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Focus on a Few

Updated: May 1, 2023

You cannot reach everyone with your packaging design... If you are in the craft beer industry all you need to do is remind those who have already tried (and liked) your beer, who you are.

However in the crowded shelf of the beer section at the liquor or grocery store, what you want to do is reach out to the browsers, the uncommitted and the curious. Browsing is a sort of transaction of ideas. What is the idea behind your product? Are you a local community-focused brewery? Do you use interesting brewing methods or stick to tradition? Do you use only locally-sourced or otherwise unique ingredients? Are you your regions oldest and well-known name brand or a new small neighborhood venture? Hopefully your packaging design attractively and accurately gives your side of the story.

What about the other side of the "discussion"? Everyone enters these transactions with a point of view. If a casual browser believes in small neighborhood breweries that contribute back to their communities, then the hope is that they find that story compelling. Maybe a craft beer consumer is interested in traditional German-style beers or wants the craziest and creative combination of ingredients. Does the packaging convey these ideas to them? Maybe a consumer thinks that regional oldies, or even macro beer, is the best thing ever because it reminds them of good times with friends around the camp fire or a favorite fishing spot. If that's their point of view then the craft beer section is just the shelf space they walk by, looking for that familiar blue can and low, low price that goes with it.

Your packaging cannot convey all of these things. It can only truthfully say one or some of these things, or it is diluting your message and identity. As with most elements of branding... focus on the few not broadcasting to the many. Honing in on your audience and what they care about is critical in all visual and verbal expressions of your brand. But it's most obvious when tackling your packaging design.


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