On August 2, 2018, Tammy Boatright shared lessons from the wine industry at the Wine & Weed about how small wineries have overcome many of the same challenges that small cannabis producers are facing now. Here are a few highlights of how some small wineries are not only able to sustain their business, but grow their sales, expand their margins and build their brands in a profitable, yet resourceful way.
We at VingDirect have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of family wineries to provide focus and help increase Direct to Consumer sales.
One of our biggest learnings, and something we hear time and time again, is that winery owners and winemakers believe that if they make good wine, the rest will follow and they will achieve financial success. While that may have been true decades ago for some, our industry has vastly expanded, and we can no longer rely on the quality of our product to simply sell itself. Quality is merely the entry fee. It is absolutely critical to differentiate your brand in a meaningful way that allows customers to connect with you, not just your product.
Wine is confusing to the consumer. There are seemingly countless varietals, clones, regions, vineyards, and price points, so how do you set yourself apart? It is an emotional connection that makes brands powerful, and builds brand loyalty.
There are many similarities between wine and cannabis as products. Cannabis is also often times described and differentiated by quality, variety, price point, etc. If we’ve learned from the wine industry, this is not enough, and there is an incredible opportunity for all businesses in the industry – growers and retailers alike – to define their brand identity now.
The foundation of your brand identity is a brand position statement. We believe a compelling brand position statement has three fundamental parts.
First, you must define your customer – this one can be tricky because it forces you to get narrow. As a business, we don’t want to exclude anyone, but the truth is we can’t be everything to everyone. However, once we define who our customer is, we can find more of them.
Then, define your business – who are you and why do you exist?
Last, identify what you can uniquely deliver to your customer that no one else can – not just once, but with every interaction, through every consumer touchpoint.
Once you have a brand position statement, we recommend using it to guide every business decision. It will determine your décor, experiences you offer, community partners, new product lines, the people you hire, and so much more. By ensuring your decisions fit with your brand, you will continue to reinforce your story and stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace.