Everyday Wine Drinkers Are Not Brand Loyal

Because I’m a big fan of Oregon pinot noir and would like to take on some wine industry clients this year, I’ve been thinking a lot about brand preference in this decidedly non-brand centric environment.
Here’s a quick survey I administered this moring on Twitter (the responses address the question of brand loyalty when it comes to wine):
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As a brand manager at a winery, I dont’ want to hear that. I want wine drinkers to know my brand name and have it “register” at retail. But that’s not how it happens. Not in wine.
As a wine consumer, I tend to buy bottles by the region, not the brand. So, even I am only loyal to a region. What can wine producers do to change this? How can a single producer stand out in a crowded field?
It’s a great question. A few years ago, Hugh MacLeod certainly tried everything in the book to answer it. Others are working to answer the riddle still.
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One answer for the enthusiast crowd is without a doubt tasting events. Darby and I went to one recently that really stands out in our minds. The fact that it does, makes us advocates for Sokol Blossser. We already knew about their sustainable production practices–you can see their solar panels from the road! But after we happened upon a wine club event, bought our way in and tasted their new releases, we felt like part of the family. Isn’t that what drinking wine is about?

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About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.