What Does Your Packaging Say About Your Alcohol Beverage Brand

September 28, 2020 | By The Fres-co Team

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It takes a commitment of time, talent, and budget to build and sustain a successful brand. Companies spend significant resources researching the market and the target audience, developing a brand strategy, formulating a brand identity, and engaging in marketing that creates brand awareness and drives trial.

But is packaging part of that branding effort?

It should be. A beverage alcohol product’s packaging has the power to convey a strong message about the brand—in the right way or the wrong way.

It’s undeniable that packaging impacts the consumer’s purchase decision. What’s harder to quantify—but difficult to deny—is that the right packaging approach can support a beverage company’s branding efforts.

Packaging can reinforce a beverage alcohol brand strategy by:

  • Positioning a new brand for a successful launch
  • Breathing new life into a mature brand, extending its lifecycle
  • Supporting a brand or line extension

To ensure the choice of alcohol beverage packaging best aligns with the brand strategy, these four questions should be part of the conversation about the packaging type to choose and how to best execute it.

What Brand Impression Does It Convey?

For a new launch, the packaging might be the consumer’s first experience with the brand, creating that vital first impression. Or it could reinforce an impression created by the company’s marketing campaigns. In either case, the consumer will scan the store shelf or webpage for mere seconds before making a purchase decision. The packaging needs to convey the right impression of the brand, the product, and the company behind it.

The shape, material, and design of the packaging all combine to evoke emotions and create perceptions, contributing to the consumer’s impression of the brand. For instance, a liquor pouch with bold colors and graphics might create an impression of a brand that’s all about fun and convenience. A package that takes a minimalist approach with little waste—like the newest bag-in-box options—gives consumers the impression that the company behind the product is environmentally conscious.

What Brand Message Does It Communicate?

When it comes to communicating your brand message, the packaging elements are just as important as the content of your marketing campaigns. When beverage alcohol packaging mirrors the product’s marketing campaigns, consumers see and hear a consistent brand message. And a consistent brand message tells the consumer “this is a product you can rely on and a company you can trust.”

When wine and spirits packaging communicates a brand message that’s consistent with the product’s marketing, it serves another important purpose: Improving brand recognition. At the point of purchase, the consumer should experience the brand the same way they’ve experienced it across every marketing channel, to ensure they recognize it right away. Since most consumers won’t spend more than a few seconds looking at the product on the shelf or a webpage, there’s no time for confusion about the brand at the point of purchase. The best packaging is an extension of the product’s marketing campaigns, driving trials and sales.

How Well Does It Convey Your Brand Identity?

Every product has a brand identity—all the visual elements that work together to identify the brand in the consumer’s mind and build brand recognition. The brand identity of a wine and spirits product should influence every aspect of its packaging, including size, shape, material, graphics, color, and typography. Together, the aesthetic elements of the packaging must support and reinforce the brand’s identity.

Some of the newest flexible packaging options are especially well suited to supporting the brand identity of a beverage alcohol product. Alcohol pouches like the Fres-co Barrel Pouch can reinforce a brand’s identity in many ways—with unique shapes, enticing textures, and the ability to print on every ounce of the package to create an impactful brand billboard.

How Well Does It Support Your Brand Promise?

Every product should have a brand promise—a brief statement that tells the consumer what to expect from the brand. It’s often articulated in a product tag line or a company mission statement. But as with any promise, actions speak louder than words. Whatever promise your brand communicates, your packaging should reinforce it.

For instance, is sustainability part of your brand promise? If it is, then sustainable packaging is a must. Today’s consumers place tremendous value on doing business with companies that go beyond mere claims of being environmentally conscious. They expect a company to back up that promise with actions. When you choose an option that has a low packaging-to-product ratio—like pouch packaging for ready-to-drink cocktails—it tells consumers you’re serious about providing eco-friendly products that reduce waste.

Is a commitment to transparency part of your brand promise? Increasingly consumers prefer to work with companies that are transparent in all their dealings, from their ingredients to their suppliers, materials, and processes. Adding a see-through window to beverage alcohol packaging is a literal demonstration of a commitment to transparency, providing a window into the product before the consumer buys.

Supporting the Brand with Flexible Packaging

Flexible packaging is on the rise in the beverage alcohol market for many reasons—including the fact that it’s so well-suited to reinforcing a brand strategy.

Liquid pouch packaging like the Fres-co Barrel Pouch supports high-definition printing of up to 10 colors on every ounce of its surface, enabling wine and spirits companies to create a high-impact visual billboard that truly stands out on the shelf. Fres-co’s unique Matte Finish Select® custom coating makes colors and graphics pop, providing greater differentiation at the point of purchase. The Barrel Pouch also has a low packaging-to-product ratio—a great way to demonstrate a brand’s sustainability promise. And with its interesting texture and convenient handle, a liquor pouch entices consumers to touch, pick up, and try the product.

With a low carbon footprint and low packaging-to-product ratio, the newest generation of bag-in-box options, like Fres Flow™, are ideal for putting a brand’s sustainability promise into action. The bag-in-box also supports high-impact printing on a large surface area—reinforcing the brand’s identity, improving brand recognition, and creating engagement at the point of purchase.

The packaging experts at Fres-co can help you select and implement a packaging solution that supports your beverage alcohol product’s brand strategy. Contact us today to discuss how flexible packaging can help propel your brand’s success!

The Fres-co Team

For more than 40 years, Fres-co System USA, Inc. has manufactured high-performance flexible packaging systems and invented dozens of innovative breakthroughs including degassing valves, modified atmosphere technologies, and reclosure systems.

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