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Message on a bottle: the wine label's influence

Scott Sherman (Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA)
Tracy Tuten (East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA)

International Journal of Wine Business Research

ISSN: 1751-1062

Article publication date: 23 August 2011




The choice facing a wine consumer is one of dizzying options with thousands of wine brands available. Packaging and labeling are among those cues consumers use when choosing wines. The purpose of this paper is to better understand the influence of two labeling variables – design genre and brand naming convention – on perceptions of wine and wine choice by occasion. In particular, three types of label design and naming conventions (traditional, contemporary, and novelty) are examined.


A 3*3 (three versions of visual design and three brand naming conventions) factorial design was used to expose participants to a set of three wine label design variations. Participants viewed wine labels online at and then completed a web‐based survey designed to measure the influence of label design and brand name on wine perceptions, purchase intent by wine use occasion, and the relative importance of factors affecting wine choice.


Despite the popularity of novelty designs and names, participants preferred traditional labels and names. Label design and name were not as influential as wine type, brand familiarity, and price for wine choices made across four wine use occasions. Label design and brand name likeability mattered only for gift choices.

Practical implications

For wineries developing or revising labels, traditional designs should be considered despite the current trend to use novelty labels.


This study assessed consumer response to a trend in the wine industry – the use of novelty designs and names.



Sherman, S. and Tuten, T. (2011), "Message on a bottle: the wine label's influence", International Journal of Wine Business Research, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 221-234.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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