by Matt Ellis, Head of Design
Wine lists are the first point of contact with the customer, but many find it difficult to get right. Here Matt Ellis, our Head of Design, explains how design can influence tastes and increase sales.
The creation of a wine list can be a simple mechanical process – choose the wines, set the prices, better throw in some tasting notes, make it look nice… but it is also the first point of contact a consumer will have with the product and venue.
What are the basics of a good wine list?
A good list is all about well-executed typography, it has to be clear, legible (sometimes under low lighting), informative and encompass the identity and values of the venue with its design. In its purest form a wine list is data visualisation, taking a basic product list and prices and creating an easily navigated, organised and attractive proposition to the customer.
There has been a lot of study on the psychology of lists. There is ‘hot-spotting’ (tendency to put more profitable items in the top-right corner) ‘friendly pricing’ (removing £ signs from numerals) and the phenomenon of the second cheapest wine are all techniques widely used to improve sales. While this comes under the title of menu design, many will neglect the aesthetics of the list itself.
“The most effective way to make a design usable is to make it interesting enough that people want to use it.” – Bryan Grezeszak
Getting people to pick up a wine list is pretty easy; after all, if you fancy a glass you are going to have a look at what is on the list. The key is not simply about displaying what is on offer, the list should be a journey for the customer, whether it’s noticing an old favourite which has some emotional connection, leading them to discover a new varietal or suggesting new flavour combinations. Design plays a key role in the process of developing the way in which a customer will engage with the list.
A good wine list will entice the customer who didn’t want a glass of wine to pick it up, a great wine list will make the customer buy the wine.
“The only important thing about design is how it relates to people” – Victor Papanek
We are constantly looking at ways of improving and developing what we already do here at Bibendum, always thinking of new and more creative concepts to support your business and connect with your customers.
At our Annual Tasting ‘A Matter of Taste’ on February 6th our Design team will present a gallery of ideas that range from simple tweaks to the traditional wine list through to the more avant-garde to inspire you and your customers to explore wine more and make reading a wine list an experience in itself.