It is great to have a resource specifically dedicated to marketing wine. Marketers from other consumer products find out very quickly that their tested strategies and tactics don’t necessarily work when marketing a highly-regulated, image-driven product such as wine. Why? The overwhelming reason is that only 21% (Wine Market Council, 2011) of American adults consume wine in any kind of regular frequency. This eliminates traditional lifestyle media for all but the large players, while national wine publications are out of the reach for most small to medium wineries. However, overwhelmingly, there is an aversion of most small to medium wineries to market their crafted product as if they were selling a detergent or an automobile.
Since 2008 though, the industry has changed with the downturn, forcing wineries to focus on the selling (read marketing) their wine rather than waiting for wine visitors to arrive at the tasting room door.
The updated information presented in the 2011 version is important. The new chapter on wine tourism is both timely and of increasing importance for those of us living in wine country. I was also pleased to see the mention of Constellation’s Project Genome in the revised segmentation chapter. This colossal research project undertook to further differentiate the 20.4% core market to better understand just who those consumers are and their buying habits.
I have two suggestions for future versions. One is a section on the importance of trademarking your brand early in the brand building process. Several winery owners have reinforced that this is the most important step any winery should do to insure that your hard work is not lost due to a trademark ruling.
Secondly, the flood of consumer-driven, popularly-priced wines from large producers is changing our industry. Not only in the type of wines that might appeal to our marginal wine consumers, but also in new strategic relationships between producer and distributor and/or retailer. Charles Shaw wines, now 10 years old, opened up the door for $1.99 wine to be positioned as an everyday beverage. However, this never could have happened without Trader Joe’s reputation as a highly-credible brand.
Similarly, [yellow tail] and their strategic partnership with W. J. Deutsch & Sons, are rewriting the book of what wines non-traditional wine consumers might buy. These companies see tremendous upsides in targeting new market segments.
While no one book can capture all the nuances and information necessary to be successful in today’s cluttered but hardly saturated wine market place, this well-researched book provides an excellent foundation. List price $75. Buy it now at Amazon.