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The Significance of a Wine Labels


There is more to wine labels than fancy pictures. Earlier last month Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Melanie Pearce spoke with Simon Forsyth, a marketer and designer, regarding what it is about wine labels that make them influential in consumer’s purchases.

“‘Going on a journey’ is a buzz concept in today’s culture and it’s no different with wine, where customers want to engage with the story, color and life behind what’s in their glass,” Pearce wrote.

Forsyth runs a wine bar and cellar door, and has a “background in marketing and having worked to change the image of several well-known international food brands, he believes the color, life and story of the wine as portrayed in the label is key.”

Forsyth elaborated.

“People love the experience, they love the journey, they love stories,” he said. “They want to hear the story, want to hear about the winemaker and that makes people want to drink the wine.”

Though quality is an important factor, the taste of a wine and its depth will never make it to the consumer’s palate if they aren’t enticed to buy it.

“It’s a big, big market out there; winemaking and marketing your wine is very, very tough,” he said. “It’s all about cutting through and getting your wine out. You’ve basically got a three-second window anytime anyone walks down a supermarket or a store.”

To illustrate his point, Forsyth talked to Pearce about one particular high-quality wine that was having a problem catching consumers’ attention.

“It had won awards – silver, golds – but people just don’t get attracted to the brand itself,” Forsyth said.

Forsyth talked with the winemaker about the wine’s story and found out that the winemaker’s great-grandfather ran away to the circus.

The great-grandfather’s daughter was known as the world’s greatest bareback rider, so much so that her image has been emblazoned on Barnum and Bailey and Ringling Bros. circus posters.

“Mr. Forsyth loves telling customers the story when they ask what’s behind the label and he says sales have increased since the re-branding,” Pearce wrote.

She then pointed to the labeling efforts of Australia’s Orange wine district. Forsyth said the region, which is also where his wine store is located, has found a good mix of quality and marketing.

“No doubt in the last five to 10 years the wines are consistently excellent,” Forsyth said. “They’re winning awards and what’s really helping with that is that they’ve really got their head around their labelling, their brand position and where it’s going to.”


By James Duren, Snooth