How well do you know your wine customers? Do you know what “Dry” means to them? Do you know their favorite wines and preferred flavor profile? What wines are they tasting when not in your tasting room, restaurant, or retail store? What about how they rank your wines against others?
Knowing these details about your consumer’s preferences can significantly enhance your relationship with them and make it more likely they’ll buy your wine and have loyalty to your brand or business. Wine professionals know this and learn the tastes of clients who frequent their restaurant or store or are in the top tier of their wine club.
The challenge is learning these things about customers they see infrequently or never meet. As customers become increasingly “digital first” or “digital-only,” how do you build your relationship with them? Social media and generic email marketing may not be enough.
A Digital Solution
To overcome this challenge, Hunter Rudd developed a consumer engagement and market research platform to help beverage industry businesses know their customers better.
Somm Says is a free digital wine tasting game and market research platform that provides a fun, informative, and educational experience to keep consumers engaged with wine businesses, brands, and professionals. The platform extends the limited capacity for wine professionals to engage and understand hundreds or thousands of wine consumers. And, unlike forgetful humans, Somm Says can see which customers are excited about their wines and which had a disappointing tasting experience regardless of how long ago the tasting occurred. With digital tools like Somm Says, wine businesses can reach out to reinforce a positive experience or make alternative suggestions to keep customers engaged.
“You don’t have to be subject to sales data as your only mechanism to understand what your customers think,” says Rudd. “With Somm Says, you can extend your reach, make sure your on- and off-premise customers are aware of your brand and hear their feedback no matter when and where they drink your wines. You can share that experience and help your customers understand more about the wine they drink. As a result, you’re more effective and efficient in reaching and connecting with your customers, which leads to better go-to-market decisions.”
An Educated Consumer
What did the sommelier at the restaurant last night mean by ‘dry?’ Would all sommeliers describe that wine the same way? What do earthy, acidic, and all those other terms have to do with what wine I like, and what about the wine in my glass right now?
Questions like these create an educated customer, and an educated consumer is an empowered one who participates actively in choosing a wine. Best of all, an empowered consumer is willing to spend more on wine because they have the confidence to select a more expensive wine or are more adventurous about trying a new one.
With Somm Says, a wine professional can create a game to build customer confidence by asking questions like, “Guess what a sommelier would say about the acidity of this wine?” Players can compare their answers to those of the sommelier and their friends. That comparison helps them better understand the professional language of wine and build a relationship with the game’s creator.
Next-generation digital engagement tools like Somm Says offer other features that enhance the digital experience, like recommendations based on consumer interactions, a digital tech sheet, the ability to follow brands and businesses, and other facts about the wine, winery, and wine professional that created the game. Because wine is a social endeavor, players can build a community of friends on the platform to see who tried a wine and what they said about it, invite them to share a virtual tasting, or review past games and experiences to suggest a wine or pick out a gift.
Wine professionals can track their customers’ skills, experiences, and preferences to gain insights into the consumer response to their wines in general or make individual recommendations. Somm Says can assist them by reminding players of their favorites with in-app messaging, push notifications, and follow-up emails to help them remember to pick up another bottle of the wines they or their friends love. These features add value but don’t encumber or burden over-stretched staff because Somm Says automates continuous engagement.
Better Business Decisions
“Our consumer data helps wine businesses across the value chain understand what makes each individual or group of consumers happy,” Rudd notes. “This helps wine shops, restaurants and producers better understand how to engage and delight their unique consumer populations.”
Rudd envisions a future where the business owner or sommelier can regularly connect with and understand a larger group of customers. They can use Somm Says to see how each unique consumer population responds to each wine, whether it was bought online or in a store or tasting room and whether they purchased it as a gift or to share with friends over dinner. That knowledge will let them craft and deliver personalized messages that build trusted relationships and ultimately meet business objectives more efficiently and effectively.
To learn more or to start playing Somm Says, visit us at https://sommsays.co/.