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March 13, 2014

The story behind Patrón’s Packaging design

The story behind Patrón’s Packaging design

Consumers are all about looks when choosing which food and beverages to buy. This fact is evidenced by the unbridled success of the recurrent Carl’s Jr. ad campaign featuring Kate Upton, Heidi Klum and other stars seductively chomping on a cheeseburger. Just like Carl (or would it be Carl Jr.?), tequila maker Patrón also understands that aesthetics are king. The deliberate and meticulous focus on packaging design gives its product perpetual superiority when it comes to popularity points in the tequila world.

It’s Not What’s Inside that Counts

If you’ve ventured into a liquor store lately, you’re well aware of the overwhelming number of tequila options on the market. No, seriously. There are scores of them. While there are those tequila aficionados who approach their booze shopping conscientiously, focusing on how high the tequila ranked when tested by a third-party organization, most consumers take a much more superficial approach to picking their poison. Some of the extremely insightful questions shoppers ask themselves when choosing which tequila goes in the shopping cart include: How sexy is the bottle? Do I feel cool buying this tequila? How will it look sitting on my bar at home? Will my guests be impressed with the brand I’m serving? We’re talking deep, philosophical stuff here.

Why Are Patrón Bottles So Special?

Patrón Tequila has a big following, and some would say it’s due to being great-tasting, quality tequila, but it’s the company’s packaging that truly elevated the brand to being considered one of the most sophisticated, luxurious brands on the market. The Patrón bottle was created with sexy shelf appeal in mind, and it evokes a sense of timeless class and refinement. This thoughtful design, mixed with good marketing over the years, has established Patrón as the tequila you want to be seen ordering at the bar.

Each bottle is one-of-a-kind and hand-crafted. Experienced glass artisans personally create every bottle using traditional, glass-blowing techniques. The borderline obsessive attention to detail doesn’t stop there. The labels are applied by a human, not a machine, and the signature green ribbon is tied by hand. The bottle then goes through a rigorous, 14-step inspection process to ensure perfection and beauty. If all this didn’t make the bottle distinctive and unique enough, each bottle is also individually numbered, just like, well…art. Needless to say, machine-based mass production is simply not the Patrón way, and the company’s dedication to making its packaging unique has paid off via massive brand recognition.

Thinking Outside the Bottle

Patrón’s packaging is a great example of how your product doesn’t have to just end with your drink/gadget/whatever. The packaging itself can be a tool for increasing brand awareness, and if done right, can even serve to advertise your product long after. From soap dispensers to citronella torches to betta fish abodes, Patrón bottles everywhere are being spared from trash and recycling bins and given new life as a part of people’s homes. In a recent nationwide contest, Patrón encouraged bottle enthusiasts to take a shot (get it?) at a $10,000 prize by developing creative, new ideas for using the empty bottles. But they’re not the only ones. We’ve all seen transport boxes that turn into display cases — that’s old news by now. What about wine packaging that can double as a wine rack, or a book’s wrapping that can double as a flower pot? The packaging is something you have to have in order to transport your goods, so why not make it a part of your brand, a part of your product itself? Smart package design not only bolsters sales, but it can also create a sense of endearment and an emotional attachment for customers. If in doubt, just ask any woman who has received something from Tiffany & Co. if she still has her little blue box.

The tale of Patrón’s bottle and its journey to undying idolization among consumers is one to take note of if your business sells anything that sits on a shelf hoping to be purchased. The role that packaging design plays in a product’s popularity and success is arguably as important (if not more) than the quality of the product itself. Although Patrón backs its fabulous bottle with a class-act tequila, it’s possible they’d enjoy nearly the same level of success selling tap water if it were packaged as impressively. Now there’s a market worth tapping.

author

by Kevin Smith

Managing partner at SmashBrand. We’re a group of experienced brand owners, thinkers and world-class designers united by an obsession for creating category disrupting brand experiences.


Purposefully selective, we work with brands that want to stand out and also stand for something.


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