The beverage market can prove incredibly difficult to break into for small businesses and entrepreneurs. There exists titans of industry in nearly every major area of the beverage world from soft drinks to alcoholic beverages, and their combination of consumer loyalty and iconic branding can make designing the retail packaging for your new drink seem insurmountable. Luckily, everyone needs to start somewhere, and there are many examples of small beverage companies who have developed a unique beverage with fantastic package design, and quickly risen through the ranks.
In 1989 when Tom First and Tom Scott started selling a variety of things off their boat in Nantucket Harbor, the duo likely never thought that in just 10 years they would be the heads of Nantucket Nectars, one of the fastest growing beverage companies in the world.
As you can tell from asking just about anyone who has ever tried one of their drinks, Nantucket Nectars is a fantastic product. Delicious and refreshing, it seems like a no-brainer that such a product was destined to succeed from the start. According to Tom First, however, one of the biggest boosts to sales came soon after a packaging redesign. "We went from a product that we pushed off the shelf to a product that pulled itself off the shelf.” If you are curious about what exactly makes Nantucket Nectars packaging so appealing, look at the label on the bottle below.
1. Color and Image
On all 17 favors of Nantucket Nectars, the label utilizes only colors that are very similar to the color of the juice. When a consumer is browsing store shelves or a drink cooler for a certain flavor of drink, they need to be able to find it quickly. With a picture of the fruit from which the beverage is made matching the color of juice within, Nantucket Nectars is driving home their message of all-natural juice to consumers while still staying true to their design. Color Psychology goes a long way towards influencing consumer mentality. Using colors and images that accurately convey your brand message is incredibly important in an industry where consumers are used to finding products quickly, and it is something Nantucket Nectars does extremely well.
First impressions are important for people and for products, and beverages are no exception. Knowing your target market well means understanding their likes and dislikes, hobbies, age, and more. Your beverage package design personality should match up well with this target market. To collect all the info you can about your consumers, use mobile field activity management software andhave merchandising reps collect market research and retail sales data while in retail locations.
Look at the font, background image, and attention to detail on the Nantucket Nectars bottles above. The design has a relaxed feel, and reminds consumers of its heritage, with the fruit slices sitting on a dock overlooking the water. The flavors are displayed on what looks like a piece of driftwood and are slightly tilted, telling the consumer that it is not taking itself too seriously. Even the small text on the side of the bottle cap is full of personality. “We’re juice guys” personifies the brand, and shows consumers the roots from which the company grew.
Determine what your company or product culture and personality is, and find a way to integrate it into your beverage package design if it lines up with the consumers who will likely purchase your beverage.
It is perhaps the least obvious of these three cues, but the materials used contribute just as much, if not more, to product personality. Consumers want cold, natural, and refreshing juice. Using glass as opposed to plastic can make the product seem of a higher quality, something complemented by the sturdy metal bottle cap that seals the juice in tight. The added benefit of glass is condensation, something not as visible in plastic bottles. When the drink starts to “sweat”, the beads of water running down the edge of the bottle remind the consumer that while it may be hot outside, the beverage is cool and refreshing. Small details such as this often get lost in the confusion of the beverage package design process, but taking the extra time to evaluate each step of the creation process pays off in the end.
While every situation is unique, and these examples may not fit perfectly for a brewery or energy drink company, understanding the reasoning behind certain packaging decisions can give great insight to small businesses and entrepreneurs during their design process. Nantucket Nectars found success from humble beginnings by providing a great product and well-thought-out packaging, following their lead might be just what your brand needs to jump-start your sales.
Cam Garrant is the marketing manager at Repsly. Passionate about delivering quality content and data-driven insights, Cam's interests include SEO, basketball, and bad jokes.