Branding Tip: Should your wine label and website match?

If I bought a bottle of your wine and then went to your website, do they have the same branding elements?

Your wine label is often the first piece of branding your customer sees and often wineries focus all their brand strategy on the wine label. While the label is very important, it is only a piece of your brand.

If I open your website and the brand looks completely different than your labels and marketing collateral, then you are doing your wine brand a huge disservice. Your customer now has to change their initial perspective of your wine brand. Consumers make all kinds of negative interpretations from old technology, especially if your website isn’t mobile friendly or they can’t find the info they are looking for.

Instead, your goal is to reinforce your unique brand from wine label to website to marketing collateral to winery tasting room experience. Don’t go in a different direction on your website, just because it is trendy or you don’t want to update to newer technology. Instead, stay on brand and repeat elements that reinforce your brand.

Bauerhaus Design creates unforgettable brands and provides packaging, website design and digital marketing for the wine industry. Each project is based on a six phase process that begins with a dive into your business goals, your competition, and your target market. Contact owner Rebecca Ritz for a free 30 minute discovery call to discuss your branding project.

Rebecca Ritz is the owner of Bauerhaus Design and has worked with wineries across the country for over 10 years to create unforgettable brands. My gift to wineries —> Take our free 7 week wine marketing class to learn how to sell more wine with a powerful brand, email marketing, social media, online ads and more:sell-more-wine

Top 5 reasons to pick a target wine consumer

Who is your target wine consumer?

This is usually the first question I ask clients and many of them struggle to answer it.

Why is this important? Knowing your target wine consumer gives you a huge advantage in creating both a branding strategy and a marketing strategy. How is it an advantage? Let’s look at five reasons.

Easier to develop your brand

A brand is made up of many different pieces, including your logo, packaging, messaging, photography, design style guide, and content. When you’ve narrowed down your definition of your target wine consumer, you can create branded content that works with all of them.

Let’s take a look at how a demographic influences the packaging we design. In general, brands that target Baby Boomer’s that are Wine Enthusiast’s prefer and look for traditional wine label designs. Millennials are open to all types of non-traditional design and containers, including cans. You’ll want to make sure your design appeals to your target demographic.

Mark West Winery is one example of a brand that targets a specific wine consumer. They target Millennial males. Their photography, video, design, content, messaging and promotions all focus on grilling and tailgating. They also include recipes on their website for grilling different meats that pair well with Mark West wines.

Makes it easy to know where to advertise

If you know your geographic, demographic and/or psychographic target market, you won’t waste money on advertising they won’t see.

Instead, you will know exactly where to advertise. How? Media kits for traditional media (magazine, radio, and TV) list who buys, listens and watches their publications. Online ads, like Facebook, allow you to narrow down your audience reach to exactly who you’re aiming for.

Easier to be on the first page of Google Results

As an agency that also builds websites, we often have clients come to us wanting to be on the first page of Google results. There are two things you can do to get to that coveted spot. One, pay someone to do monthly SEO. Two, develop content on your website that appeals to your particular audience. For example, a Texas winery that focuses on Tempranillo wine and Baby Boomers could create content like “What food pairs well with a Texas Tempranillo” or “Top chocolate pairings with Texas Tempranillo.”

Shows you which social media channel to focus on

Wine startups often ask us what social media channel they should focus on. The answer: it depends on your target market. Instagram has a bigger Millennial following, while Facebook can be better at reaching Baby Boomers.

Saves you time

The most important reason? It saves you time. Every person I’ve ever met in the wine industry is pressed for time. If you know exactly who your target market is, you won’t waste time trying to deciding where and when to advertise.


Not sure who your target market is? Check out the six different wine consumers research. Or schedule a 30-minute discovery call with owner, Rebecca Ritz. At Bauerhaus, our recommended services are built around your sales goals and can include branding, packaging, custom website development, and digital marketing.

What is the one thing your wine brand is missing with social media?

marketing to generation z

In February, I spoke at the #USBevX wine conference and received a great compliment from an attendee. She said “I’ve never heard social media explained the way you did. It makes so much more sense now!”

The presentation, “How six brands target six different wine consumers,” wasn’t specifically about social media. Instead, it was a step by step view of how six brands target specific wine consumers with ALL their communications – logo, packaging, website, social media, photos, text, emails, etc.

Most presenters at conferences or in the latest marketing news, talk about the latest trends or tips when it comes to social media. But what my attendee picked up in my presentation is that social media should not just be about your sales or events. I remind my clients of this all the time.

We often advise our clients that 8 out of 10 posts should be about engaging with your customer and about brand awareness. Only TWO posts should be “Buy our wine!” or “Attend our event.”

Why? Check out this Infographic: Actions that Make People Unfollow a Brand on Social Media. See the green bar at 46%? Too many promotional messages.


What type of posts do consumers like?

Let’s check out Sprout socials below graph on Consumer Sentiment on Brand Behaviors on Social. Notice how all the “cool” behaviors have nothing to do with promotional messages? Instead, it’s about including the consumer in the conversation, just like you would do in person. ConsumerBrandBehavior

Wine social media posts that work

Here are four types of posts that promote brand awareness and increase engagement for wine brands:

  1. Ask them questions (Engage): Which is their favorite wine? What did they do this weekend? What wine pairs best with a specific meal?
  2. Use content to reinforce your brand image (Brand Awareness). What does this mean? Each week post about your brand. Even better, create a video where you talk directly to the consumer. This helps build brand awareness and they’ll feel like they know you. Talk about why the owner created the brand, the inspiration for the label design, why you grow specific wine varietals, or the origin of the winery’s name.
  3. Posts about your wine consumer (Engage). What interest your wine consumer? Make the posts about them. For example, Mark West wines, targets their Millennials male wine consumer with styled photos and recipes focused on grilling and tailgating. Not sure who your wine consumer is? Check out this  list .
  4. Post about wine and food connections (Engage + Brand Awareness). Use social media to make industry partnerships or talk about the ones you already have. For example, Flavein Pommier of Bordeaux’s  Chateau Darius posted photos of famous Executive Chefs in Paris he has met on Instagram. It helped his family wine brand make huge leaps in brand awareness. Their Instagram account now boasts 25.2k followers and has led to the support of the President of the Republic of France, Mr. Macron, and his wife. This will not only impress your current fans but also help grow your fan base. Read the full story here on   Forbes .

Free Discovery Call

Not sure how to create more engaging and brand specific posts? Schedule a FREE 30 minute discovery call with owner, Rebecca Ritz. Our recommended services are built around your sales goals and can include branding, packaging, custom website development, and digital marketing.

Join me at #USBevX for a Case Study: How 6 brands target 6 different wine consumers


Are you attending the 2018 US Wine & Beverage Conference & Expo in Washington, DC? Don’t miss Bauerhaus Design owner, Rebecca Ritz, presentation “Case Study: How 6 Brands Target 6 Different Wine Consumers” on February 22nd at 11 a.m.

Topic Description

Who is your target market? This session will explore why “all wine drinkers” isn’t a good answer.

We will discuss the 6 different types of wine drinkers and provide real world examples of how 6 different wine brands reach and motivate each market segment.

You will learn which aspects of wine labels, websites, and social media appeal to each group.

The primary objective is to help you identify which segment of wine drinkers is your ideal consumer, and provide inspiration for strategies that could appeal to your niche.

UsbevXPromoCode_RebeccaRitzPromo Code

Plus, please use my special Speaker Promo code to receive 50% OFF a conference pass (includes the Tradeshow).

Promo Code: Bauerhaus

Register here:

Judging a Wine by Its Label

Your mother told you it’s what’s inside that counts, but with wine sales, that’s not always the case. Back in 2015, the Gallo Wine Trend Survey discussed the buying habits of millennials versus baby boomers. Baby boomers tend to choose wine based on aspects like region of origin, taste descriptors and pairing suggestions. Millennials, they estimated, are four times more likely to buy a bottle based on the personality and originality of its label.

Perceived Value

As millennials graduate from college, many start to trade their red plastic cups of beer for wine. When it comes to buying wine, their choices are often driven more by how others will perceive them than what’s inside the bottle. When appealing to this ever-growing segment of the market, keep in mind that they may be more interested in your product’s branding than its oakiness or tannins.

Imagine the 20-something male

He’s invited to a housewarming party for his newly married fraternity brother. He knows it’s polite to bring some wine. He chooses something like 19 Crimes or Fat Bastard. It checks the box for etiquette but still makes him come across as edgy and cool to his friends.

Now imagine the 20-something female

She’s stocking her fridge for a night in with her girlfriends. She might choose Middle Sister to be funny or the latest rosé from Chandon that is packaged like a present.

Initial Purchase

Repeat purchases and loyalty to a specific wine may have more to do with how the product tastes. But initial purchases by novices or occasional wine drinkers are likely tied to the feeling or image it evokes.

This is why even the best wines on the market can’t ignore branding. Sure, it has to have the quality to back it up, but first, it needs to make it off the shelf. Products with well thought out labels that include eye-catching designs or catchy, tongue-in-cheek names will have a better chance of getting into millennials’ shopping carts.

Who are you targeting?

Bauerhaus Design can make sure your packaging is unforgettable with your specific wine market. We create brands for Millennials, Baby Boomers and the 6 different wine consumers. Contact owner Rebecca Ritz for a free 30 minute call to discuss your branding project.

Want to hear Rebecca talk about branding? See her at the USBevX conference in Washington, DC as she delivers the talk “Case Study: How 6 brands target 6 different wine consumers.”

Top 4 wine branding ideas for your tasting room

Your tasting room is the silent ambassador of your brand. How is your tasting room telling your story? Earlier this year I spent a week in Napa, CA and wanted to share these great wine branding ideas that I came across.

I always tell my clients that they need to start any marketing with a strong brand. Chandon in Yountville, CA really shows how you can extend your branding not just with packaging, but with the design of the entire tasting room. Scroll through the three photos to see all the photos:

At Castello di Amorosa, an authentically-built 13th century Tuscan castle and winery in Napa, they had in their gift shop water bottles wrapped with their branding. Great, easy idea to reinforce your brand long after they leave your winery.


Create a private room that tells your brand story and can be used for private tastings. We stopped at Larkmead for a private tasting and got to see the paintings on the wall created by the current owner, Kate.  Plus, we heard the story of how Larkmead was started in the late 1800’s by a family who sent their daughter Firebelle Lil to the estate to settle down and quit drinking bourbon, smoking cigars, playing poker and driving a team of six horses. Great story and experience!


❤️ our Private tasting at @larkmead_vineyards Beautiful property, architecture and 🍷

A post shared by Rebecca Ritz (@willdesign4wine) on

At Mumm Napa, with each glass of wine you order, you are handed a coaster branded to match the label of the sparkling wine. Perfect memento and way to remember which wine you loved.

Video: Secrets for Growing Direct-to-Consumer Wine Sales 2017

Right now I’m working with several new wine brands and many start with a tasting room only. While we often hear how wine clubs are a great addition to annual income, what do the statistics tell us? Can a wine brand in Texas or Missouri have as much success as one in Napa?

Earlier this year Silicon Valley Bank’s Wine Division hosted a live videocast discussion of trends in direct-to-consumer wine sales focused on growth trends and strategies.

They talked about statistics like the below, which shows how much direct sales are from the tasting room vs. the wine club. The below chart tells us that no matter where your winery is located, a wine club can increase your revenue.


Keep scrolling for the full video below where the panel discussed some of the findings and compilation of responses from almost 850 wineries.

Are wine club members from nearby?

The panel also discussed how only 20% of Napa’s wine club members live in the Bay area vs. other regions like Virginia and Illinois, where the majority are local. See how each region breaks down here:

Knowing where your wine club members live can help shape your messaging and special events. For example: if you have a large amount of wine club members in a different state or city, you could fly there and do a special winemaker dinner. This will help extend how long they are wine members with your wine brand.

Other key tips:

  • Work with your regional tourism office to grow regional pride. Think Drink Local. Think how people want to know where their food comes from and how it’s made.
  • For your wine club, nurture the relationships by throwing wine club VIP parties where you ask each member to bring 3 friends. Those 3 friends often have similar tastes and demographics and can become future wine club members.

They also covered the following topics:

  • Conversion rates of buyers
  • Impact of venue choice on tasting room success
  • Regional tasting room comparisons
  • Club metrics

How to target Millennials with your wine brand

What type of wine are Millennials drinking? What promotions work with Millennials? Read how 4 different wine brands are targeting Millennials.

Rosé All Day

Targeting wine to Millennials? Rosé represents a mere 1.5% of the U.S. table wine market, but sales climbed 53% by volume to sales of $258 million in the last 52 weeks, according to Nielsen. Who is driving this rise? Millennials and their hashtag #RoséAllDay Read more here.

Courting New Customers

Wines of Chile came up with the idea of combining speed dating while trying wines of Chile. They partnered with and 14 Total Wine & More stores to target Millennials. Great idea, since we know Millennials love to attend events to learn more about subjects they are unsure of. Read more here.

How do Millennials chose wine?


“Millennials don’t get as bogged down in appellation or country of origin—it’s really about the brand,” says Treasury Wine Estates vice president of marketing Barry Sheridan.


“The company’s 19 Crimes label—which is the top Australian wine over $10, according to Nielsen data—is a case in point. The wine, which includes both a red blend and a Cabernet Sauvignon (both $11.99 a 750-ml. bottle), is named for the number of crimes that once carried a punishment of transportation to Australia. ‘The wine takes a lot of cues from brown spirits and broader trends around millennial consumers hearkening back to their grandparents’ days, or even further back,’ Sheridan says.” Read more here.

How giving back can grow your wine brand

Wine store Vinomofo tapped into the Millennial urge to give back to their community. They created the ‘Vinobomb’ project – a campaign whereby Vinomofo helped people perform random acts of kindness. Each month the company would take nominations for a person or people doing ‘awesome’ things in their community. The winners would then have a Vinobomb – a box containing wine and other treats – dropped on them with the help of partnering with the digital taxi service Uber. Read more here how they did it.

5 packaging tips for a new wine brand


You have seconds to grab the attention of a customer on store shelves. Is your wine brand unforgettable?

In a Texas Wine Marketing Research Institute and Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University study from 1991-2006 there was an

“Unmistakable trend: the better the recognition rating a wine brand received, the more likely it was to survive. No such link existed between quality evaluations and a brand’s success.”

This means that even if your wine is perfect and everyone says amazing things about it, if the packaging is not unforgettable people are not going to remember it.

Science has shown that our senses take in about 11 million bits of information every second, but we are only consciously aware of about 40 bits of that information.

This means that our brains are often taking shortcuts when it comes to packaging design. You are walking down the wine aisle and what are you really taking in? Are you consciously noticing each font on the label, the paper type, Pantone colors, foil, and embossing that were used? No, you are picking up wines that you have already purchased or it has a label that you like and is in a wine varietal you want to drink. This is why it essential that your wine brand have a label that is professional and shows off your brand.

According to the 2017 Consumer Packaged Good Trends, smaller brands grew revenue about three times as fast because “consumers choose brands because they offer authenticity, a connection to local growers (Cabot Creamery), the promise of healthy ingredients (Bob’s Red Mill and Annie’s Homegrown), or a quirky story (Ben & Jerry’s).”

Packaging can continue to influence a company’s sales as it grows larger, too. MillerCoors’ sales slumped last year, but the Miller Lite retro can bumped sales by nearly 5 percent. MillerCoors didn’t change its beer; it just changed the can it came in.

Here are my top 5 tips for packaging a new wine brand:

Define your core customer

Often when I ask clients which wine drinkers are you targeting? They reply with “All wine drinkers.” The problem with that thought process is that there are actually different segments inside the wine drinking population. Paying attention to who exactly your customers are, will help you create marketing campaigns that precisely target your niche.

For example, are they driving a Mercedes or a Honda? Are they shopping at Aldi or a gourmet grocery store? Those answers help you define where you should be placing ads on social media and in print. Not sure who your customer is? Have your customers take a survey. If you are a new brand, take a look at the How 6 different brands target 6 different consumers.

All startups want to be as unforgettable as Apple and Tiffany & Co., and that type of recognition starts with a product’s packaging. How can you make your wine packaging stand out from the competition?

Create a brand strategy that is different

When I talk to wine clients and speak at conferences about creating a new wine brand, one thing I always try to emphasize is making sure their brand is differentiated from other wine brands. What does this mean?

It means knowing what makes your brand different and promoting those benefits to a very specific target market.

Three brand strategies that many of the most successful wine brands have used:

  • Wine Type (exclusively produce one varietal, like Pinot Noir, Norton or Chardonnay)
  • The Place (The AVA or a beautiful scene)
  • Personality (Charismatic winemaker or owner)

Once you decide on your target market and how you are different try this exercise. Fill in the blanks in the below statement based on your above strategy: Only (your winery) delivers (unique differentiating benefit) to (target audience).

Have a clear Hierarchy

Many wine drinkers shop by wine varietal. They know they like Merlot, but are looking for a new brand to try. While your brand icon/name should be the most memorable, the varietal should be listed in a font that is easy to read. Yes, script fonts can look beautiful, but if you can’t read it at a glance it will not be effective.

Do color research

In the wine world especially, color is extremely important. The more colors thrown into the wine packaging, the less sophisticated the product is deemed to be. Brighter the label is overall, the cheaper the wine. The more white space, the higher the price of the wine brand. This is why it is so important to research what different colors mean to your audience and then to use colors that will appeal to them.

Don’t skimp on the label paper

I often see at wine festivals that wine brands have their wine bottles in ice buckets and the labels are bubbling up and starting to peel. Or they have the cooler strategically positioned with frozen water bottles that don’t touch the labels. This can be easily solved by talking to your printer about using a higher quality paper. One of our clients, KC Wineworks, took each type of possible wine label paper and did an ice bucket test. Every hour they pulled the wine bottle out and took photos of the different labels. Great idea!

Are you a new wine brand?

My gift to wineries —> Take our free 7 week wine marketing class to learn how to sell more wine with a powerful brand, email marketing, social media, online ads and more: Sell more wine

Video Marketing Tips and Examples for Wine brands

On our list for 2017 is creating short monthly videos covering topics like wine marketing, content marketing, branding, packaging design and website design and development. This way you don’t have to wait to hear me speak once a year at wine conferences 🙂

While we don’t do the actual creation of videos for our clients at Bauerhaus Design (because our clients live worldwide), we do strategically advise our customers on brand strategy, social media and the latest marketing trends.

Links to the videos in the video

Mirabeau Wine

Jordan Vineyard and Winery

Union Wine Co.

Chaumette Winery

Want more video tips?

Head over to Video Marketing 10 Dos and Don’ts for wineries and check out our case study on the types of videos Rung used to increase their in-store retail stores.