winebottlesYou walk into a store. There are hundreds of different products to buy but for some reason you are drawn to particular shiny advertisements or aesthetically pleasing packaging. Why? Multiple studies have been done and it has been suggested that the brand name and type of packaging is significant when deciding on what food, water, juice, wine, or other product you may be considering.

Now, for the purpose of this post, let’s keep it brief and to the point. The psychological reasons as to why people are drawn to certain products are extensive. They span anywhere from colors on the packaging, to how popular the brand name is, to even something as so seemingly frivolous as bottle shape.

So, in light of keeping things simple the two examples I will be using are wine labels and bottled water labels. This way we can approach the subject from two separate perspectives. Wine is more subjective, as there are more varieties in flavor, while, for the most part, all types of water are essentially the same. Unless you find yourself with some crazy Cholera filled water or something, in which case, you’re going to have a bad time despite the pretty label. However, we’ll assume all the bottled water we are talking about here is pathogen-free and deliciously similar.

Two of the most important, or perhaps frequent, reasons people buy certain products and stray away from others are security or vanity. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it, the human race as a whole is materialistic and finds solace in creature comforts. Now, to say that every person in the world is a materialistic hoarder only interested in the beautiful would be a sweeping generalization but for the purposes of this post we’ll assume that all people crave fancy things. There are different reasons for this. For example, some people might buy certain things in an attempt to display a specific outer image to the public and their peers. Others might find comfort in buying particular things because it may be a personal way to measure their own amour propre. Not to mention dazzling bottles just look cool.


Another reason people may choose to buy certain things is plain and simple subconscious copying. Let’s talk about water for this example. There are certain brands of bottled water that everyone knows about. Fuji, Dasani, Eldorado, Voss, Evian...blah, blah, blah, you get the idea. Different brands are chosen accordingly based on how people react to the labeling. Voss comes in a pretty glass bottle, so it must be better, right? Or, Fuji is in that sweet rectangular bottle, so it may or may not offer magical healing powers.  The point is, water is water and people often pick their poison based on how awesome the bottle looks or how well known the company is.


Romance is also a huge factor in why people tend to buy certain products based on how fancy they seem. I don’t see many people going down the “I love you, so I bought you the most plainly marked bottle of bubbly I could find” path. Feeling the need to impress a significant other or someone you’ve started a brand new relationship with plays a large role in how people pick out certain wines. Price plays a role in this as well. Whether or not the taste of the wine reflects its price or the packaging makes it more appealing, it seems to be a common trend and belief that buying a more expensive, pretty bottle somehow becomes the physical manifestation of your admiration of the other person or people involved. You don’t have to break the bank to show someone you care!


More often than not, new products that have just come out on the market have more interesting labels. The idea is to get you to look at them, accept the fact that the brand name is not well known yet, and decide to by that product over something else you would normally purchase that you’re familiar with. Makes sense, right? This is a prime example of why labels or the aesthetics of a bottle play such an important role in what makes people want them. Now, this being said, let’s look at the other end of the spectrum. Perhaps you see a bottle that isn’t clearly marked like Folk Machine Pinot Noir. If you tend to shop based on labels instead of based on a knowledge of wine flavor profiles, this bottle might not stand out to you. It’s a good wine and it does have an interesting label but it’s subtle. If you didn’t know what you were looking for, it might accidentally slip by you and you might end up missing the opportunity to taste a nice wine. The point is, if you are interested in shopping based on flavor preferences, sometimes buying the flashiest bottle isn’t your best bet.


So, if you shop by the label that's totally okay. Lots of people do and products would not be marketed the way they are if it didn’t serve a purpose.  But, in the future, if you’re looking for a nice wine, sometimes it pays to do a little research instead of buying something based purely the aesthetics of the bottle. Don’t judge a book by its cover or a wine by its label! You might be surprised what you find!