Julian Smida
Senior Product Designer @ Meta

Grand Cru

Product design |
Blockchain | Wine industry |
User research | Wireframes |
Branding | Logo design |
Storyboarding | Visual design



Grand Cru is connecting the Wine industry by establishing Provenance, Authenticity and Traceability throughout the entire value chain leveraging the power of the blockchain technology.


The task for this project is to design a storytelling product for Grand Cru that takes into consideration how the data passed along the wine supply chain can be used to enhance the sales process and aid storytelling.


  • Identify business and customer needs/behaviours using a technique of my choice
  • Show wireframes/sketches displaying how a user might interact with the product
  • Include at least 1 high fidelity visual of desired outcome

There is no need to develop the full product or service concept but the key aspects here are to demonstrate an understanding of business and user needs, to present an example of a chosen user flow as well as wireframes with visualisations.


 Excel • Adobe Photoshop • Sketch • Marvel


Branding & Logo design • Secondary research • Personas analysis • Data analytics • Customer journey storyboarding • Med-fi wireframes • Clickable prototype • Hi-fi visual design

Time Spent:

14 hours

Research breakdown
and initial thoughts

While the scope of the task is solely to leverage the impact of the transmission of information along the ledger without loss or alteration to contribute to storytelling and potentially increase sales by creating some added value to be defined, it’s a really tricky one since it is such an open ended problem and required a lot of research to:

1. Familiarise myself with the wine industry and the different personas

2. Study the wine supply chain (Vineyard > Winery > Wine Storage > Transport > Consumer)

3. Understand the parameters that can vs need to be passed on to the blockchain

4. To understand the infrastructure and logistics involved in the information delivery process (RFID tags, RFID sensors, Transmitters, QR Reader/NFS)

5. Out of all of this, it requires to identify which of the personas best benefits from the use of blockchain + AI in the wine supply chain use case, in order to understand their mindset and potential pain points. Is the customer the one time person who buys wine for an evening with friends? Is the customer that wine savvy person who sees themselves as connoisseurs? Is the customer supermarkets meaning it’s B2B2C? Or do we consider only direct sales to the consumer? Basically who would benefit most from it because the technology and infrastructure come at a cost and should be used essentially where the benefits outweigh the costs

Blockchain benefits include:

Transparency • Trust • Security • Quality control • Story telling • Tracking • Communication of information

6. Then, by looking at other applications of blockchain to understand how it can benefit a supply chain in general. The example of Everledger immediately came to mind as they are also in the diamond industry and have developed a “product timeline” to view the story behind diamonds. So by benchmarking what is available in the industry, it is clear that the end product, the one the customer will use/see involves:

  • A QR scanner / NFC reader

  • A product history / timeline

7. The question is then: What information does that persona care about and what is the best delivery method? Is it an extra app to be downloaded? Is it a webpage that opens upon scanning and displays all the information in a structured way? It is clear that the message becomes: “Consume the story, then the product” and that it could become the next generation of “Protected labels” which are sales argument because of trust communicated.

8. But the more I’ve thought about it and the more it appeared to me that the one actor that would benefit the most from blockchain + AI in the supply chain is the company itself since it can optimise its processes and identify all the margins of improvement. From an end customer perspective, while it can be interested to know the story behind your diamonds, that necessity becomes less valid when the product’s wholesale value is not as important. So while for expensive bottles of wine, storytelling adds value to the experience, for the mass market I’m not so sure.

9. In the wine supply chain, part of the information that can be collected and transmitted is:

Grape acidity • Sugar • GPS tracking • Variety of grapes • Alcohol • Temperature (Storage, transport, …) • etc.

But the real question is: for a given supply chain,

WHAT information is important TO WHO at WHICH STAGE of the process? (And HOW IMPORTANT is it?)

10. Ultimately the way I would complete the task would be similar to Everledger: by creating a product history feed and putting a lot of attention on the story telling component to make it powerful and moving.

Grand Cru
Grand Cru
The above personas are illustrations depicting the findings of a study by Wines Vines Analytics as part of my analytical research. The study only contained raw data with no analysis of the findings. From this point onward, when referring to this study, all the reasoning, thoughts and assumptions come from my personal interpretation of this data. For instance here, I have outlined value and opportunities lying within each persona to serve my reasoning.
Grand Cru
The graph also comes from the study by Wines Vines Analytics. It is used here to illustrate the problem/the opportunity.

The following breakdown comes from a study by the world’s largest wine seller surveying the “purchases of 10,000 premium-wine consumers–defined as those who purchased wine priced at $5 and higher–over an 18-month period.

Combined with the description of the personas above, it outlines where the opportunities lie.

While Enthusiasts and Image Seekers represent only 32% share of the consumers, they account for nearly half of purchase shares! Yet, on the other end of the spectrum, Satisfied Sippers and Overwhelmed people represent 37% of consumers but only 21% share of purchases!


Now this also outlines a big opportunity to fulfill the mission at hand with the last 2 personas leveraging the blockchain to increase sales.

Therefore the 6 personas can in fact be reduced to 3:

  • The Prone Consumers (Enthusiasts + Image seekers)

  • The Conservative Consumers (Savvy shoppers + Traditionalists)

  • The Opportunity Niche (Satisfied sippers + Overwhelmed consumers)

Grand Cru
The table and the graph come from my interpretation of the data from the study and depict how I captured a business opportunity that serves the mission of this task.

This is the opportunity gap that will bring the most results and at the same time solving for this persona will also impact the other 2 since the common denominator for all is knowledge and its ease of access.

Grand Cru

So now, let’s look more closely at the standard anatomy of the said label:

Grand Cru
Source: the infographic on "how to read a wine label" comes from the site Napa Valley Vintners

In reality wine labels can contain a lot of valuable information but the vast majority of consumers simply lack “wine label literacy”.Oftentimes, vintage year, wine type and price tag are the decisive criteria.And while Blockchain technology can bring in even more information like:Grape acidity • Sugar • GPS tracking • Temperature (Storage, transport, …) • etc.

There is already a blatant literacy issue from the majority of buyers and while it’s not their fault, it’s the company’s duty to bridge this knowledge gap by changing the communication and/or making it more explicit.But the problem is: wine labels have had the same layout for centuries now and it’s become an institution.

Wine companies are proud of their labels and won’t change the layout just to convey information better.And with the progress of modern technology and with the benefits of the blockchain, storytelling can definitely convey information more easily and educate people the right way while driving sales up.

Grand Cru
Sketching the initial solution

One potential solution to this model could be depicted along those lines:

  • No barrier to use
    • Customers can simply scan a QR code either placed somewhere on the bottle or on the product tag on the shelf
    • The service delivery platform is a responsive web page with an embedded Javascript that suggests to download the app for a better experience
    • An "add to favourites" CTA button would encourage user signups without making it mandatory to benefit from the service's value
  • Tab system
    • "About" is a typical product page but here info are presented in an easily understandable way compared to the labels on the bottles
      • Module 1: Product info
      • Call-to-action floating button "Add to favourites"
      • Module 2: Serving suggestions
      • Module 3: Cross selling
    • "Story" embraces a "news feed" type of layout tracing the story behind the product, from the cultivation of the grapes to the moment the product landed on those shelves
      • Event chronology would be from "Most recent" to "Older" in order to offer a "look back in time" approach to the consumer.
      • Content type includes media and text

Although stories of multiple products would share common elements, depending on the logistics and costs involved in creating those product-specific stories, the feature could be available for a certain range of more premium products only.

Another benefit of the tab system is the modular approach where more tabs can be added, offering things like members-only content, more technical content providing valuable information for actors of the supply chain, etc.

Creating med-fi
Branding & Logo Creation

The first step is to create a mood board that reflects wine in general in order to establish a colour palette.

Grand Cru
Grand Cru
Grand Cru

Step 1

Overall the task and company mission are derived from the company Tracr which uses a mix of blockchain, IOT and AI within the diamond supply chain.

And while the diamond shape is a nice hint at it, it also conveys an image of purity and transparency which is one of the advantages of Blockchain applied to a supply chain.

Grand Cru

Step 2

In order to depict the supply chain and the various steps and actors involved in the process, I decided to add layerization using 3 different shades of red from the colour palette and then deconstruct the shape.

Grand Cru

Step 3

Time to move away from the diamond and get closer to grapes while keeping the same style. Colour scheme went from solid to gradient to add a modern touch to it.

Grand Cru

Step 4

Now that the imagery conveyed by the shape is done, time to add a touch of Blockchain merged with the brand name.

When buckled up together, the letters G and C from Grand Cru remind of two links in a chain linked together, echoing the Blockchain image.

Grand Cru

Step 5

At last, brand, industry and technology are all tied together into one corporate identity.

The logo design is complete.

High-fi rendering
Grand Cru