An Expensive Evening Taking a Turn for the Best

A Classic Mix-Up, or Not?

Perusing a popular online news source earlier this week, I came across an interesting article. “A restaurant diner who ordered a nice bottle of red wine to go with their dinner got something a bit fancier than they were expecting—a bottle worth $5,800. The customer at the Manchester, England, branch of steak chain Hawksmoor ordered a 2001 Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, which is listed at £260 ($335), a PR company representing the restaurant told CNN.”

A costly error on the server’s part, right? The customer was never aware of the mistake, and it was only later in the evening that one of the managers realized what had happened. But what caught everyone’s attention was how the restaurant handled the incident. Only a handful of people need ever have known, yet they decided to go public with the mistake. And since we’ve become dependent on social media for situations like these, a higher up in the restaurant gave a shout out to the server on Twitter, “Chin up! One off mistakes happen and we love you anyway.” From a marketing and PR standpoint, I’d say the company made a good move. Comments on social media praised the restaurant for not only treating their employee like an actual human being (who made a mistake as humans are prone to do) but also for creating a huge PR buzz. At this point, it can be argued that the restaurant stands to gain from the now infamous switcheroo.

What Does the Swap Say About Packaging?

This whole wine debacle got me thinking in a slightly different direction—if the customer did not even realize the difference in the wines, what is more important for a bottle of wine? The taste? Or the brand? Brands tell stories. And a brand has the opportunity to offer an emotional experience with a product; a draw to win customer loyalty. Not to say that a $10 bottle of wine tastes anything like a $335 or $5,800 bottle of wine for that matter (I took a wine tasting class while studying in Italy—as an amateur wine connoisseur, I can attest that there is a difference). But once the wine reaches a certain standard, how do you differentiate your $300 wine from the $3,000 wine? The answer: your brand.

If differentiation sounds daunting, I can point you to a great resource. Package Insight uses qualitative data in the form of eye-tracking, facial coding, EEG, GSR, and other methods to scientifically compare your brand to that of your competitors. They have helped countless companies understand the intersection of design and human behavior, and how that relates to your packaging. The professional team at Package Insight works hard to discover how your brand can stand out and tell the story you want it to tell.

What would your brand say about you?
Are you $10, $300 or $6,000 bottle of wine?

Packaging School Epensive Wine
Packaging School Epensive Wine

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