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Creating brand personality with beverage packaging



In the beverage aisle, you’re surrounded by colorful, bright, and eye-catching labels and packaging. Which do you choose?



By Lanie Dattilo



Published June 3, 2014
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It’s summer, a time for pool parties, football games, barbecues and more. You walk into the grocery store with the typical list; brats, chips, dip, and some liquid refreshment to keep things flowing. The minute you reach the beverage aisle, you’re surrounded by colorful, bright, and eye-catching packaging and bottle labels from companies who want you to buy their product. Some use the logo of your favorite team, call out flavors you like, or show you the lifestyle you can have when drinking this beverage. Which one do you chose to put in the cart? Is it a tried and true favorite that always stands out to you, or is it a new drink that’s caught your attention with its brand and promised taste?

Either way, it’s visual.


Bud Light Platinum relies on fashy metallic effects for its labels.
Even as soon as you open the carton or package that the beverage is stored in, you see the labels and information on the bottles or cans themselves, a second shot at capturing your attention and brand loyalty. Companies are now looking for innovation and new looks to make them stand out from the crowd and pull ahead. According to Food Processing, the top two beverage companies for 2013 were Anheuser-Busch Inbev, which is based in St. Louis, MO, USA, and MillerCoors, located in Denver, CO, USA. These two top brands are instantaneously recognizable but tweak and change their branding and packaging of products to gain new interest and loyal followers.

Beverage packaging is becoming an increasingly competitive market, and many companies are now offering more sizes of drinks to appeal to more customers, from single can sales to six, twelve, or twenty-four packs, based on consumer need, product differentiation, and costs. These choices are presented at the retail level by packaging. Beverage packaging is not only meant to draw attention but also to be functional, including carrying handles and being easy to open and dispense. This packaging also has room for cross-over promotions, tie-ins to sports, promotional QR codes and more.

Packaging still has a job to do even after the brand has been selected and bought. It needs to hold up to humidity, changing temperatures, and remain durable. While this is going on, the packaging needs to also be easy to open and even recyclable in some cases. What does it all come down to? Consumers need a package that is convenient to buy, use, and stands out on the shelf so that it’s the one they choose to buy.


Wood veneer labels create a vintage look for Jim Beam
How do brands facilitate this process?
Creating packaging that attracts the eye relies on visual stimulation. Creating this dynamic packaging relies on the substrate it is printed on and the graphics that are printed on it. Creating a vintage or antique look, such as this one for Jim Beam (pictured), can be done easily with wood veneer packaging and labeling materials for a branding effort that flows effortlessly. Silver and gold PVC can be the perfect packaging material to compliment a holiday promotional brand or a high class liquor that needs a gold touch.

For a fun touch of packaging, silver and rainbow foil boards provide durability, excellent printability, and a material that is definitely eye catching and exciting. Or for a trippy, three dimensional effect, a lenticular or Azuna might be just the ticket – it’s so fun to look at, one might buy it just for the packaging.

One must also consider the graphics that will be used and the tone of the brand. Is it for a fun brand that likes to party, such as Bud Platinum? Or is it more serious, such as Jim Beam? Will the graphics need shine or a more aged and vintage look? Either way, creating this packaging and labeling requires both to show brand personality.


About the author: Lanie Dattilo is marketing director at Masterpiece Graphix, a supplier of digital substrates and other printing materials. She specializes in web design, content management, blogging, and social media management.


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