It’s great to see wineries embrace the blogisphere and I notice new wrinkles on the Stormhoek meme most every week (the latest example by Josh over at Pinotblogger). So it was interesting to see a well known food product brand use the internet in an innovative way. If Heinz can make and sell custom labeled ketchup bottles at approximately 100% markup over their mass produced product surely a winery can crank out very small production custom labeled wine. Yea, I know there are many wineries who do custom labels, but these usually involve set-up fees that don’t make buying 1 or 2 custom labeled bottles cost effective. With the automation opportunities of the internet and open source software, I would think even the smallest winery could make something like this work… food for thought, anyway.
Reminds me of what Jones Soda:”http://www.jonessoda.com” has done with their own line of products. Wonderfully executed line. Creates a very personal connection between brand and buyer. Same approach also put the wildly successful handbags by Anya Hindmarch:”http://www.anyahindmarch.com/newhome.aspx” on the map. See “Be a Bag.” You can submit a photo to have printed on one of her handbags; in effect building joint ownership in the end product.
In marketing jargon it’s called co-creation. There will be a lot of companies directly involving customers in the development of their products in the near future. Thanks for your comment and these other examples.
Peter Renton says
I think what Heinz has done is remarkable. They are the very first company to offer their customers a personalized label of their product inexpensively. It is also unique because you can order just one ketchup bottle.
I am not sure why more companies don’t do this. Digital label printing technology is easily able to create a uniquely personalized label for every product. My company has the capability to do this quite inexpensively, but there are few companies interested in thinking outside the box like Heinz. Hopefully, Heinz will stimuate others to action.
Great post Tim, and thanks for the plug.
I’d love to do something like this with our wine labels, but federal regulations can be a bear. Without pulling out the TTB handbook and quoting chapter and verse, the problem revolves around having to have a label approval for any substantive changes to a wine label. The way around this is to make the back label the “front” for TTB purposes, as the back label can be changed much more easily (J Sparkling Wine is a good example of this). The ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œfrontÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? also must contain some basic, required information as well.
The problem for us is that we want to project a high end images, and burning off custom inkjet labels doesn’t really fit in with what we are trying to do. And we’re too small for a special printer to make much sense financially.
No one likes a whiner, so instead what I’ll be doing is inserting hand written notes into an elegant envelope that will be attached to a rope or ribbon hanging around the nape of each bottle. It will also serve as a built in gift card for those who decide to give the wine as a gift. I figure this way I can use our small size to our advantage.
Hey Josh, thanks for stopping by and bringing up the federal regulation issue. I’m quite familiar with the back label being the front for TTB purposes and think that this could be worked around to enable one-off label printing. Your printer issue is probably going to be the killer for most small wineries, but as the technology improves even this objection will fade. Perhaps I’m just a bit ahead of the curve on this one… I do like your gift note idea and think this is perfect for your brand. I’m also looking forward to sporting a Pinotblogger T-shirt to help the cause 😉
Mike Duffy says
Windsor Vineyards offers (and actually emphasizes) personalized labels, so it’s obviously possible to manage the TTB regs. For a high-end wine, though (like Josh’s Capozzi-to-be), you’d want something that was indistinguishable from their standard high-end label.
Like Tim, I am looking forward to my pinotblogger T -shirt.
just came across a cool site that sells customized handbags. Thought to share this with all.
URL : http://snaptotes.com
Joel Clark says
Great feature on personalization! It’s true that Windsor Vineyards features this in it’s regular everyday business model. Their customers keep coming back for the wine, even when they re-use a previous custom label. There are some surprises in their portfolio, and their savvy customers have discovered them.