There’s no question that the demand for wines is increasing. The growing popularity of online alcohol shopping and on-demand delivery services proves this. However, with nearly 2,500 wineries in Australia plus the other thousands around the world, competition in the industry is stiff.
We know winemaking is expensive and advertising is often costly. Not everyone can afford a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign like the big guys do.
So how can you make your brand stand out in a crowded aisle or e-commerce world without spending too much?
Sure, your wine tastes amazing but when consumers shop online, they can’t judge a vino based on taste. Instead, they look at positive reviews, awards, beautiful images, and stories when buying a bottle.
Your brand story is important because people tend to purchase from brands they have an emotional connection with. Focus on your “why” and highlight what makes you unique. While it’s tempting to share only the good things online, remember that authenticity goes a long way.
Customers are always interested to know what goes behind your brand. Share daily images and videos of what a typical day looks like in your vineyard. Plus, don’t forget to add a human element to the brand. People connect with people, not companies.
When it comes to making a purchase, customers remember how they felt previously, not by how a product tastes or smells. Make your mark on their minds by offering creative and personalised experiences.
Are you sending next month’s wine club package? Include small food pairing ideas in the box. Can’t do wine tastings in your cellar door? Schedule a Zoom group call instead and send products straight to clients’ doors.
Other examples include Penfolds offering luxury tours and experiences in their vineyard while Audrey Wilkinson providing a unique wine tasting experience where customers get to try wines straight from the barrel and pair them with locally-sourced cheese.
You already know how to connect with current customers but how do you get the attention of new ones? Widen your reach through partnerships. Look at industries you work closely with and see how you can collaborate.
For example, work with a local chocolatier and create pairing recommendations that you can showcase and promote in both businesses. You can also link up with a restaurant and hold an exclusive dinner event where you work with the restaurant’s chef for the special menu.
You can also consider partnering with other wineries which four Barossa Valley winemakers did previously. Kaesler Wines, Seppeltsfield Winery, Torbreck Vintners, and Two Hands Wines worked together to make Concordis, a fine Shiraz, that allows them to give back to their community.
Optimising your website and social media accounts is the bare minimum for any business. Today, wineries are expanding customer engagement beyond these platforms and looking for innovative ways to get noticed.
One technology that wineries are taking advantage of is augmented reality (AR). Australian Treasury Estate Wines has AR wine labels with engaging crime history-related animations. New Zealand-based Providore Wines also uses AR to give customers a look into their estate and winemaking processes.
You can also use technology and explore other platforms to reach new audiences. WINEDEPOT’s MARKET, for instance, connects you to thousands of venues of different sizes across Australia. As the first full-service vineyard to venue online platform, it helps you take control of your business, enjoy higher margins, and accelerate growth.
It’s important to look at your performance regularly and see what you can refine. The strategies we covered above are meant to spark creativity. It helps to gather your team and brainstorm ideas you can implement to strengthen your brand and improve your competitiveness.