So, recently I found myself getting rather miffed. I had achieved a massive goal, in terms of sales and branding. *I* was excited. VERY excited. It was a great get, and an awesome opportunity.
Except. Except some of the beneficiaries of this goal seemed less than enthused. As in, not excited at all. As in, unwilling to even provide the basic information that would turn this opportunity into action.
So I was a teensy bit annoyed but people have lives and other things on and that’s fine. All I can do is present opportunities. And that’s completely okay. Because at the end of the day, they are the winery’s opportunities. Not mine. And yeah yeah, effort, time, connections, etc. But it is remembering that it is never about me, despite the efforts, and it is ALWAYS about the winery.
So: perspective. It’s an interesting one in the wine game because there are SO MANY perspectives between the vineyards and the end drinker. Winemaker and owner. Marketing guru. Distributor. Reps. Retailers. Somms. Waiters. The successful brands are ones which appreciate the variety of perspectives and address this without compromising the brand identity or story.
The story must be consistent. And if your story is based around a huge personality then that must be evident across your branding and events. If it is the husband and wife winemakers, chilled and laid back, then their choice of events and presentation to the wine-drinking community must reflect this.
Wine shows can be a little limiting due to their format – trestle, bottles, banner, spitoon, order forms. Any chance to shift this alters the perspective. Move the trestle to the back of the display area. Talk to people without a bit of furniture getting in the way. Forget the banner, use a collage of photos instead and invite people to come up close. Be different. Shift your perspective. More importantly – shift the consumer’s perspective. Make them more than another body tasting another wine and enable them to engage more closely with your wine, your brand, YOU.
The selection of wine events is crucial. They must fit your targets and your ethos. They must deliver a return – whether it be exposure, or branding or cash. The scales must err in your favour. And that means having a really clear idea of your purpose and the tracking path of your brand.
And occasionally your choices will surprise people. But look at every opportunity as a chance to see what others are up to rather than purely focusing inwardly. Ask attendees for feedback. Exchange notes with other wineries. Each event is a chance to see where you can optimise your investment, or improve.
See outside your own perspective – and that of your brand – and appreciate how others go about achieving the goal we all hold front and centre. For our wines to be bought, savoured, recommended, and purchased again. In a crowded market, a return sale is golden. Out of all the choices, they’ve effectively said “I like you. I want you in my world.”
And there is little better than being the choice of someone out of all the wines they could have. They become your brand ambassador. Pouring or recommending for friends. Sending colleagues and family to your event, your cellar door, your world. Every happy customer is a chance to reach even more people. And to reach then with an independent endorsement.
Because essentially, whilst my perspective as an agent, a helping hand, has minimal relevance, so does that of the maker. The only relevance really is that of the drinker. And maybe if we could stop repeating the same story over and over regardless of the audience, we could ask them about their world. Their perspective. And what makes them happy. Let them invite us into their lives. Listen. And find a way to make our wines relevant which extends past the glass in front of them.
Because if we are the only ones being excited about the wines and the identikit story we could recite in our sleep? We’re doing it wrong.
My being excited for this awesome opportunity is one thing. But unless the other party is too, what’s the point?
At risk of repeating myself: there is no need to preach from on high. There are so very many politicians and churches and media types and spruikers already doing that. How about we throw out the script?
When we invite guests into our houses we ask them how they are. Why, then, is the script at wine events generally to simply bleat at people until they leave?
My wines are way more personal than my house. I want to invite people into my wines. Ask them their opinions. Value their input. Find out how it might just fit into their world. Enjoy a splash together. Not just tell then how special the wines are, but to show them why they are special to me. Share.
It’s all a matter of perspective.