- Posted by Danielle Gillespie
I have a confession. Last week I picked a wine simply because I liked the look of the label.
I’m afraid that I may now, finally, be discredited as any kind of wine authority but, well, my brain was in overload and I just didn’t want to overcomplicate. Don’t get me wrong, I love and enjoy the process of picking the perfect wine but that day I just wanted a damn drink and I wanted it fast.
When we talk about iPad based wine lists, we often reference the benefit of being able to include label images and descriptions. We know that when presented with more information, consumers will upsell themselves, no matter what they are buying. But, is this claim rooted in scientific discovery or just some hype invented by a bunch of marketing chimps grasping for job security? And does it really apply to wine buying?
As it turns out, it IS true and it DOES apply to wine buying. So, I decided to take a deeper dive into the science of choosing wine and here are some of the more interesting truths that I found.
- According to a survey of 2000 people by wine.net, a whopping 82% of people picked a bottle of wine based simply on the label’s look.
- After price, labels are the second most important predictor of wine purchase intent.
- Because purchasing wine can be daunting, due to the fact that there are seemingly infinite choices, “bottle labels are particularly relevant to the decision-making process, especially for infrequent wine drinkers who have been shown to rely heavily on labeling information” (see full study).
- For consumers who do not want to make a bad wine choice, label design and information provided can offer the final reassurance that the wine will provide value for money in terms of performance and quality.
- Brand personality, which can be expressed by labels, producer stories and descriptions, has been shown to influence consumer preference and usage. If a wine brand resonates with the consumer, he or she will be more likely to purchase the brand.
- We know that even simple information can influence wine purchasing decisions and that the information is used to help guests choose confidently, but access to quality and meaningful information is varied. Expertise varies from waiter to waiter and the wine information isn’t always accurately passed through the supply chain.
- Producers’ primary aim is to differentiate their products from their competitors and they do so by offering stories and descriptions to consumers not only to differentiate but also to create value for consumers.
- Believe it or not, even the length of the wine notes can have a positive influence on wine price.
- If, as consumers, we are compelled by the description of the vineyard, its owners, or its history, we are likely to pay more for a bottle.
- Expectation influences response. Once we become excited about our wine choice (through the use of visual and written tips) our positive anticipation will make our experience more enjoyable.
- Before we open the chosen bottle of wine to taste and experience, we have been unconsciously taking in visual influencers like bottle and label. These visual influencers can result in both good and bad emotional responses. And those emotional associations will, in turn, affect what we taste.
Picking wine from a flat paper menu makes it very difficult for wine consumers to judge the quality of a wine to make a choice. Factors such as labels and descriptions should be present in order to optimize decision-making.
Labels, for example, are the first introduction to the wine and are important to consumers in the selection process.
Tasting notes, especially those with more subjective components and tailored to your audience’s level of expertise, can help your guests to justify a higher purchase price.
Setting positive expectations with labels, producer stories and accurate wine descriptions can boost your guest’s overall enjoyment factor.
Here’s to “Hoping all your consequences are happy ones.”
We would like to channel Bob Barker when we say that we genuinely hope that all your wine menu consequences are happy ones!
Paper has been around for ages, is well understood and it works, there is no doubt about that. But the fact is, there is more information available today about the way people make wine buying decisions. As access to wine options continues to grow, it may be time to think about adding an interactive wine menu that caters to the way people buy. Encourage people to step outside their comfort zones by providing them with better decision-making power. We’re guessing you will be pleasantly surprised by the resulting growth in your wine revenue!