Marketing in the Wine Industry Essay
Marketing in the Wine Industry
There’s more in a glass of wine than meets the eye, or the palate. Wine isn’t just for the rich and affluent anymore. Everyone can enjoy wine, whether it’s a five dollar bottle or a five hundred dollar bottle. Winemakers and wine distribution companies have come up with new and exciting way to market their wines to people of every tax bracket and all walks of life. (Manda) Marketing in the wine industry is changing. Traditionally, consumers looked to opinion leaders like Robert Parker and the Wine Spectator to find the best wines on the market.
While those methods are still effective, winemakers and wine enthusiasts have discovered a new way to spread the word about particular wines. Social media has become the new, hot trend in marketing in just about every industry out there right now. And the wine industry is no exception. Corkd. com is a website for wine drinkers and enthusiasts where users can create their own wine journal, wine cellar, shopping list, and connect with online drinking buddies. This website is one way the wine industry as stepped up to the plate and utilized the opportunities of the internet in marketing.
“Cork’d is your pulse on the wine world and an online playground for all things wine. By collaborating with some of the smartest wine drinkers and industry figures, Cork’d is providing you with the most comprehensive, fun and exciting wine content available. Whether you’re a winery looking for exposure or an events company looking to promote or host a tasting, Cork’d wants to talk to you. Our mission is to breakdown the stereotypes, myths and pretenses surrounding wine culture to help you discover and drink better wines. ” (corkd. com)
Another factor changing the wine industries marketing strategies is where consumers are buying wine. Chain stores and supermarkets have taken over wine distribution from wholesalers. Costco has become one of the largest wine retailers in the United States. According to Michael Roberto, “There’s no question that a seismic shift is occurring at the retail and wholesale level. The number of alcoholic beverage wholesalers in the U. S. has decreased by 75 percent since the 1960s. At the retail level, wine sales are increasingly shifting to supermarkets, wholesale clubs, and the like.
For instance, Robert Mondavi now sells 10 percent of its wine in unit terms through Costco. These changes in the retail and distribution channels present substantial challenges for wineries, of course, because these powerful players such as Costco have much more clout and bargaining power than small liquor stores. Smaller vineyards often can find it more difficult to secure shelf space, and all wineries find themselves facing pricing pressure from the retail and distribution channels.
” Even though many wineries do not like the changes and small retail shops are suffering because of this shift, many consumers are actually profiting from these changes. Winemakers have found another fun way to market their wines simply with their labels. The new “trend” in the wine business is a funky label. Traditionally, wine labels were simple and to the point. The label had the name of the vineyard, the year, and basic information about the wine in a simple fashion. Recently, winemakers have started to get creative with the names of their wines and the design of their bottles and labels.
Now, when you walk down an aisle in a store filled with different wines there are many different bottles that stick out because of loud colors, wild pictures, or crazy names on the label. This is a great form of marketing to use for wine because the bottle itself is a great marketing tool. Many consumers will buy a bottle of wine just because they like how the bottle looks or maybe they are giving it as a gift and the title is something catchy that conveys some type of message that relates to the person who is receiving the wine. For example, there is a wine called “Bitch” wine.
The wine itself is not bad, but its nothing to rave about. One of the main reasons that particular wine is so popular is because of the name. The label is black with pink script font with “Bitch” printed on the front, and on the back it just repeats the name of the wine over and over again. This wine is marketed to women and is a perfect gift to give a friend as a joke they can enjoy. Women have become a hot target market for wine makers. According to the 2006 Adams Wine Handbook, “Men prefer beer; women prefer wine,” Many women are emerging as winemakers and marketers are realizing the potential for profit in female consumers.
“Women make up 52 percent of the adult population and purchase 57 percent of the wine consumed in the United States. 1 They represent a huge market with great purchasing power that until recently has been overlooked. According to experts, women are less influenced by wine ratings, as they tend to judge the entire product. Although the wine quality is important to women, so are the label design, the bottle shape and the philosophy of the winery. ” (Wine Institute) While there are many new ways to market wine, the traditional methods are still widely used.
Promotion in the wine industry is all about putting the name of the winery on everything from wine keys to wine bags to key chains to hats. Wine distribution companies have always been know to give out free merchandise with the name of the wines they sell everywhere. This is a great way to advertise. Consumers love to receive free things and that opens up a great opportunity for wineries to advertise with little cost. California former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proclaimed September as “Wine Celebration Month”, also known as California Wine Month.
This is another great way for wineries to get their name and wines out in the public. DiscoverCalifornaiWine. com states, “September is California Wine Month, and that makes it a fine time to enjoy a glass of California wine and a visit to wine country. September is harvest time in California and California Wine Month celebrates the state’s ideal climate for wine, beautiful wine country landscape, our talented and ingenious winemaking families, our celebrated lifestyle and cuisine; and our commitment to sustainability and the environment. ”
Another trend in the world of wine is sustainability and organics. Many vineyards around have become 100 percent sustainable and the numbers are growing. The new world culture is all about reducing our carbon and ecological footprint. So many wineries have actually capitalized on this idea. Wineries have begun to include their efforts at social responsibility in their advertising. Which caters to a growing market of consumers, as many people nowadays will only buy organic. Tolosa is a winery that has recently dedicated itself to sustainability and creating wine without harming the environment.
One if their brochures stated that, “In August 2009 Tolosa converted to solar electrical generation. This system will provide the winery’s electrical energy for the next 25 years. CO2 emissions reduced by over 500 tons. This is equivalent to planting nearly 100 acres of trees. ” Tolosa is one of the many wineries’ that has begun to capitalize on sustainability. The times have changed and so have marketing strategies of the wine industry. The wine industry is booming more than ever. Success in the wine industry is possible whether a company uses new or old marketing techniques.
In this new age, the marketing department should focus on women and social media. As Tinckenell and Tincknell, a wine consulting and marketing firm, have written on the front page of their website MarketingWine. com, “If it doesn’t come from the heart, the message will be hollow. If you don’t imagine it first, someone else will. If it isn’t inspired and creative, it won’t get noticed. Each link in the marketing process — the heart, the mind, and creativity — communicates your story to the world. ”
Works Cited About Cork’d « Cork’d Content.
” Cork’d Content. Web. 20 June 2011. <http://content. corkd. com/about/>. “Discover California Wines : California Wine Month. ” Discover California Wines : Welcome to Discover California Wines. Web. 20 June 2011. <http://www. discovercaliforniawine. com/learn/california-wine-month>. The Changing Structure of the Global Wine Industry (2004). Michael Roberto. Salls, Manda. “Marketing Wine to the World — HBS Working Knowledge. ” HBS Working Knowledge – Faculty Research at Harvard Business School. Web. 20 June 2011. <http://hbswk. hbs. edu/item/3910. html>.