January 27, 2014

3 Reasons Why Customers Will Choose Your Bottle

3 Reasons Why Customers Will Choose Your Bottle

Customers don’t spend a great deal of time studying beverage bottles on store shelves. They look for the product they’re familiar with, the product they’ve heard good things about or the product that’s the best looking (we’re kind of like turkeys in this way). So, what key features will you have to have included in the bottle design for your beverage? Creative designs are critical to the success of beverage sales in this absurdly competitive market.

Creative beverage design doesn’t necessarily mean having a Salvador Dali-like eye for visual interest (although it could help). It means incorporating all available data on consumer trends, manufacturing processes, shipping procedures and market research into your design in an eye-pleasing way.

There are countless reasons a customer might choose your beverage bottle, depending upon what sort of beverage it is. If it’s an energy drink, a customer might choose it because it’s well shaped and will fit into an elliptical cup holder or gym bag compartment. If it’s a premium vodka, a customer might select it because it is elegantly crafted and would look beautiful in a home bar display. If it’s a cheap vodka, a customer might pick it up because it’s a high-grade plastic and when dropped won’t spill a drop of precious, precious liquor.

Now, there are different package design qualities for every type of beverage, so for the purpose of this article, we’ll concentrate on three of the most basic and category-less qualities.

Beverage Features Are Clear

Certain beverages (fruit juices and health drinks, for example) are best served by bottles that clearly list the ingredients and benefits in clear letters, right on the front. If someone is looking for 100 percent pure cranberry juice, then he/she is going to snatch up the bottle that has that distinction in big, bold letters. And that customer will likely regret that decision deeply, since 100 percent pure cranberry juice tastes like motor oil.

Regardless, sell the product’s distinctive features, if the product has any. Organic; locally sourced; unpasteurized; 100 percent natural; uses cane sugar and no corn syrup; these are all qualities some consumers really, really want. Communicating this information prominently will influence the customer’s purchasing decision in a meaningful way. If your grain alcohol is 190 proof, then that is information that will surely influence a customer’s purchasing decision.

Bottle Is Eco-Friendly

Environmental concerns have become legitimate marketing tools in the past decade, and for excellent reason. We’ve become overwhelmed by trash that is threatening to turn the earth into a barren wasteland, and the human species into a collective of desperate, sun-scorched throwbacks – much like humans of 8,000 years ago but with iPhone 10s.

Is the beverage bottle made of recycled materials? If the answer is yes, then let the customer know, for heaven’s sake! Most customers don’t want to be seen to be contributing to the wasteful consumer culture, even if they technically are. Make us feel good about purchasing your energy drink or prestige water!

Bottle Is Reusable, Glass or Free of Chemicals

The forward-thinking beverage manufacturer will recognize the customer demand for bottles that are largely absent potentially cancer-causing chemical additives. Even if some consumers don’t really have a huge emotional investment in eco-friendliness, they still don’t want their water bottles to cause the growth of malignant tumors.

We won’t be so callus as to call this a trend per se … but consumer tastes are leaning towards water and energy drink bottles that are reusable and absent all of that pesky, estrogen-disrupting BPA. Major manufacturers have introduced individual serving glass products to the market — Coca Cola and S.C. Johnson have jumped onto the glass product chariot with both feet.

In summation, beverage creative designs must tame creativity with practicality, consumer mood and environmental/health concerns. They must also convince the customer that the product is delicious, will make others find them sexy and will help them carve out the life they’ve always wanted. This seems like a tall order, but Starbucks – inexplicably – managed to achieve this for nearly 20 years. Probably the random use of the Italian language in the size options had something to do with it.


by Kevin Smith
SmashBrand helps brands create, optimize, and launch successful products, services, and customer experiences. Our data-driven process is the key to accelerating sales and minimizing risks.

We use a strategic combination of market research, design, and consumer testing to solve complex brand problems more effectively, create differentiation, and forge more meaningful connections with customers.

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