‘Cutesy’ or Classic: What your wine label says about you
by Pat Kettles
Uncorked
Jul 09, 2013 | 2261 views |  0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Gentle readers, no eye rolls please, but I just became the owner of an iPhone. Making the transition from my trusty flip phone was traumatic, especially after having met the experience of trying to transition to a more modern phone a couple of years back with total failure.

This first ill-advised transition took place on the eve of a two week sabbatical and found myself unable to receive or place calls for the entire period I was away. After a few frustrating weeks, I threw myself on the mercy of the phone provider, willingly paid the restocking fee and purchased another flip phone.

Texting on a flip phone is laborious. Receiving a text on a flip phone is très annoying given such messages require answers. Often, I just call to respond to the text only to be faced by the conundrum: If a person has time to send a text, why do all my returned calls go to their voicemail?

My earlier foray into advanced telephone technology was not with an iPhone. I do have to say, my experience with this device has been better than my earlier experience. I have been able to send and receive text messages, but I do wish the iPhone key pad was a bit larger. Computer keyboard size would be good. I also wish the iPhone did not get its feelings hurt so easily, freezing up when it is touched by a heavy hand.

The technological ability of generational groups has to be taken into consideration when marketing various items — including the design of wine labels. I recently read an article about wine label design by Jane Firstenfeld in Wine and Vines digital edition and subsequently watched the accompanying digital wine label webinar. That’s code for a seminar shown online.

Webinar presenters discussed the two major U.S. wine-buying groups — Baby Boomers, ages 51-60 for this study, and Millennials, ages 19-37, and the implications for designing wine labels for these two groups, whose wine-purchasing behaviors are quite different.

Boomers are more likely to buy wines with labels that feature a chateau, trees, ridges or mountains.         

Millennials go for labels that are eye catching and trendy and carry names like Skinny Girl, Wine Sisterhood and Flirt — some of the girlie names on the market today, likely named to attract the women who purchase 60 percent of the wine sold in this country and drink 70 percent of it.

I have already divulged my age group, having frequently decried my dislike for cutesy wine names and labels in earlier columns. Admittedly there is likely nothing wrong with the wine in these bottles. Some of the newest cutesy labels are among the most popular-selling wines.

Those who make wine labels estimate a label has only three seconds to grab a prospective buyer’s attention. They are obviously talking about Millennials here. It recently took a friend and I 30 minutes just to find the vintage that was inconspicuously engraved into the glass of the bottle in such a miniscule font that night goggles were required to decipher it.  

Obviously this particular winery has not adopted the newer innovation of using a larger font on their labels for Boomers’ failing eyesight.

About 49 percent of Millennials use QR scan codes found on some wine bottles. QR codes look like labyrinth embossed postage stamps and are located on the front or back label. A scan of the QR code with a trusty iPhone brings up a wealth of information about what is in the bottle such as information about the varietal and recommended food pairings.

No statistics were given regarding how many Boomers scan QR codes. Likely there are not enough to be statistically significant. I did plan to try to scan a QR code with my new iPhone in the privacy of my own home, but I could not find any codes on my stodgy, chateau-adorned bottles.   

Contact Pat Kettles at pkettles@annistonstar.com.

Email Pat Kettles at pkettles@annistonstar.com
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