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Comments on: Who turned on the lights?



a wine business marketing conversation



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By: Frank, Rimerman + Co. LLP Blog » Blog Archive » Selling Wine Direct to Consumers — Harder Than It Sounds

Fri, 24 Sep 2010 21:25:18 +0000

[...] biggest disconnect I see though is that many wineries don’t embrace the concept of the “aspirational consumer.”  Using social media is widely viewed “a kid’s activity” and “not important for my [...]



By: thinkwinemarketing

Tue, 29 Jun 2010 01:22:27 +0000

Bruce, thanks for your comments & input. Winery's deal with customer relationship management on an every day basis. Often by manually entering sales, inventory and/or compliance reports, which become a time sink and administratively burdensome. CRM software, like the drinks industry specific Brixiom Systems in fact CRM technology frees up the winery or distributor sales person to have more time to talk to their customers, and to focus on customer service. CRM Technology doesn't trump one-on-one interaction, but supports this by seamlessly utilizing technology to assist in the flow of wine from producer to consumer.This is my specific take on winery CRM implementation of CRMs in my Oct. '09 article 'Product Review: Hosted Customer Relationship Management Software Solutions: An analysis of hosted CRMs as effective sales force automation tools.' Re. my blog focus: I write about wine business marketing for wineries. Based on comments & emails, I have a following not only among wineries, but in finance & technology. I believe in writing about what I know. I do know wine, vineyards and winery operations, and my colleague Wes Hagen write a great blog along your suggested line "A Year in the Vineyard." Cheers, Cork



By: Bruce McGechan

Tue, 29 Jun 2010 00:54:56 +0000

re your action point: "Talk to your customers: The idea of customer relationship management (CRM) ... Develop, nurture and build a relationship with each and every customer. " One issue I have with the CRM software approach is that as soon as you start thinking software you start "managing" customers rather than "interacting and engaging" with them. Sure software (salesforce etc) can help you manage and track (cruvee) what's being said about your brand but it all comes down to one on one conversations - as you say. So I would start to blog and tweet about things happening in the seasonal cycle of the winery/vineyard. The "escape from frost death", the brix levels of the wine in autumn, photos of grape bunches in summer. It may seem tedious but it's truly interesting to us desk bound folks (I'm more wine retailer focused than winery).



By: thinkwinemarketing

Thu, 27 May 2010 23:37:32 +0000

Laura, thanks for the read and the comments. I looked at your website & that looks like my old stomping grounds on the Santa Maria Bench. The broad market is and has been difficult even for established brands, and requires specific account targeting and significant time in the market. I have a wine business advisory firm and consul my winery clients to build on Direct to Consumer (DTC) & Direct to Trade (DTT) activities. I would as a first step take control of your data and list your brands on http://yourwineyourway.com/to ensure that you brand data/information is uniform throughout the web space. I would then focus on building your mailing list with your increased TR foot traffic. I would also investigate building relationships in multiple channels such as regionalized national accounts, ecommerce, to perhaps include even a few of the flash sales sites like Rue La La or Winery Insider. I would focus on your key SB County and greater SoCal marketplace. Also, if it's part of your winery DNA, you should be involved in the Social Web as a low cost traffic driver and brand awareness vehicle... So, many more tactics to employ to increase your brand footprint. If you have any questions, please call me. My info is on the contact page of this bog. Cheers, Cork



By: Laura Mohseni

Thu, 27 May 2010 21:53:57 +0000

We're a new winery, so have had really different experiences throughout the recession. The tasting room is only getting better and better as consumers come out of the woodwork. They look for customer service and creativity, as you mentioned, and we provide that. Wholesale, on the other hand, has been really challenging. Many stores don't want to bring in wines from new wineries because they have supported other wines for so long. Others don't want to take the risk. Some are particularly cruel about even tasting. It would be interesting to see more recommendations on how to convince other trade to give the newbies a chance when things still aren't 100% optimistic.



By: Vic Motto

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 18:21:00 +0000

Mr. 1WineDude, thanks for your comments. It's true that our professional lives are directly tied to the success of wine. For that, I'm glad. There is no better industry, and none has a better outlook than fine wine. I'm also glad that you heard the whole presentation at the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, because there we laid out a more detailed case for these observations, which are well-supported by a lot of history and hard facts. It's easy to get caught up in the doldrums of a downturn and to lose sight of the long terms trends. But, the latter more influence the future than the former. By far. Past is prologue, because of basic human tendencies. Those include of course, being down when its down, but then, restlessly pushing forth, which we're all doing right now. John Corcoran got it right in his well-written and thoughtful analysis. The recovery has already begun.



By: thinkwinemarketing

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 17:22:03 +0000

Joe, first of all hope all is well in DE. It great to have had a chance to meet you IRL at the VinTank mixer on your trip out to Napa for the Wine Writers Symposium. And, thanks for taking time to read this article and commenting. I'll let Vic (if he so chooses) address your points and conclusions; but, as someone who has also been in the wine business since the late 1970's, I've found the following to be true: 1.) it's never as good as it seems 2.) it's never as bad as it seems 3.) this too shall pass. Starting in Sept. '09 the flat market started to turn around, and wines above $20 stated to gain velocity. A significant portion of that seems to have been driven the slowdown in restaurant wine sales, and wines not formerly in retail or grocery (or e-commerce) started to move into that channel, and at discounted pricing. Already as reported by Nielsen's US Food & Drug report for Feb '10 show that this momentum is gaining ground --> http://www.winebusiness.com/news/?go=getArticle&dataid=72498 ; and, that "Reports of winery flops are overblown" --> http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2010/03/22/story11.html?b=1269230400^3058051 ... so, I view Vic's take as a "realistic long view" and not one that's overly optimistic. Yes there are still shifts in consumer attitudes/sentiments to note, long tail changes in the restaurant industry (casualisation) and significant strictures in capital markets... so, while the US wine biz is not completely out of the forest yet, most in the industry can now see the sun through the redwoods. Cheers, Cork



By: 1WineDude

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 16:19:04 +0000

Vic gave an interesting presentation on the wine market & its future over lunch at the CIA during the Wine Writers Symposium earlier this year. It seemed awfully optimistic to me, but then Vic's clients probably have LOTS of money tied up in the Napa wine biz...



By: uberVU - social comments

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 01:49:46 +0000

Social comments and analytics for this post... This post was mentioned on Twitter by StoryWinery: It was dark, and now it's light...Who Turned On the Lights in the Wine Industry: http://bit.ly/cHoMno...



By: Cinde Dolphin

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 15:26:50 +0000

It's a slippery, scary slope - but optimism feels so much better than pessimism. It does seem that our $20+ wines are starting to experience better velocity. And, instead of only single bottle purchases, our tasting rooms are getting a few more two and three bottle purchases. I like the idea that people are willing to spend a little more, but get nervous around the term "aspirational spending."