3/09 MEININGER’S WBI                        M A R K E T W AT C H                                                  IMMERSED...
3/09 MEININGER’S WBI                                                                                                      ...
3/09 MEININGER’S WBI                        M A R K E T W AT C H                                                          ...
07/07yvydy.                 imagine               a butterfly         Free to flutter among France’s         celebrated wi...
3/09 MEININGER’S WBI                        M A R K E T W AT C H                       the portfolio that we took to Sydne...
3/09 MEININGER’S WBI                                                                                                      ...
3/09 MEININGER’S WBI                        M A R K E T W AT C H                                                          ...
Wine and design
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Wine and design


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How wineries around the world project their label design. Interesting tips and different marketing strategies ideas.

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Wine and design

  1. 1. 3/09 MEININGER’S WBI M A R K E T W AT C H IMMERSED IN DESIGN The first contact a consumer usually has with a wine is through the label, which means that design matters. We spoke to three design firms about their very different philosophies. Here, Massimiliano Hangler from SGA in Italy outlines their approach. S GA is an Italian brand and packaging label. We give the customers a piece of the From old pictures we saw that the main char- design agency with a focus on the wine winery experience. The communication is acteristic of that firm was that a train could and spirits business. Founded 25 years true, so the customer finds on the label what stop in front of it. There were oak barriques ago by art directors with backgrounds in both he finds on the ground of the winery. The all over the front of the company, so we art and corporate design, the agency’s aesthet- important thing is to be true to the customer linked the handwriting with the two first let- ic links corporate branding to artistic expres- and to express something that is clearly dif- ters ‘E’ and ‘S’ in the brand. We wanted the sion. SGA mostly works for Italian companies, ferent from competitors. When we start to design to give some fresh energy to the sales but has done some work for companies in the work on the project, we get all the bottles and force, as well, because they are so important. USA. Clients include Bellavista, Campari, GIV, design labels of the main competitors. The They took the new brand all over Europe. We Berlucchi, Gaja, Valdo, Fontana Fredda and main advantage is to avoid copying, but also do not have precise sales figures, because Ferrari, among many others. to understand how much you can stand out the company is listing on the stock exchange The agency’s philosophy is ‘give shape to from the rest of the labels. and can’t give numbers, but they said there value’, which is our motto. When we begin was an improvement in sales and orders The importance of story working with a winery, we go there and around six months after the new image speak to the winemaker and try to under- We have a lot of experience in the wine was presented. It also won a prize at Vinitaly stand the winery’s soul. I am not speaking market and understand the vineyard lan- last year. about ‘mission’ and ‘vision’ and all those guage. Piedmont has a label language, Because we want to create value, we also marketing words, but about understanding Tuscany has another label language. You did a document that explained how the how the winemaker lives his wines, how he have to be part of this, but if you only use image was built. This was to we give the core wants to get on the market and how his cus- that language, you will not stand out from team the idea of the project, because in wine, tomers approach his wines and the category. the crowd. For example, we rebranded a narrating a story is very important. After doing this, we usually get the concept. Piedmont winery, Enrico Serafino, for Everybody needs a story, that’s clear. If you From our point of view, there is no difference Campari. It had a typical Piedmont look, but have got an interesting story founded on the in approach to Old World and New World. The it was old fashioned, so the market got bored. winery’s history and you can show what the important thing for us is to express what the Campari began to rebuild the quality of the winery did to improve its quality, it lets peo- wine is. product and we rebuilt the imagery. We ple get in touch with something authentic. When we visit, we talk with a lot of people. searched in their cellar and found a letter There are many quality wines out there, Afterwards we try and extract elements from from the first owner. We used that to rebuild so it is important that they each bring some- that experience. In one case, Cerettos the wine’s image. We designed a font based thing different. Our clients are very happy Grappa, we found a church in the vineyards on the handwriting in the letter and also when we give their wine some additional that had an artistic work that was very focused on some elements of the region, value, to help express the quality of the colourful. We used the same colours for the Roero; it’s like Barolo but it’s a new one. wine. When the bottle goes into the sales 24
  2. 2. 3/09 MEININGER’S WBI DESIGNchannel, there is no one supporting it, but with the winemaker and we told them tothey know that the product can speak for create a team to express the winery. Thisitself. main thing with this winery is that they try to have as little impact on the environmentArchetypes as possible. They are biodynamic. At the To create a long-term relationship end, we collected all of the art papers andbetween the customer, the bottle and the chose teams to express what the winemakerwinery, we try to introduce some uncon- is doing with his wines. When you see thescious elements into the label that can speak pictures, you will see there are two arche-to the customer. We use archetypes; we did typal elements: the circle and the square.some cultural research and found out that The circle is an archetype of the sky and it SGA believe that the label has tothere are shapes that people all over the can also express the continuity of nature. express the core of the winery’sworld associate with the same things. So This means if you are biodynamic you unique personality.when people see a square label or a square respect the environment and have a circularshape, they associate it with the earth. If you life – if you use a lot of chemicals, on theare talking about vineyards, you can use a other hand, you cannot have circularsquare shape to tell them there is a deep link growth, because you will have to keep onwith the earth. using chemicals or have no fruit. So you see, We worked on a bottle of Tosti, which is a these labels have three levels. The first issparkling wine. We shaped the bottle so it that they are nice to see, because they havehad a belly on it. The reason we chose that art work on them; the second is that theyshape is the bottle was going to be sold all express nature. In nature there are fourover the world and the belly can be found themes: the ground, the wine plant, theeverywhere. You can see it in ancient objects wine maker and the wine itself. For thethat have been found in Africa. Everyone is ground the artists work was about putting a interesting story to tell, because when youfamiliar with the archetype. We shaped the stone on a paper and to brush it, so we got a talk about how the artists worked, you arelabel around the bottle so when these bottles label with an image of the ground that gave proving that we are really authentic. In thego on the shelf, there is always unconscious birth to the wine. The second label has a end they went with the label and the resultcommunication between the customer and stylized vine leaf on it. The third step is that was that they sold out.the product. you can find the handprints of the wine- What not to do Another project we did was with Alois maker on the label. This is a very modernLageder from Trentino, which had an old- design and it replaced a very old design. The most common mistake is copying. Iffashioned product line with old-fashioned The export manager was afraid to put this you go to a territory like Piedmont and visitlabels. In this case, we organised a contest wine on the US market and also on the maybe two or three of the wineries whichwith modern artists; we brought them Italian one, because it was a break from the have no conception of branding, marketingaround the winery, we made them speak past. But in this case the label had a very or design, you see they look the same. Maybe they have looked at each other, or The shape of the Tosti bottle is looked at the leader, to get their design ele- based on an ancient archetype ments, but in doing this they are only found around the world. working for the leader. They are reinforc- ing the leader’s ideas. Another very com- mon mistake is to try and design some- thing so new and unusual that is has no substance behind it. The third mistake is making a very nice design when the wine itself is not so good. Sometimes for the international market we are asked to design different labels for secondary lines. In this case, you can choose to design a label to be seen as typi- Above: The square cally ‘Italian’ and many do this. But nobody suggests the earth. will remember your label or your brand, Right: because you have made yourself into just Massimiliano Hangler, another Italian wine. So even on the inter- accounts executive, national market, we still prefer to design in SGA, Italy such a way that it expresses the winery. I 25
  3. 3. 3/09 MEININGER’S WBI M A R K E T W AT C H DESIGN JUST ADD WINE Some of our briefs are from established wineries and established products and they want something based on heritage, but every brief is different. More often than not if you One New World design firm, Australian company Just have a meeting of minds and they like your Add Wine, designs not only labels and packaging, but thought process, you can build a good also the entire wine brand concept. Owner and director rapport and working relationship. But people Barbara Harkness explains their unique approach. in the wine industry aren’t marketers and don’t know what they’re looking for and you J ust Add Wine was founded in 2000 to and the intellectual property, so all they have to feed them an idea and get them to help producers who are targeting the needed to do was add wine. fall in love with it. We could get a big brief wine export market, when director and from a corporate company that has guide- Credibility is all owner Barbara Harkness created a portfolio lines that are so specific that the label of off-the-shelf ideas to show producers. One Wine sales used to be about the produc- almost designs itself. The most interesting idea, bought by Casella Wines, has gone er’s name, but then came the trend to attract projects are for the boutique producers, down in wine history as one of the biggest customers by doing something better than because you’re designing for their vineyard brands of all time – [yellow tail]. Just Add the bottle next to it, which became a game in and creating a whole new story. I had a client Wine also refreshes and designs for existing the end. That’s been pushed to the Nth recently who bought a vineyard in Tasmania brands, including McWilliams, Majella and degree, with people finding more and more and they had inherited a name which had McGuigan. Today the company has four clever ideas to use to sell wine. We’ve been some value. We couldn’t get to the vineyard designers and works with companies all over through the gimmicky time of coloured bot- but, after all, a vineyard’s a vineyard, so I the world. tles and so on, but in the end everything worked on the idea of selling Tasmania as a Just Add Wine was the result of comes back to credibility. Coloured bottles tourism destination. We created a whole new ten years experience of working and Tetrapaks are not perceived identity for the existing name which had no with boutique producers in as the real thing. It’s the label links to the old label. Sometimes the baby is Australia. I started in 1990 and by that has to do all the work, so ugly you need to throw it out with the the year 2000 I had seen a lot though you can use it to get new bath water. changes in the industry and real- ideas across. People will respond [yellow tail] ized that the consumer was to a quirky label. Trends at the being more attracted to labels moment? Right now I am see- We have off-the-shelf concepts which we than to the boutique producers ing a lot of producers going design ourselves and then sell to companies. themselves. My producers conservative. Nobody wants We came up with our concept for [yellow needed an avenue to get their to take a gamble in the cur- tail] by designing to our heart’s content. wines to the export markets, rent climate (except that the Brand Australia and, I guess, the kangaroo so I came up with the idea of conservative path may also are the most iconic things that Australia has. creating the wine name, as be a gamble!) I still think, We decided to use a kangaroo but a ‘Yellow well as the label and the ancil- however, there is room at Tail’ is also a variety of fish, and a black lary products that go with it. the commodity level with cockatoo parrot. It’s simply a very memo- The idea was that clients good quality wine which rable name which we came up with after a would get the name, the label still makes a profit. brainstorming session. That design was in Above: The Moore’s Hill label is as all about Tasmania, the region, not the vineyard. Right: Barbara Harkness, founder of Just Add Wine Far right: one of the most successful brands in wine history, [yellow tail]. Left: Port Lincoln is renowned for its tuna farms. Below: Back to the classics. 26
  4. 4. 07/07yvydy. imagine a butterfly Free to flutter among France’s celebrated winemaking regions, alighting only on the finest, most aromatic grapes... Such is the inspiration behind Chamarré, offering only the best of what France’s vineyards have to offer. For more information, please contact OVS on +33 1 40 20 04 70 or www.chamarre.com
  5. 5. 3/09 MEININGER’S WBI M A R K E T W AT C H the portfolio that we took to Sydney. The con- cept was shown to Casella’s marketing man- ager in an airport meeting as we flew in to Sydney and the brand manager flew out to the USA to meet with their distributors. It was also showcased to others during that initial trip and although betrothed to Casella, we could have sold it many times over. Every producer loved it and saw the potential. Coming up with ideas like this is the way the industry is evolving. There are a lot of virtual vineyards in the wine industry today, where people don’t have actual land holdings, and this is where the off-the-shelf concept really works. Sometimes people end up with labels that have no association with the producer, but often there is an ele- ment that will connect with their need and then we develop it further. The design is a starting point. We offer three design categories: classic, Heavy Metal and Higher Octave were named icons. These wines are now sold in duty free modern and lifestyle. One category, classic, by marketing guru Mark Cashmore for in Australia. Above right: a classy look for a reflects what the market is like at the Hungerford Hill, to capitalise on Sydney’s flagship wine. moment. We never used to offer this, as we were more about innovation. We have had a lot of enquiries for label designs going into then the importer came back to us with a dif- en by the emotive connections to the label, China. They want European-looking design, ferent want. This time, they didn’t want to go because they have so much to choose from. as they perceive this to be more credible and the Brand Argentina route. They bought a Every week you can find dozens of new expensive. They say the Chinese don’t concept off the shelf and said there was no brands you’ve never seen before on the wine understand modern design and they want need to sell Argentina as a commodity wine. shelves. It’s incredible. But at the same time, French or Italian, so they ask for classic These days people don’t really care where the there are very few credible products around. white labels with a little bit of gold foil. But wine comes from and they see New World There are too many virtual vineyards and this is the starting point, with the introduc- wines in general as having anything on the I find that frustrating, because not having tion of wine. There will be an emerging wine label. With this concept they didn’t even put real producers on the shelves makes the generation in China eventually. ‘Wine of Argentina’ on the front. wine industry lose credibility. Critter wines? I have very mixed feelings Most of my clients don’t have the same We don’t design for specific demograph- about them, because I probably helped label in the different markets. [yellow tail] is ics. It’s hard to do and you shouldn’t anyway, invent the category. I know that the the exception, but even that doesn’t work as because you’re eliminating people you could Australian wine industry is trying to reposi- well in the UK as it does in the USA. Very sell to. Women don’t want to be targeted tion itself in the world market but it’s a hard few people have the same labels across all specifically because it’s an insult to our sen- task because they’ve denoted that they’re countries. This makes naming a real issue, sibilities. And why cut out the male popula- about happy, cheap and cheerful wine. I in trying to find one that hasn’t been trade- tion anyway? don’t have an answer to that and I don’t marked worldwide. I sometimes get these briefs where they know how Australia is going to reposition Things that bother me? Really dumb want a label to target women specifically. Im itself overnight as it would like to do, names that somehow make Australia look chosen for the job because I’m a woman and because the consumer will continue to buy stupid and make the wine producers look they think I can hit the market, whereas I commodity level wine whether the producers stupid as well. That’s what I hate the most think we should be getting back to more like it or not. about new products I see in the marketplace, credible labels that relate to the producer. because they denigrate the whole industry. I We should be getting that authenticity New directions think the name is the most important part of across. The first designs we did for Argentina the package and the imagery has to relate to I guess my challenge for the future of espoused Brand Argentina, so we used funky the name, preferably in a quirky fun sense. designing is still being innovative with wine llamas, tango dancers, gauchos and the There are labels out there that are just trying labels, and a creator of ideas. The wine label Andean mountains to promote this genre. too hard at the innovative price point (sub is the producer’s face to the world, the Those labels lasted about five years and then $10). There is so much choice out there that designer is simply the link, and it is our task ran their course and only one survived. But the new consumer is always going to be driv- to connect to the consumer. I 28
  6. 6. 3/09 MEININGER’S WBI DESIGN THE FRENCH CONNECTIONMajor French company Autajon is a leader, not just in thewine and spirits category, but also in perfume and cosmeticsdesign and packaging. Sales director Alain Courbière revealshow that informs their unique approach.A utajon, founded in 1965 by the father of look for a very traditional French label and current CEO Gérard Autajon, has made others want something new. What we’ll do is The old label of Château de a name for itself in pharmaceutical and go to a given market, go to the agent or Couspaude (above) not only hascosmetics packaging. Its head office is in importer and work with hand-in-hand with a lot of writing, but the sketch ofMontélimar, France but the company has them. The importers know their market and the château is less defined andbranches through Europe and one in the US. so are in the best position to know what busy. The new label is what theyFifteen percent of Autajon’s business is dedi- works, rather than us doing a market study. call in French ‘purified’, that is,cated to wine and spirits labelling, with print- the label has had all the ‘busy- Consumer momentsing sites in Bordeaux, Burgundy, Loire Valley, ness’ removed. It has also beenCôtes du Rhône, among others. In 2009, the We don’t go to a winemaker and tell them rendered more elegant by thecompany projects a turnover of €400m. they have to change for the sake of changing. absence of visuals and theAlain Courbière is the sales director of wine We keep what works best in the traditional refinement of lines.packaging. market and add value by enlarging it, to When we started the wine and spirit pack- enrich their product offer. We never knowaging division [in 2002] we were very well what will work, so while we do look at con-positioned, because we knew about the dif- sumer trends, what we find works better is toferent marketing developments that went on look at consumer moments. We find thosein perfume marketing, such as the soft touch moments – those times where the consumereffects and the colour effects. Knowing that is enjoying the wine – and then create a labelbusiness helped give us a leg up on wine that better fits that particular moment ofpackaging. For instance, we were the first drinking.ones to develop a varnish that is used for The means of consuming has changed.Braille. That had never been done. That was Traditionally, for instance, the French con-one of the innovations that we transposed sumed wine at dinner, perhaps a fam-onto wine labels that gives a definition and ily dinner on Sunday night. Todayfeel to it. We have a ‘soft touch’ varnish that wine may be drunk at other times –can be made of velvet, tissue, leather or perhaps around a swimming pool. Sowood and used on the wine label and that is the moments are changing and yousomething we transposed from the perfume formulate the creativity of the labelindustry. Also the holographic effects. depending on that moment, whether Today the company has 17 designers and it’s a happy moment or a traditionalmore than 5,000 wine clients, almost all of moment. So a swimming pool wine iswhom are in France. Some are based in a convivial wine. It’s a moment withFrance, but are part of an Australian or friends in the sunshine and that gives it an Classic elegance meets the modernCalifornian wine group, such as Pernod emotional impact. Such a wine does not have delight in ‘moments’.Ricard or Foster’s. In general, we act as more to be a moderately priced one – you can haveof a technical consultant to the big groups Champagne in this moment. The difference is that there are certain behav-than a creative agency, because they have We do 15-20m wine labels for Moet & ioural codes linked to Champagne, whilevery strict technical and aesthetic rules, so Chandon. In the Champagne and bubbly there are far more behavioral codes attachedwe’re mostly technical and production. world, everything is directed towards festive to the other different types of wine that makeWhen it comes to our wine clients, there is moments and celebration. It’s also linked to them more complex than Champagne. Thenot a major difference between the French elite moments. So we can learn a lot from behavioural codes are wide and varied.and the Anglo Saxons, because we have a Champagne, because there are other wines Before you can begin creating the label,very diverse base of clients. Some of them you can drink in elite and festive moments. you have to understand the final use of the 29
  7. 7. 3/09 MEININGER’S WBI M A R K E T W AT C H DESIGN Alain Courbière, sales director of wine packaging at Autajon. This is a less well-known vineyard that uses the family branding element, to bolster recognition of the whole group. This was part of a ‘family makeover’. Autajon draws on ideas from their work ries can’t be duplicated. For instance, we do on other products, like the label Fat Bastard, but we wouldn’t try a luxury cosmetics and ‘Fat Pig’ in a different market. perfumes, to inform We don’t often have financial case studies, their wine label and because clients won’t tell us if our labels or packaging design. packaging solutions have changed their bot- tom lines, because they don’t want their labels going up in price. But we do know when something works really well, because wine. This has to start with the quality of the wave came in the year 2000. The major error they buy a whole lot more from us and our wine, but it also has to reflect the moment. A we see is the vintner or wine maker creating sales increase, or they ask us to develop the ‘pool’ wine can have a bit of acidity, a bit of a label that he personally is pleased with. He same technology on other brands. fruitiness and be for a moment that’s festive. likes it and he thinks it’s right for the market, Final thoughts The wine inside has to evoke a certain use or without taking the target market into consid- energy, and the label is the ambassador of eration. There are a lot of people like that. In France at least there are 40,000 wine- the wine when you’re not there. One winemaker brought in a crayon makers all of a certain size, from small to picture that his son, who is in kindergarten, large. Compare that to the spirits market, Big changes had done. He wanted to make it into a label, with five companies in France, while there One of the major revolutions in the wine but we talked him out of it. Such a conversa- are maybe 20 or 25 in perfume. Many of business in France has been learning how to tion is more human relations than anything them (the perfume companies) belong to sell wine. They have a very good knowledge else. If he had wanted to make a micro cuvée large groups and can do the marketing stud- base and knowhow about producing wine, to dedicate to his son, that would be fine, but ies and research that goes into creating aes- but it used to be that people would simply the winemaker cannot always take his own thetic advertising. The other problem with come and buy it. But now they have to sell, so emotions about the wine into consideration. wine is that it’s very difficult in France to they need a large variety destined for differ- advertise. Dealing with clients ent consumers. That’s a major revolution for The major thing that the wine business the French wine industry and that’s where There are generally two different scenar- can learn from the perfume industry is the whole idea of altering or changing the ios with clients. If they want to have a tradi- probably the branding, creating a strong packaging to fit different consumer position- tional French image to present to their export brand. In France, this will probably mean ing comes from. market, then there are no questions to be collective action. On the one hand it’s a good When you speak to the French vintners asked. But if you want different labels for dif- thing, because if you collectively get togeth- who don’t change, they’re often the Grand ferent labels for different export countries, er you can pump a lot of time and effort into Cru Classé. They base their experience on then we draw on our treasure trove of mar- creating a strong brand. The bad thing history and so when they work on their wine keting knowledge. In our client base, we have is that if you manage eventually to galvanize label they change it in little salami slices. 5,000 clients and a lot of experience. With opinion of a large group of winemakers Then there is a new generation, the Coca such experience come many success stories into going into a certain direction. Cola and TV generation that have been that we can dig into. Unfortunately, it also has the possibility nurtured on marketing visuals. This move- However, there is no simple recipe for the of erasing the unique elements of wines ment started in the 1980s, but the major export market, because specific success sto- made in France, by standardizing them. I 30