On Monday Bob and Sally got called into their boss's office and asked to 'honestly' say what they thought of a new wine label designed by the boss's daughter.
What could be wrong with their responses?
On Tuesday the boss walked the winery halls carrying two bottles of wine - one had the existing label (Label A), the other (Label B) had the new design created by the boss's daughter. His question was "Do you think that Label A or Label B will perform better with retail shoppers?" Ten people gave their opinions.
Better than Monday's research but not reliable enough to bet the bottling budget on.
On Wednesday the boss uploaded photos of the two bottles to one of the free survey engines and sent out an email to dozens of people on his email list asking them to give him their opinion: "Do you think that Label A or Label B will perform better with boomers? with millennials"? Over fifty people responded and the boss was very happy until he realized that he couldn't break the data down by gender or age.
A to B testing has been a research staple since the cave drawings started catching on as a marketing medium...but A to B testing seems easy but, too frequently, is poorly executed and generates false data which fuel bad decisions.
To learn how "True Measure A/B Testing" from Label Analytics removes the pitfalls watch this video.
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of participating in The Exchange event in Yountville thanks to my friend Jeff Slater (aka The Marketing Sage).
Jeff posted a good overview plus "how to run a great event" suggestions here: The Marketing Sage article on The Exchange.
Over the course of my business life I have travelled thousands of miles and attended hundreds of events in my ad photographer, direct response show producer, dot-com CEO and now as wine marketing research company co-founder/CEO. Unfortunately many of these events left me feeling less than fulfilled. Happy to report that The Exchange was an exception.
The theme of the event was "Seriously, who is your customer?" Wine industry panelists included Cynthia Lohr, Bear Dalton, DC Flynt MW and Amelia Ceja.
"Wine Shelf Plaque" is Bear Dalton, Fine Wine Buyer at Specs in Texas, coined that phrase to describe and highlight wine brands that sit on the shelf too long.
Why does Plaque matter to retailers? If you guessed 'money' you are probably right. I imaging that the annual cost of dusting those bottles must add up - especially if the plaque brands go unnoticed too long. Bear is determined to root out the plaque and he has the brand data to prove it!
What can cause plaque?
1) Labels don't that grab enough shopper attention.
2) There is a mismatch between the label's shopper price impression and the retail price
(see our previous WIN article "47% Failure in the Wine Aisle")
3) Your bottles are not on the shelf - they are collecting dust in the back room.
Cheers- John Lawlor firstname.lastname@example.org
At Real Picture Research we help wineries, wine retailers and importers recognize wine label problems that can lead to underperforming labels.
I was shocked when my partner showed me the research data for wines priced between $10.00 and $29.99:
"The shopper price impression of 47% of two-hundred and fifty wine labels tested were perceived to be priced twenty to forty percent BELOW the retail price."
But wait -- that's is not the really bad news -- the bottles selling between $20.00 and $29.99 had a failure rate of 82%.
Where is the good news in the data?
It looks like it is easy to produce labels for wine selling below $9.99 that generates a positive shopper price impression!
We are currently running a new series of tests to expand our initial data* and will be releasing our SPI Report (Shopper Price Impression Report) later in the summer.
If you are interested in learning the wine shopper price impression of your labels across 14 shopper segments, please drop me (John Lawlor) an email ( email@example.com ) or call 561.866.5387 (EDT).
Cheers- John Lawlor CEO Real Picture Research
* Respondent base for each label was between 450 and 2,000
In recent years, the wine business has seen an increasing number of unconventional label designs – bold, bizarre, daring, macabre, weird or wacky designs – that push the envelope. It seems some wineries have tried to out-do others to create even more daring labels. Wine authors and reporters seem impressed with the creativity.
“How do wine shoppers respond to unconventional labels? What are the patterns across demographic and wine practice segments?”
For one answer to that question, we worked with Katie Kelly Bell of Forbes.com to test labels she featured in her July 2015 article – Coolest Labels of 2015.
Five of Katie’s fifteen labels were judged to be unconventional by “push the envelope” standard.
Those five labels were tested in a Real Picture Research study among 400+ US wine drinkers and compared to a shelfscape (1) reference set of over 360 retail labels evaluated in earlier Real Picture Research studies.
The reference set labels were chosen as representative of the range of design styles in the market: traditional, contemporary and unconventional.
Consumers across all demographics, Millennials to Boomers, frequent to occasional wine drinkers are almost uniformly impressed with all five labels for grabbing shelf attention and memorability.
Shelf attention for all respondents is higher than 88 to 90 percent of reference set labels while memorability is higher than 77 to 88 percent of reference set labels.
The high sales indicator scores carried through to purchase interest (2). Across demographic groups, males show more interest than females in purchasing these unconventional labels – higher than 72 percent of reference labels for males vs 58 percent for females.
Older Millennials and GenXers showed the highest purchase interest, higher than 65 percent of reference set labels. Yet, Younger Millennials and Boomers still show purchase interest above 50 percent of reference set labels.
The greatest difference across groups was driven by usual purchase price.
Among consumers who usually buy bottles above $15, purchase interest was higher than 70 to 79 percent of reference labels. Even among consumers who usually purchase bottles under $15, purchase interest was higher than 35% of other labels. 35% is a high purchase interest when the retail price is more than twice the typical price range for the consumer.
Interestingly, neither under $15 nor over $15 purchasers have high price impressions (3) for these labels. Both groups think the price would be $10.00 to $15.00, yet they are sufficiently intrigued with the unconventional labels that many indicate purchase interest for $20, $25, $40, $60 brands.
How should wineries apply these insights? Is it time for more wineries to up the unconventional content of their labels? First, we should point out that this report covers just five labels judged by a wine writer as “cool”. Also, it is important to note that “unconventional” is not a uniform group. Authors often include – bold, bizarre, daring, macabre, unusual, weird or wacky designs – in this “push the envelope” group of labels.
Based on this small sample, scary and macabre appeal more to men while wacky appeals more to women. Yet, taken as a group these five labels from the Coolest 2015 Labels Forbes.com article all tested well above average for shelf attention, memorability and purchase interest.
As a closing point, these five labels strongly suggest this is not just a Millennial trend. GenXers and Boomers show strong interest in these labels as well, in some cases stronger than Young Millennials.
Our suggestion, from those of us at Real Picture Research, is if you are comfortable with an unconventional label as the face of your brand, you may strike gold by directing your label designer to develop some more bold, bizarre, daring, macabre, unusual, weird or wacky designs in your next label design program. We suggest you develop a range of designs from conventional to unconventional then test those design alternatives with wine buying consumers to see which labels fall flat and which strike gold. You might be surprised with which labels wine buyers respond to.
(1) shelfscape: the term we apply to the landscape of competitive brands on the retail shelf that compete for wine buyer attention.
(2) Purchase Interest: Real Picture Research Label studies measure wine buyer interest in purchasing a brand for “themselves and their friends” before the retail price is revealed and again with the retail price. Purchase interest reported here is the second measure when the respondent knows the retail price.
(3) Price Impression: The respondent’s first impression estimate of what they think the price will be at retail based on the look of the label before any retail prices are revealed.
#sellmorewine @sellmorewine #realpicture @johnlawlor
Online Wine Label Testing – What’s Up With That?
“Do your online survey takers represent the wine shoppers I want for my brand?”
Author: W. Donald White, Real Picture Research - Chief Research Officer
We were presenting Real Picture Research to a new prospect, an experienced sales executive. Nearing the end of our first conversation with him he said “I really like your research. I see how I can use it. But I have a really basic question. You get your respondents on the internet and you pay them. My daughter in college does that kind of work when she wants to make extra money. Are most of your online survey respondents just scraping by and do they really represent the wine shoppers I want for my brand?”
“Tom” I replied, “You raise an interesting question about the possible effect of the source of respondents and their motivation to make money on an internet based survey. This is certainly a question I’ve been sensitive to since I focused on internet based research over the past several years. Here are four insights that I believe tell the story.
First: Academic social science researchers have been concerned about the same question. As they researched the "who" and "why" of working on the internet, they made two key conclusions. (a) The reason people devote time to internet job work is they find it interesting. It is certainly not for the below minimum wage payments of many online jobs. (b) They confirmed that survey respondents from internet job sites are just as representative of the US population as internet survey panels and are more representative than through-the-mail surveys or telephone surveys. Today, most academic social researchers recruit their respondents this way.
Second: Does the age profile of internet respondents reflect the age profile of the population of wine shoppers? Pew Research describes the overall internet numbers best: Most adults in the US use the internet. As of 2015 ...97% of 18-29; 94% of 30-49; 81% of 50-64; 61% of 65+ use the internet.
In Real Picture studies, we get about the same number of Millennials as the total of GenXers and Boomers. Our sample of 70+ Matures is too small to report separately. So as a "single total" our numbers are skewed somewhat to Millennials. However, we encourage wineries to view our results for each generation rather than looking at everyone together as one lump number. What Millennials think versus what Boomers think offers more insights than the total. We view our abundance of Millennials as a plus. It allows us to present the reactions of Young Millennials (21-29) versus Older Millennials (30-36). Sometimes those differences can be quite interesting with bigger differences than between GenXers and Boomers.
Third: Are online respondents representative of purchasers of higher priced brands? When asked their purchase interest across brands our respondents reflect the mix of sales by price point in the market. Our respondents, like most wine shoppers, take price into account. Each respondent it seems has their own personal "acceptable price range" they stay within when they express interest in purchasing. Based on their purchase interest picks about 33% would purchase a $20.99 wine on occasion. This number drops to 19% for a $29.99 wine and declines more as the price goes higher. For about 8% of our respondents, the bottom of their acceptable price range is $20 or higher. This is pretty much in line with the pattern in the retail wine market
If a winery specifically wants the reactions of only purchasers of $30-40 wines, a special study would be needed to recruit a sufficient sample. We would recommend they first run our standard study to see if attitudes toward their labels shift as respondent usual price ranges go up.
Fourth: How do we know these wine shoppers, who rarely take surveys, are giving us honest reactions to the labels in the study? Our survey methodology includes three unobtrusive validity checks to ensure respondents are paying attention throughout the survey and not just “clicking through”. All invalid surveys are removed from the results. But respondent attention has not been a problem. The game-like feel and fast pace of the survey engages people. At the end of the 15 minute survey most respondents say "That was fun."
Why do we talk about reactions rather than opinions? --Because that is how people shop. They react to what they see on the shelf, whether it grabs their attention, how expensive they think it is (their price impression), how interested they are to purchase. The survey is designed to measure those reactions.
So Tom, your college student daughter is a good example of one segment of our respondents. Yet, we also attract wine shoppers in all stages of life from single young adults, starting families, families with high school children, empty nesters to “time for grandchildren” Boomers. It is a broad mix of people who have a little time to relax, want to do something interesting and even make a little money at it.
Keywords: online survey takers, wine label testing, real picture, realpicture, label research, wine packaging
Hashtags: #sellmorewine #labeltesting #winemarketing
Source of chart data: http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/06/26/americans-internet-access-2000-2015/
Real Picture Research explainer video: http://realpictureresearch.com/win-onlinetesting1
For more wine label study information, contact John Lawlor – Real Picture Research CEO 561.866.5387 or firstname.lastname@example.org
More Data, More Interactivity, More Fun With Wine Labels…Wine Label Research Company Upgrades, WineLabelWinners.com, The Wine Label Performance Guessing Game
Boca Raton, FL & Carrboro, NC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 9, 2016
In an effort to dramatically improve the quantitative and actionable data available to wineries everywhere, Real Picture Research has announced a significant upgrade to WineLabelWinners.com, their popular site based on proprietary results from their wine label research platform.
The overall purpose of WineLabelWinners.com is to understand on multiple dimensions how consumers respond to wine labels. The primary criterion that are tested include:
WineLabelWinners.com, the wine label performance guessing game, was developed and implemented by Real Picture Research, and has their full and ongoing support. http://winelabelwinners.com
About Real Picture Research
Real Picture Research proprietary system answers the question: “How does my wine label perform against the competition?”
The primary goal of Real Picture Research is to help wineries determine which labels will be most successful on the shelves. This serves the dual purpose of identifying under-performing labels that are already on the shelves as well as potentially preventing the printing of labels likely to under-perform. An added benefit is the ability to research multiple labels to determine which one will be the most effective before any labels are printed. http://realpictureresearch.com
For more information about WineLabelWinners.com, or for general information about Real Picture Research, please reach out directly to John Lawlor, CEO of Real Picture Research by calling 561.866.5387 or emailing email@example.com.