Your label plays a large roll in your marketing scheme when you begin to sell your craft beer. Whether you're selling your beer from your own brewery storefront or in local shops, if your beer has an intriguing and meaningful label, customers will be drawn in. Unfortunately, designing a unique label is a lot more difficult than it initially seems. Here are four sources of inspiration you can turn to in order to start getting the ideas flowing.
Your start-up story.
Think back to how you first got into the business of brewing beer. Maybe you were inspired upon visiting another brewery, or perhaps a beloved family member prompted you to finally chase your dreams. Is there an element of your start-up story that you could work into your beer label? For instance, if your grandfather inspired you to start brewing, you could feature his image on the bottle. If you were inspired to brew while on a trip to California, you could feature an image of the state in the background of your label. Label ideas like these will get your customers asking questions. Curious customers are good customers!
When using your start-up story to inspire a beer label, remember that honesty is one of the primary principles of labeling. Don't make up a story just for the good label it allows you to create. If your customers find out that the story behind your label is not the real story, you'll lose their loyalty.
Does the beer you are labeling have a special ingredient that gives it unique qualities? Perhaps you use a rare type of German hops or a specialty roasted barley. An image of this ingredient could make for a lovely bottle label. You could also include a brief blurb about the ingredient for customers who are interested in learning a bit more about your products and the ingredients used to make them.
As a brewery owner, you're likely committed to the promotion of small business in your area, and you likely have some local pride. Think about important landmarks in the city or town where your brewery is located. Perhaps there is one that you could name your beer after, and you could incorporate an image of the landmark into your label. Some specific landmark or local pride ideas to consider include:
- Images of a popular street in your city
- A shot of your city's skyline in the background
- The image of your city's best-known park or recreational area
This strategy could be wise if you plan on eventually selling your craft beer out of state. Your labels will teach people across the country a little bit about the place where your beer is brewed.
Favorite song lyrics.
Music and beer tend to go together. Think of some of your favorite songs. Do any of them cause images to appear in your mind that you could translate into a bottle label? For instance, if you love the song "Dark Blue" by Jack's Mannequin, the lyrics "Dark blue, dark blue, have you ever been alone in a crowded room" may conjure up an image of a lone person standing in a blue room, which you could use to inspire artwork on your beer bottle. Giving the beer an associated name is also advised.
Good beer bottle labels all have one thing in common: they're creative. Think outside the box, recalling your start-up story and considering your ingredients, your locale, and your favorite song lyrics. Somewhere amongst these thoughts, you'll discover the perfect mental image that you can transfer to your beer labels. With any luck, it will speak to your customers just as strongly as it speaks to you.
Click to read about bottle and sticker labels.