Take a quick walk through the beer aisle of your local Liquor Store and you’ll see that beer labels aren’t what they used to be!
In recent years, beer bottle labels, cans, and boxes have evolved from boring, plain, logo-ridden designs, to pieces of art. And it’s no fad, coincidence, or mistake. Yes, the big brewers still stick to their “classic” labels with a logo plastered in the middle. But the local, craft, niche beers are pushing the envelope and moving the entire industry forward one six-pack at a time.
The market shows that these small batch brewers are taking as much shelf space as they can get their hands on, and they’d take more if they could get it. And on those shelves they know that bold, unique, and beautiful packaging can help make the difference between a sale and a pass during the in-store experience. The taste of the beer and the drinking experience may lead to repeat purchases, but if we can point to a major decision making factor in the first purchase process, it is packaging.
We know that beer is a product that people most identify with having a good time. Whether it’s a big party, or a single beer with friends at dinner, consumers want to identify the product they’re buying with the experience they expect to have. So it stands to reason that a fun, exciting, and impressive design on the label or can would influence their initial purchasing decision.
We also know, in this era of social media over-sharing, that unique and interesting packaging is more likely to be shared, liked, and commented on in social networks. The consumer who purchases the beer and snaps a photo for Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat has instantly become a brand influencer, and may have just sold another six-pack for you to one of their friends. But those photos don’t happen if the packaging doesn’t earn them.
In the last 30 months, Blade has had the opportunity to work with Ramblin’ Road Brewery Farm on the naming and packaging design for the Dakota Pearl Ale (DPA), Pure Bred, and IPA Unleashed brews, and each time we’ve ventured to create something that would stand out from the crowd, express the individual beer’s qualities, and represent the Ramblin’ Road brand. The results have been loved by consumers and the online brand community, increasing brand awareness, and sales for the client.
As the beer market becomes more cluttered with independent brews, we expect to see the trend of creatively designed packaging continue. And we plan to be right there at the forefront of the movement!