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“We are a small, family-owned winery producing award-winning wines from our *estate vineyard/top vineyards) in our region.” This is true. You have heard or read this before. Maybe it’s on your Home page, even your back label. Maybe you’ve seen it on a competitor’s marketing materials. One of the main troubles with this truth is that it’s shared by over 5,000 wineries across the United States. Quite a few of them are your neighbors.

Consider the Following

From your audience’s perspective, this description misses all that makes you different and interesting. The repetitiveness with which customers have heard this phrasing makes it dull. From the brand owner’s perspective, this comfortable place of truth tends to keep brands stuck in a moment, sometimes it almost seems they forget that success in this business requires standing out; being identifiable and remembered by a few great attributes and consistently delivering on those. And those relevant attributes change with the times and the audience.

Sure, you fell in love with wine and after a successful career in <insert previous career here>, you searched for property somewhere around where you are now and planted a vineyard. See how we went back to the beginning? This is all true, but not relevant to your audience. So, what about your brand’s identity IS relevant to your audience of today?

You’ve already noticed that the Baby Boomers are drinking significantly less. The groups coming to your tasting room or picking up a bottle in retail are younger, and they have their own values and preferences in communication.

You don’t need to change who you are just to attract your target clientele. But you can update some of your wardrobe, right? Beware: Gen-X, Gen-Y and Millenials can smell a phony brand proposition almost as well as a great white smells blood in the water. You can –and I am trying to compel you to- find the elements in your brand that resonate with this audience and broadcast those components in their terms.

This does not apply only to digital advertising and keeping an active stance on your social media profiles. Make this count with your brand’s image and with the visitor’s experience in your tasting room.

Let’s talk about image

We live in a visual-heavy era. Your audience picks up visual cues from everything they see to decide if they’ll ignore or engage, in response to the permanent barrage of information they consume. Make some adjustments to your brand’s visuals to bring it closer to the aesthetics of today. Makes sense, right?

Good design is expensive, but great design is fully worth it. Use professional photography, retouched after production so it is stunning. Maybe you don’t need a full redesign of your brand’s image, but a few touches used strategically on your digital platforms and next year’s label could be a step in your audience’s direction.

The experience

They chose your place. They are here. What’s the brand message that you have weaved through your visitors’ experience? From the website, to the signage in the parking lot, to the person guiding them through the tasting, each of these has an opportunity to help your brand stand out.

Be a fly on the wall in your tasting room and hear how visitors talk about the other places they visited. Try this after 3PM, when they have visited a few wineries. “The one with the big patio”; “The one with the guitars on the walls.”

Whatever you have that stands out –in a good way-, OWN that. If you have beautiful caves or a spectacular view, make them visible and obvious on your website. If your Chardonnay is your strongest card, make it your ambassador. Embrace and cultivate your own weirdness. Remember Picasso’s masterpieces? Everybody does. That’s what standing out means.

To deliver this to your visitors, make sure your staff conveys your message consistently and compellingly, touching on the things that make your brand special. This sells; both wines and Club memberships. Have the team practice different ways to relate the elements of the brand message, so it doesn’t sound like a repetitive recorded message.

When the authenticity is pervasive to everything you do, the message is punchier and stickier.

Why did you choose to make that obscure varietal? What are your brand’s influences? Original artists confidently discuss the influences that helped them develop their current persona. It enriches their story. This is about your story.

Projecting an attractive, authentic company persona to your target audience will help your brand sell more wine

Gaston LeyackExpert Editorial
by Gaston Leyack, Principal / Leyack Group Consulting

Gaston’s background in hotel and restaurant management exposed him to wine as a buyer in his hometown of Buenos Aires. Following that passion, he moved to California to immerse himself in the wine industry. His next roles provided different perspectives: cellar hand, tasting room sales, DTC manager, imports/exports, regional sales, brand management and general management of a small winery. At Leyack Group, Gaston puts the skills honed in those roles to work, helping wineries in sales, marketing and recruiting.

Leyack Group can help your brand fire on all cylinders. info@leyackgroup.com

 
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