The Power of Labels and Packaging

Chick beer - label and packagingWhen I see a label it doesn’t just help me decide if I want that product or not, it also inspires me with how it was designed. The shape, color, texture, imagery, and paper all play a part. Take beer labels for example. When I go shopping or out to eat, if I don’t know the name of a beer, I will pick a beer with a label that I find attractive.

My beer tastes go from Guinness to Miller to Spotted Cow. I love looking at beer labels; they come in so many different shapes and sizes. They can have different textures that dare you to touch them and colors that make them jump off the shelf; textures that remind you of a sleek sports car and colors that bring to mind a day on the lake. It’s amazing what different paper and printing processes will do.

Recently my co-workers and I went out to lunch and I had the opportunity to try a beer I hadn’t heard of before – Chick. The name and label immediately caught my eye; black and pink, Curlz font, a little black dress on the bottle, and a black purse on the six-pack box. I’m not a big fan of the label. Maybe it’s because it is very girly and that wouldn’t be a word people use to describe me.

At first it was just the font. I’m always looking at fonts, regardless of where they are and I am not a fan of Curlz…at all. It’s a very childlike font and I was surprised to see it on a beer bottle. Add in the label and packaging and you get a beer that comes across as very frilly. I tried the beer anyway and sadly, not only was I unimpressed with the label and packaging, but how the beer tasted as well. I can handle and sometime enjoy light beer, but this was like drinking water. The label did say it was a 97 calorie beer with 3.5 carbs so I wasn’t that surprised.

You can see how a label and packaging influences a user’s thoughts and experience. It’s all about the colors, feel, fonts, etc. Those colors were chosen on purpose for the thoughts and emotions they represent for a specific audience. With that in mind, I should have known that even though I’m a “chick”, I probably wouldn’t have liked that beer. Lesson learned.

What drives you to try a new product based on the label or packaging? Do you judge a book (or bottle) by its cover?!