Wine By Design – does design influence our perception of value?

By day I work as the Marketing Manager at Tayburn and last month we held Branding Unbottled. As the name may suggest it was focused around our food & drink clients and we were extremely fortunate to have Roz Cuschieri, CEO of Genius, speaking about their remarkable brand journey. Our MD, Simon Farrell also spoke and he provided a wealth of insight into how brands can become remarkable.

Branding Unbottled Wine Tasting Event from Tayburn on Vimeo.

Following on from the talks and a lively Q&A, we held a wine tasting with a difference. Our friends from Corney & Barrow provided six delicious wines – three red and three white.

The idea behind this was to explore the influence of design on our perceptions of price.  Our guests were invited to “blind taste” the six wines – in other words they couldn’t see the bottles or labels – and then guess each wine’s value based purely on the taste.

We then revealed the six bottles of wine that they had tasted and they were invited to then rate the value of each wine based purely on the design and branding of the label.

What is especially interesting about this experiment was that it explored the influence of taste and design alone. The wine brands are not well known and so it was unlikely that our guests had any prior knowledge or recommendations to influence the perceptions.

While this wasn’t scientific by any means (we scored the wines by using price ranges and averages) it did produce some interesting results:


Actual Cost

TASTE Perceived Value

TASTE Difference

LABEL Perceived Value

LABEL Difference

Cotes Du Rhone Blanc – Les Becs Fin






Fiano, Masseria Bianca, Puglia






Pinot Gris, Eradus Estate, Malborough






Cabernet Franc, La Tunella, Friuli






Chamuyo Malbec, Mendoza Vineyards






Chateau Dutrach Grand Poujeaux






Wine number five, the Malbec was a very clear ‘winner’ on both fronts. It was the cheapest wine, at £8.75 however, based purely on taste, our guests perceived it to be worth £12.57. Based on the label design alone, the wine experienced a remarkable uplift in price to £14.85 – that’s a whopping 67% price increase influenced purely by design!

It wasn’t just design that was the winner either, the wine triumphed too, or rather our guests did. As you can see from the table above, those who attended the event have cultured palates because 76% of the audience accurately picked the correct price bracket for the most expensive wine, wine number six, the claret.



Tags: , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply