Mar 14 2012
THE BOOZE BIN
By Emily Valentine (@ebvalentine)
I tend to view the world through brand-colored glasses, so, on a recent trip to California wine country, I wasn’t surprised to find my mind wander to the realm of customer experience.
A positive tasting room experience will clearly lead to repeat purchases, but beyond that, a purposeful on-site tasting is the ideal opportunity for a wine brand to make its mark in the minds of consumers.
To me, the emotional and sensory experience a winery manages to deliver to customers on site – and then re-create online or at the point of sale – lays the groundwork for effective wine branding.
I’ve witnessed several good examples of this principle at work in my home state of Virginia (see 5 Reasons to Try #VaWine), but here are a few highlights from the golden state:
Needless to say, I’ll buy Scribe wine again whenever I’m able (the limited availability only adds to its intrigue). In the meantime, I’ll keep up with the winery via its website, blog and Facebook page, and spread the word to friends through my own social networks.
Why didn’t Kuleto’s personality shine through? Maybe it needs further aging to reach its full potential … or maybe it was just muffled by the 80s rock blaring in the tasting room.
What I’d love to have gotten from this brand is a better feel for the face behind the name and how his creative viewpoint is expressed through his wines. Videos, photos, even one great story would have gone a long way in making the wines less forgettable.
So, here’s my “glass half empty” marketing insight: Wine brands hoping to succeed in today’s marketing environment can’t afford to neglect their customer experience offering – in the tasting room, online or elsewhere. There are too many other options for consumers to choose from, and too many ways for consumers to broadcast less-than-positive brand reviews.
And, for the more drinkable “glass half full” version: The emotional and sensory nature of the tasting room experience poses tremendous opportunity for wine brands, big and small. Boutique wineries with limited marketing budgets should orchestrate cost-effective experiences to differentiate themselves and galvanize brand advocates.
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