Winning the Story Wars
For almost all of human history we communicated in the oral tradition. Stories were passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years before reading and writing became common place. Every culture or society that exists has passed down powerful myths that are universally shared and explain how the world works.

For the past couple hundred or so years, we have moved away from an oral tradition, but with social media we are starting to move back towards it. Interesting stories are the ones that get shared and go viral. How many times have you seen a funny video or moving story on Facebook and share it with your friends?

I’ve recently been entrenched in the book, Winning the Story Wars: Why those who tell (and live) the best stories will rule the future. Author Jonah Sachs says successful stories have explanation, meaning, story, and ritual. What makes a good story is:

“one that moves people emotionally, replaces facts with characters, speaks to people’s highest values and makes them believe they can be their own hero. The most powerful stories are based on The Hero’s journey, where they start in distress and become the hero.”

Think Star Wars and Harry Potter. People love these movies, because they can see themselves being the hero. Plus, they show the classic good vs. evil. Good standing up for the greater good. Sachs goes on to say:

“In the marketing realm this is called, empowerment marketing. Humans want to stand up for justice. They want to seek truth. They want beauty & self expression.”

Ok, but how does that correlate to your wine brand?

Let’s look at an example. Nike, which is ultimate example of empowerment marketing, promotes this message: Just do it. Everything you need is already inside you. Every advertisement or video follows the storyline of you, the average Jane becoming an athlete. Do they say buy our shoes because we are having this great sale? No, they put the power within each person. So, to create a successful wine brand, you need to create a story of empowerment.

How do you create a good wine story?

Sachs goes into much more detail in his book about what makes a good plot, but basically successful stories are broken down into these different components:

1. Hero: the audience (notice the Hero is not your company, but someone from your audience)
2. Your Brand: You are mentor (For example, Nike telling you to Just do it)
3. Gift to help the hero on his journey (For example, Tom’s shoes 1 for 1 program, where they donate 1 pair of shoes for every one bought)
4. Villain: Your nemesis (Think Darth Vadar. Or Apple pitting against giant Microsoft.)
5. Moral of the story (What lesson is your Hero going to learn?)
6. The Values (What values does this teach your Hero? Drink local and support their community?)

Each of these things will help you define what your true story is and help you stay in the memory of each person that comes across it. Not all empowering brands have a villain, but see below how Chipolte generalizes their villain in the below video. Chipolte’s president posted the following video of his passion for sustainable food when he took back the helm after moving away from his values:

Make your wine brand human:

In order for people to connect to your brand, people must feel like they know you. As we like to tell our clients, when a visitor comes to your website they should have the same feeling and connection as when they come to your place of business. If you have stunning panoramic views, by all means put that on your home page. If the owner or winemaker is the funniest person you have ever heard, take a video and add it to your website. If your owner was a pilot in Africa, talk about what inspired him to open your company. If your tasting room server can speed recite every wine on your menu in under 30 seconds, spread the word. The more people feel like they are getting to know you, your winery and your staff’s personality, the more connected to your brand they will become. And this is what leads to sales and more importantly your customers spreading the word about how they love your products and services.

Now go shout your story from rooftops!

Another words, once you create a solid wine brand story keep your story consistent and tell it over multiple channels. Your website, social media, email marketing, wine events, wine club, and if you have the budget print, TV and radio. Think about how Nike might show different athletes, but the core message (Just Do It) is the same across all media.

Need help coming up with your brand story?

We can help! We love to help boutique wineries just like yours with their brand stories, marketing, social media, graphic and web design. Take our free 7 week email course, Sell More Wine, to learn how to create your brand and jump start your marketing.
How to Sell More Wine 7 week course

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One Response to How to create your wine brand story

  1. [...] Your website needs to sound well, human. I just read a book called “The Story Wars” that says that the most successful brands are based on moral myths. The author  “offers three simple tools any brand can use to break through, earn fans and become an icon: Be Interesting, Tell the Truth and Live the Truth.” Every human being has a unique story, just like every business has a unique story. Are you telling yours? Read more about How to Create your brand story. [...]

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