If you are a wine lover, oenologist, winemaker, owner of a wine estate, or simply have lost yourself in the aisles of a wine merchant to offer a gift, you know that wine is not just wine. There are all the grape varieties, then there are all the varieties. Choosing the right bottle of wine to drink with dinner can quickly become a daunting task. The foie gras is with a Monbazillac Domaine de l’ancienne cure 2011 or to avoid fat on fat we prefer a Porto Graham’s LBV 2015? You know that there is one thing that can instantly differentiate a bottle from all the others: an excellent Brand Strategy of wine, and so it doesn’t matter the bottle, only your palate matters.
Let’s face it – and it may shock you if you’re passionate about wine – most people buy wine based on the label on the bottle. Therefore, your wine brand must perfectly embody the identity of your winery. Briefly, a wine label should tell you everything you need to know about the wine it contains: the grape variety, the target consumer, the origin, the notes, the history of the winery. How? ‘Or’ What? Thanks to a thoughtful wine marketing strategy by a brand strategist.
The strategy of a wine marketing agency is to build a dedicated brand to enhance your wine
A wine marketing agency will know how to highlight your wine and its history. Whether you are an amateur winemaker who only makes a few barrels for you and your close friends, a larger scale winemaker or viticulturist, or a graphic designer tasked with creating a delicious wine label, with your wine brand in mind, the how it is made, its history, its terroir, you will find sure ways to highlight it. And you will guarantee that it ends up in the right hands, in the right glasses of the right connoisseurs: a wine influencer who will talk about your domain.
Here is everything you need to know about your wine branding before deciding on a communication strategy:
- Understanding wine branding
- Identify who is drinking your wine
- A wine brand for different grape varieties
- Tell the story of your wine brand
- Create and sell your unique wine brand
Understanding the wine brand: a particular branding
We often have this perception of wine as being chic and refined. But a brand like Bordeaux Baron Philippe de Rothschild has changed this consumer perception by creating with this brand a wine that is more accessible in terms of price than a Mouton Cadet.
With wine, there is a big difference between cheap and cheap. When you hear the expression “cheap wine”, what do you imagine? For many of us, cheap wine means a large jug under the counter or a cardboard box with a plastic tap. You can’t imagine buying wine like that. However, during each wine fair, many people buy cheap wines whose same quality of content could end up in inboxes. Why: Efficient wine brand.
A good wine brand, which includes a professional-looking and visually pleasing logo, label, color scheme, and bottle choice, instantly creates a great first impression.
Many modern vintners like to opt for a striking yet clean and simple look using sans serif fonts, bright colors, and bold imagery. More traditional brands, on the other hand, communicate their classic style through design conventions such as keyword logos, classic imagery, serif fonts, and muted colors.
Wine branding goes beyond label design. Small details on the bottle, such as its shape or a coat of arms, also guide buyers in the perception of your brand. Even the packaging it comes in speaks for your brand: all so-called high-end whiskey bottles come with a cardboard bottle, like the best Ports and some Champagnes. You may also get in touch with a brand consultant for your brand marketing.
With the wine brand, buyer perception is important. Therefore, so many wines still have corks. The reality is that a screw cap keeps oxygen out of the wine better than corks, making it the perfect choice for white wines that don’t benefit from light oxidation. But because buyers associate a screw cap with less valuable wine, many wine brands continue to seal their blanks with corks.
In many ways, the wine brand is like the whiskey brand. With both, buyers expect an expensive bottle to look expensive. Contrast that with beer, where you’ll only find crests and corks instead of caps on the more expensive craft breweries. Winegrowers, you have the same problem as your Scottish or Belgian cousins who sell whiskey or beer. All this strategy can be thought out thanks to wine marketing agency because it’s not just about communication, but about linking customer perception and your product. You can also read this article which deals with the perception of wine according to the country and the impact that this can have on the development of a wine brand strategy:
The work of a wine marketing agency: Identify who is drinking your wine. Who is your customer? How to rejuvenate its customers?
Branding any product requires you to accurately identify your ideal customer. In other words, to sell your wine to the person who will enthusiastically buy it, drink it, and buy it again, you need a clear picture of who that person is.
Wine lovers are not the same as beer lovers. Nor are they the same as whiskey lovers. Sure, one person can enjoy all the wines and spirits as the occasion calls for it, but when it comes to defining your marketing strategy to your customers, then your branding should match the personality of the one who will tomorrow be an influencer of your wine. Also, think about your customer acquisition strategy, a wine estate in Menetou-Salon told us that its customers were made up of people over 50 and that it wanted to rejuvenate them to increase its sales. This translates into a questioning of how to communicate around your wine brand and its sales channels.
Once you’ve figured out who your wine is for, you can develop a brand identity that will appeal to that buyer. This means picking the right font, picking an appealing color scheme, and designing a label that meets their shelf look and draws them in. This also involves communication on social networks, but also an adapted sales system via your website.
Nurture your terroir and your history
Any discussion of wine branding should include a discussion of the branding of different grape varieties. One, because each varietal has a different feel – its own brand, you might say – and two, because if you plan to release more than one varietal, you’ll probably want their labels to be similar enough that buyers know that they are the same brand, but unique enough that each has its own flavor. This is what happens when you want to market a special cuvée born from a well-identified plot of your vineyard.
Changing your label for different grape varieties or different cuvées is an effective way to differentiate your wines while remaining on your brand. The design of wine labels is important because on the shelves at a wine merchant or when you present your wine at a trade show, it is the first image that your future buyers have of you.
Consider the characteristics of each cuvée you want to include in your wine brand. Tracking these visual representations can help you develop labels for the different cuvées you bring to market. For example, you might consider lighter colors and circles and other sparkling images in a label for sparkling wine or a bold, intricate geometric pattern for a cabernet.
If you have several grape varieties or cuvées, it is important to maintain a certain consistency in their labels. This can be your logo recalled on all your cuvées, a slogan, or even an image defining your story. You can also build a personal and creative identity.
Telling the story of your brand: the storytelling of your wine
Wine lovers love the terroir: drinking a good wine is also traveling through a particular art. Wine lovers like to tell the story of wine by serving it at the table to their friends. Your wine brand should effectively tell your brand story. Not just your origin story, but the story of who you are now and the impact you are making in your market. All the values you put into it: care for the vines, respect for the land, the way you vinify your wine. Creative storytelling is one of the best ways to market your product.
Just as you identified your target audience by answering a series of questions about them, you can define the main plot points of your brand story by answering questions such as:
- Where are we in the wine market?
- What prompted us to start producing wine?
- How long have we been making wine?
- What grape varieties and cuvées do we focus on?
- Who buys our wine?
- What are our brand values and goals?
But the essential question for a wine estate is what distinguishes us from our close competitors. How do we do it differently than the domain of the same name as us?
Next, determine which colors, shapes, fonts, images. And word choices for your name and supporting copy communicate that story most effectively. That story can fit into a well-designed website that will showcase your wine. Because in short, it’s relatively simple. You have a passion for your job and it’s reflected in the tasting. So you must show it on your website.
Create and sell your unique wine: you are the marketing agency for your wine
Once you’ve produced your wine, you must let people know it exists. And this question is crucial at the start of 2021. Our analysis of American territory shows that there was a 22% drop in wine sales for French estates in 2020. Champagne wines are down 18 %. The most important thing is to focus on the marketing channels that have the most reach among your target audience. But it is becoming urgent to diversify your clientele. Rejuvenate it and find ways to sell via your website in particular.
There are many ways to build brand awareness like social media campaigns. Free tastings at liquor stores, partnerships with other brands. The development of a social media strategy can be very interesting in this regard. Develop brand awareness by rejuvenating your target customers. Adding to this an online store via your website, and creating a membership club. To nurture the relationship with your customers and ensure their loyalty.
Your brand awareness is also nourished by events
The embellishment of your website with a report produced by a professional photographer allows you to highlight your wine estate. It helps tell the story and anchor your brand.
But you can also rely on the events organized around your brand and sometimes in partnership with other winegrowers. Many wine appellations have wine houses or wine syndicates. Unity is strength, they say. You can also join events organized by restaurants. Why not invite a cook to your cellar for a pop-up restaurant at your winery. All this, of course, is relayed in the specialized press.
Many things in wine go through the label and then through the website. But you have understood that more than graphics, there is a whole brand identity to be built around your winery.