Marketing lessons from the wine industry

How do you stand out from all the wine labels

How do you stand out from all these wine labels

Here in Marlborough it is hard to escape the wine industry, it is a huge part of our regional economy.

I was in the supermarket the other day and run into a friend of mine who has a reasonably young wine label, and it got me thinking…

With supermarket shelves lined with hundreds of brands, how do you make your bottle of wine stand out and reach your customers?

One simple marketing strategy used for years by wineries, big and small, is offering free tastings of their product.   How often have you been asked if you would you like to try a glass of wine in the supermarket?

Here’s why this is a great way to market your brand of wine:

  1. They go to where the customers are – customers are already in the supermarket.  If they are going to buy a bottle of wine, who do they see?  If they like the wine, they can grab a bottle and buy it immediately.
  2. The customer is being offered something for free, no obligation.  Lets be honest, we all like free stuff.
  3. People are creatures of habit – A free tasting is an easy way to try something new.
  4. It takes away the customers fear of buying a bottle of wine and hating it.  They already know what it tastes like before parting with their hard earned cash.

I think it works even better for smaller players in the market.  It gives them a chance to put a face to the brand and start a conversation with the customers.  They can tell a story about their wine and relate it to the customer easier than a sales rep from a large company.

How can you use this idea in your business?

  • What can you offer potential customers for free? Remember, wineries only give away a small taste, not whole bottles of wine.  Can you offer a taste of your product or service?
  • Is there a place your products or services are frequently purchased or used?  Can you have a presence there to meet them?
  • What fears do customers have about purchasing your products or services?  Can you offer a try before you buy deal or a satisfaction guarantee?

photo credit: rick

About Al

Alistair has managed and built small businesses in a varied industries from agriculture to the web. Years in sales lead to his obsession with marketing.
In his spare time he enjoys time with his family, sails and reads marketing books.
Get more from Alistair on Twitter and Google+.


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