Winemakers are some of the most passionate and creative types I’ve ever met, truly blending art and science in the bottle. Craft wine is just a sexy business: the people, the lifestyle, the growing regions and geographies…all factors that have contributed to vino’s successful run. And while the industry grew approximately 3.7% in the past year (9,785 wineries in the U.S. as of 10/18, compared to 9,434 a year ago), it is more challenging now than ever before to earn, much less retain, a drinker’s share of palate and wallet.
Shopper data and industry studies have shown greatest growth in what they call the “Super Premium” segment ($20-$30 retail), represented by 3,133 U.S. wineries (32%) by average bottle price, closely followed by “Popular Premium” ($10-$15) and “Premium” ($14-$20) segments. So the consumer is trading up either inside or outside the category…but are they choosing your brand when they do?
In an area of total craft beverage where the on-site, tasting room experience has forever been a differentiator, contemporary craft winemakers will benefit from pushing their marketing efforts beyond industry norms into new and uncomfortable territories. Ask yourself, “My customer has changed, but has my marketing?” For consumers that largely live online and engage with brands via mobile, it’s paramount to a winery’s continued success to reframe the traditional wine marketing model, using tactics meant to enable discovery and prompt action.
Paterno Wine & Spirits and Terlato Wines International are importers and producers of more 90+ rated wines than any company in the world. Scott worked for two years in the IT department on projects to help streamline processes, reduce unnecessary spend and introduce enterprise systems. He then transitioned to marketing where he interfaced with most of the wineries in the owned and distributed portfolio on projects like website design, point-of-sale integration, wine club membership, ecommerce and email promotion.