the point at which we want to deliver them. These are derived from research, ethnography, qualitative studies, and industry experts.”

By Saabira Chaudhuri.


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