The first step in bringing a new beverage alcohol product to market, whether for sale through the three-tier system or by direct-to-consumer (DtC) shipping, is registering it with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Bureau (TTB). This must happen to get a Certificate of Label Approval (COLA), which ensures that suppliers and producers comply with federal regulations when designing and marketing alcohol brand labels.
However, not all beverage alcohol producers may know that there is a better way to monitor brand labels, ensuring that brand and product name conflicts are avoided, the latest packaging trends are found and that the best unique package design can be created.
Sovos ShipCompliant’s LabelVision product can perform competitive analysis using numerous search options, including but not limited to product type (e.g., Brut wines, IPAs), company name and even by words or phrases that appear on the labels. Following are top reasons why it’s important to monitor brand labels in the beverage alcohol industry.
Industry and competitive research
Reviewing trends prior to releasing new innovations will prevent a supplier from lagging behind the competition — or validate the idea as an exciting new movement. The right tool can ensure that managing product labels is easy and efficient.
For example, want to know what’s coming up next in the beer market? LabelVision can help you track how many other breweries recently dabbled in the latest IPA craze. Or perhaps a winery wants to ensure that it’s not doing what nearby competitors are doing. LabelVision can determine if the story you want to tell about your latest Cabernet Sauvignon is as unique as you had hoped.
LabelVision also utilizes Optical Character Recognition (OCR), which reads all of the text on labels, including words that are not necessarily part of a product’s title. Any text that can be read by the software on the label will be read as text. This can help determine if descriptors other than the title are being used in competitors’ products—say, keywords such as tart, funky or balanced.
Proper research can also help prevent costly trademark disputes. Returning to our IPA example, that brewery can also ensure that their name for that beer is truly unique. LabelVision can help ascertain if that name has already been used in interstate commerce, working to avoid legal action such as a cease and desist order from another brewery.
This approach can also be helpful for lawyers who are monitoring client trademarks. Regular searches can be set up ahead of time for particular terms, phrases, styles of product and more.
Beverage alcohol import monitoring
Brand label monitoring can also help importers that want to or need to be the exclusive importer of a certain brand in the U.S.. LabelVision can help determine that no other organizations are already bringing a particular brand into the country.
“You can quickly retrieve one or all of your company’s COLAs in a matter of seconds, see what products and innovations are trending in the industry, learn how others have navigated around complex federal labeling guidelines and keep an eye on competitor labeling and branding that may pose a trademark risk.
“LabelVision’s export feature allows you to capture all the cool things you found in your query and share them in a concise file that breaks the attributes into columns, including links to revert back to the COLAs and labels in just a click. All links shared through LabelVision are universal, so even its customers’ customers have access. It’s my favorite industry resource by far.” – Sara Barraza of Maison Ferrand, a boutique spirits producer and importer
Regardless of the types of alcohol beverage products you are looking to bring to market, LabelVision can better inform the process to ensure a successful product launch.
Learn more about how LabelVision can fuel your research for brand labels in beverage alcohol.