Are wine trade marketers aware of their role?

Too much appreciation for wine could be stopping the sale of wine

Coming from the beer business, I was always interested in how the wine trade takes a lot of time talking about the taste and history of wines. When we sampled the beer stocks there wasn’t much comment on the taste or expectation anyone to care about our opinions.

When I started wine tasting I found there was a real passion and deep conversation about the flavour, creation and history. I was really impressed and intrigued. But this drive seemed to be lacking when it came to the organised trade marketing programs designed to sell more of these great wines to the end consumer. That isn’t to say there haven’t been successful marketing programs, but too often they don’t seem to impact the overall volume index in any noticeable way.

It seems to me that the marketers were more focused on the actual wine rather than the best way to sell it to the targeted groups of consumers. I understand that finding a perfect new wine is exciting, but it should not be causing you to lose focus on your current crop.

I bet you are thinking that I underestimate the power of the wine tasting experience and topping up your knowledge, this isn’t true. I appreciate that tasting can help you build a strong balanced portfolio of wines and offer a wider range to the consumer. However maybe not too many people within the same company should spend so much time on it.

There also seems to be a lack of scale in the wine marketing world. I’ve seen activities being developed for specific customers that succeed only to be used for under a month and not developed for a different market. If a technique is successful for a hotel chain of 20 outlets, why not offer the same to another 1000 hotels?

I understand that wine isn’t a commodity and shouldn’t be thought of as one. I’m not suggesting every restaurant or dealer should start offering buy-one-get-one-free or three-for-£10 promotions. But thinking of adding extra value to your wine and enhancing the strong points of your product for the long-term and investment in marketing could make your business an even greater success. To put it simply, think less about what you sell and more how to sell it.

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