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Packaging Your Spirits

03/7/2018 • Shawn Patrick

Craft distilleries are born from the dreams of bold individuals who have an idea for a better or unique brand of spirit. Your packaging and label should tie into that brand ideology and passion that brought you to the industry.

Packaging and Sales

The bottle, label, box, even the crate, all tell customers and distributors the story of the brand and why it's worth purchasing. Packaging is immensely important and directly correlates with sales. The theme of your label and packaging should reflect your tasting room and invoke a desired feeling in your consumers.

Your Target Audience

Understanding your target market is the first step in choosing your packaging design. Are you aiming to sell to dive bars and local pubs? Or are you shooting for the hipster places with names that make little sense? Your audience will typically drive the direction of your branding and packaging design concepts.

Your label needs to fit in and look like it belongs with all the competing products on the shelf while at the same time stand apart from them. Consider current trends in design and don't be afraid to make bold statements if you think it'll resonate with your audience.

Brand Values and Packaging

A young consumer is looking for value, quality, and a display of company values. They want to be reassured that showing support to your company connects with their worldview and their ideals.

The most prominent thing they look for is whether or not the packaging is made from recycled or sustainable materials. There's a rising sense of responsibility to save the planet from global warming, waste, and whatever else. Consumers are also looking for companies that prove inclusiveness or have a larger sense of purpose culturally. They might be open to drinking the same liquor as their granddad, but they also want to feel part of the community of it. They're much more apt to spending extra dollars on a brand that makes them feel like they're contributing to a greater cause.

Also keep in mind, GenZ and Millennials aren't the only generations enjoying craft libations. The oft forgotten GenX holds a great deal of buying potential and are absolutely just as willing to splurge on local craft spirits.

Sourcing Packaging Materials

Consult with a good network of other distillers. Ask who they use. Your friends in the industry can tell you who does good work and who to avoid, which is just as valuable. Calling printers and packaging manufacturers can give you some insight, but you always run the risk of partnering up with an outfit that promises more than they can deliver. Do your research and properly vet all of your vendors, especially if are considering outsourcing your packaging needs to a company outside of North America.