Rebranding Buried Cane, part 3 – Package Design
I’ll probably write about packaging design more than once. I’m sure I will.
When we began the design process that resulted in the original Buried Cane label, I wrote a creative brief. I do that before most new design processes begin. The creative brief is intended to provide direction to the designer. It also establishes any necessary parameters. In addition to this fairly mundane “here’s-what-we-want-you-to-do-and-these-are-the-limitations” instructions, the creative brief is enormously valuable in two other ways:
1. Writing a good creative brief forces me and my employers to be clear about what it is we’re doing, and why we’re doing it; and,
2. A well-written creative brief specifies outcomes for all parties, so that we can avoid “goal creep.”
But let me take a step back. There were actually two creative briefs for this “Washington Project” (that’s what we originally called it). The first was for a brand we called “Stormchaser” and this is what we wrote in the creative brief:
- Wines from the “dry side” … blends with evergreen style and varietal edge.
- But they should be able to carry a varietal designation …
- We’re assuming only two wines to start, based on Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, but blended with small amounts of something unusual
- CABERNET, and … (our Cab is marked with a slash of Shiraz)
- CHARDONNAY, and … (our Chardonnay’s long legs are swathed in Riesling)
- The lesser blending components, ideally, will sound a little “out there” to the wine cognoscenti, but those “out there” components must add some real style and flavor
Target Market: 21-35, women and men, U.S. national
Suggested Retail Price: $9-12 per 750ml
Packaging: Glass (traditional shapes), finished with screwcap. Label riffing on “noir” graphic art (current graphic novel look) but with a urban wine story carried through the label art (still with a sense of menace).
Concept Testing: Propose taking three label design concepts forward to on-line consumer survey.
Three different designers worked on this project. We took three different designs out for consumer input, using an on-line consumer survey process developed by MarketTools Inc.
The survey results not only gave us no clear indication which label design would work with consumers, the results also made us question the premise of our brand. Many survey respondents wanted something that looked more traditionally wine-like. We thought they’d want edgy, but they asked for traditional.
While we were mulling over the survey results, our national sales manager (who had advised us that distributors wanted varietals, not blends … thus the qualified language about blends and varietal naming in the creative brief above) suggested that what the distributors ALSO wanted was something that looked like the successful national brands from Washington State (at that time): Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Crest.
We didn’t think our “Stormchaser” name was going to work on a more conservative wine brand, so we were pretty much back to the drawing board. Then, on a sales meeting tour of vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley, we were explaining the process for burying vine canes as insurance against winter freeze. “Buried Cane” said Rich Hanen, “That could be a cool wine name.”
Next: The second creative brief, in Rebranding Buried Cane, part 4.Share on Facebook