Craft distillers should make a great tasting, interesting product. But the packaging is what is going to move the consumer to grab it off the shelf. Packaging is greater than just the label, it represents everything your brand is to the world.
Consider All the Visual Elements
That beautiful poster of your brand you got hanging in few local stores and bars is cool. But when it comes down to it, most of your potential customers will probably first hear of you when they're searching the shelves. If you want that sell, you need to get their attention.
Label design, bottle shape, and logos all need to be thought about when designing the visual elements of your brand. Unique and interesting line work or font choice could make all the difference when consumers see your bottle on that shelf.
Showcase Your Brand
Packaging can be more that the bottle shape and label. Think about Crown Royal and its purple bags. Watch your server make change in the corner at the restaurant you're dining at and you'll see that purple bag is their coin purse. Those bags transcend the bottle and create an atmosphere of belonging for the consumer. You don't need to have a shtick like that to make an impression, just an outside-the-box creative on your team. Don't be afraid to break the mold and take a risk. Do something weird or fun - whatever feels right for your story.
Tell Your Tale
The average craft beverage drinker wants something that supports local and stands apart from the generic, mass market appeal of the big national brands. They want to know the history, and what makes it and the distiller that crafted it, unique. Your audience buys craft because they want to feel like they're supporting local business. In a sense, they want to become a part of that story by drinking it. So amplify that with your packaging. That can be done with a little story on your label, a uniquely shaped bottle, or a little verse on your corks. Any creative way to use your story will enhance the appeal and become a differentiator.
Your packaging tells a story. If your whiskey is meant to be a blend for the rough and tumble individualists with a flair of the American South West, your packaging better shows that. The same goes if you're aiming to create a sophisticated gin reminiscent of New York during the glitz and glam of the 1940s and '50s. Whatever packaging your liquor comes in, it can’t just tell the story. It has to show it.