Awareness is Step 1: Increase wine sales with a clear customer journey

Every winery wants to increase sales. At the end of the day, increased wine sales comes down to your customer journey.

A customer journey is the way your customers interact with your brand from start to finish: It’s everything your customer experiences from the moment they discover you to the day they become your biggest fan, and beyond.

We can understand this journey in four stages: Awareness, Consideration, Decision and Loyalty.

First, a potential customer becomes aware of your brand. They see you on Instagram, notice an ad in the local paper, tagged along on a wine tasting excursion and stumbled upon your tasting room, searched for something on Google and found a blog post you published the month before.

Getting a customer to the Awareness stage is hard work! Marketing and traditional advertising take time, effort and money. And yet, the Awareness stage is only the beginning of the relationship.

In this blog post, we’re diving into this essential first stage of the customer journey, so you can create a wine marketing blueprint around your customer journey – one that turns leads into raving fans.

The Customer Journey Map (above) helps you visualize all the interactions a customer has with your product. This way, you can identify the strongest opportunities for you to engage that customer and move them along the customer journey, towards becoming loyal customers.

To bring potential customers into the Awareness stage means raising brand awareness and making it easy for your ideal customers to find you.

Here are a few ways to do just that:

Location first

How do people find out about brands? They start with location. They ask friends, either in person or on social media. 81% of shoppers research online before setting foot in a store. If someone is looking for a winery, they’ll likely start with something like this:

Customer journey winery

And then what happens? They’ll probably end up here:

Customer journey winery

Will your winery show up on a Google search?

What about reviews – Are there any? Are they good or bad?

Make sure all your online listings are up to date so that when someone looks for you, they’ll find you. Add photos and videos to invite potential customers to take a look at your brand and become aware of what you offer.

Invest in online ads around your specialty (tours, etc.). Create unique wine experiences that you can feature online such as hiking, chocolate pairings or dinner.

Attract a local audience by making it easy for potential customers to enter the Awareness stage.

Add value

Of course, it’s not all about location. Maybe you’re trying to expand your audience with a wine club, or make loyal customers out of tourists who return just once a year.

Value creates awareness by attracting customers and engaging them in a way that resonates.

The #1 secret to creating awareness through social media: Add value.

As a rule, the content you post on social media should be 80% value, 20% promotion. This increases engagement, which increases your brand’s reach. That’s because valuable content is what social media users prefer.

Inform, inspire, entertain, engage: These are all ways you can offer value to your audience on social media and throughout your marketing.

Getting potential customers into the awareness stage brings them into your customer journey. Success here comes from consistent digital marketing and unforgettable branding.

In my next post, I’ll talk about the second stage of the customer journey: Consideration.

 

Looking for help maintaining consistent branding and marketing?

We offer a monthly digital marketing service just for that. Contact me, Rebecca, for more details.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST MISTAKE WINERIES MAKE?

If your customers don’t know who you are and what you’re all about, it doesn’t matter how good your wine is. The biggest mistake we see wineries make is not having a consistent marketing plan. Truly!

Communicating with your biggest fans is really important. They’re the ones who’ll stay loyal and spread the word about your wine. The communication channel will change based on who you’re targeting and the type of winery you own. But regardless of the specifics, you’ve got to talk to your customers. If you don’t know how your customers like to receive info, ask!

Think of marketing as a way to communicate with your customers how they like to be reached and giving them information they want to know.

WHAT PIECE OF MARKETING ARE MANY WINERIES MISSING?

Across all age demographics, do you know the favorite way customers prefer to receive promotional content from brands? 60% of consumers prefer receiving emails about your brand over social media.

Many wineries I talk to say:

“I don’t want to annoy people.” “It’s so corporate!” “Too pushy.”

Sound like something you’ve said about why you’re not emailing your customers? Push these myths out of your mind, because they’re just not true.

When visitors come into your tasting room, you get to have a personal conversation with each guest.
How can you keep having a conversation after they leave? Email marketing.

Ready to keep learning? Read the 3 golden rules to grow your email list here.

Want to set up a free Discovery call to discuss your marketing? Set it up here.

How to market wine to Generation Z (without hosting a miserable dinner party)

As new generations of wine drinkers come of age, our wine marketing strategies need to evolve with the times.

Remember the dinner party analogy?

You’re at a dinner party, and the person next to you is yackin’ your ear off – talking at you, not to you. As you know from our recent blog post, this is how Millennials feel when they encounter traditional advertising.

The generation that follows, Generation Z, is the same way.

Generation Z (born in the mid-1990’s to mid-2000’s) grew up in the digital age, period. Not only were they were born into a world of cell phones – they were born into a world of texting and social media. It’s not far-fetched to say Generation Z grew up knowing how to swipe a smartphone before they could walk.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Gen Z’ers expect nearly everything to be instant, interactive and fast.

At this miserable dinner party, Gen Z’ers would be right beside Millennials, feeling bored and ignored.

Before you know it, it’ll be your time to create a dinner party that makes members of Generation Z (who are at and nearing the wine-drinking age!) feel understood at dinner.

Make your brand experience resonate with this youngest wine-drinking generation, online and beyond.

Who is Generation Z?

This generation, around 86 million in size, is known for liking privacy and finds more value creating things instead of watching or sharing. They prefer to communicate with images over text.

Since this generation is so young, their buying power is estimated at $176 billion per year, but research has shown they have influence over their family’s purchases.

This generation grew up during the recession and are known for their love to save and looking for deals.

marketing generation z

Marketing to Generation Z

While Millennials are all about texting, Generation Z prefers to communicate with each other through images, videos and emoji. Social media channels that appeal to this generation include Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube.

75% of Generation Z rely on their smartphone for their entire web experience, including purchases. So make sure your website is mobile-friendly and offers an enjoyable mobile experience.

If you’re targeting Generation Z with a digital ad, use an image and 5 words or less of text. Or, opt for a short video ad on YouTube.

They love the process of creating images and content, and they love to show others how to do something. This is why YouTube is their platform of choice. 95% of Generation Z uses YouTube and are particularly attracted to how-to content, like applying beauty products or gaming.

Real people, like YouTube stars (not just celebrities or brands) can create and distribute content, which lets Gen Z’ers feel like they’re getting a real, authentic experience. With Gen Z being all about authenticity, they prefer things that look less produced and more real.

marketing to generation z

If and when you want to start marketing to Generation Z wine-drinkers, here are a few key points to remember:

  • Generation Z’ers have only an 8-second attention span.
  • They don’t like major celebrities or promoted content, preferring real, relatable influencers any day.
  • Generation Z does not want to be tracked and prefers to remain anonymous.

Generation Z is known as the hardest generation to engage, because they tend to look past messages that say promoted or sponsored. They instead want personalized messages and experiences that are unique only to them.

Yes, this can be scary. But it can also be a huge opportunity for wineries willing to listen.
Along with being receptive to engaging marketing strategies, both Generation Z and Millennials are also open to different forms of packaging, like cans. Gone are the days when young wine consumers only want bottles. Gen Z’ers want to be able to have a glass of wine at a party or at an outdoor concert.

Trust your brand and your product – Let it be an experience for your customer. Let your brand experience seep into social media platforms. When you try to understand Gen Z’ers and how they’ll likely interpret your messaging based on their worldview, you open up the possibility to grab their attention, connect and resonate.

 

Does the thought of marketing to Gen Z’ers scare you?

Schedule a One-on-One

What wine marketing metrics matter the most?

Wine Marketing metrics

Do all the different types of marketing metrics out there confuse you? Are you frustrated and not sure what matters? Ultimately, the most important metric in marketing is revenue per customer (RPC). This will tell you which customers are your VIPs and will help define who you should target in the future.

For example, if you find that 50% of your revenue comes from wine club members, you’d focus your marketing on wine club members, and on how to build wine club retention and grow your membership to that same audience.

How do you determine RPC?

To figure out your average revenue per customer, first figure out the amount of revenue coming from different areas of your business (tasting room sales, wine club, online sales, etc.) in a given amount of time (a month or a year).

Then, divide the total revenue by the number of customers in that area.

For example, if last month you made $7,900 in revenue from your wine club, which has 100 members, your RPC from wine club members would be $79. You could compare that number to other types of revenue to make decisions about how to allocate your marketing budget.

Now that you have your RPC, how do you divvy up a digital marketing budget?

Your digital marketing strategy will depend on lots of different factors such as where your customers are spending their time and how they prefer to interact with your brand (are they visiting your tasting room weekly or following you on Instagram from a separate state?).

With all the different types of digital marketing out there, where you do start? If you have to pick one, email marketing is hands-down the most cost-effective marketing tool. Email grants you complete control over the content you share with your audience, whereas your social media reach is at the mercy of algorithms and competition for users’ attention.

An article about Kendall-Jackson explains, “As of now, Kendall-Jackson sees 60 percent of its revenue from KJ.com from its email offers, 20 percent from organic search and social posts, 10 percent from paid social posts and 10 percent from referrals from other websites, according to Maggie Curry, director of marketing of Jackson Family Wines.”

Need help crafting your digital marketing strategy? Email Me at [email protected] to Set Up a Free Discovery Call or contact us here.

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: www.bauerhaus.com/sell-more-wine/

Marketing wine to Millennials

Relying on current sales and current customers is a recipe for fizzling out. Your business can’t just be profitable. It’s also got to be sustainable.

One of the biggest challenges for winery owners right now is knowing how to market to the next generations. So many wineries rely on Baby Boomers to buy their wine and join their wine clubs.

Right now, most wine is consumed by Baby Boomers. But it’s not going to stay that way.

An article in Wine Spectator quotes Rob McMillan, senior VP of Silicon Valley Bank’s wine division:

“We have 10,000 [Baby] Boomers a day that are hitting retirement. And they’re being replaced by financially disadvantaged people. The tradeoff isn’t good.”


Here’s what’s happening.

By 2021, Generation X will take the lead in wine consumption. However, this won’t last long because Gen Z is made up of only around 50 million people, compared to the 75 million Baby Boomers and 80 million Millennials.

So just five years later, in 2026, Millennials are reported to become the largest generation of wine drinkers.

Are you ready for this huge shift?

The average wine consumer will change drastically over the next eight years. And this isn’t bad! It just means your marketing strategy will have to evolve, too.

marketing wine to millennials

How to market to Millennials and Generation Z’ers

Millennials (born between 1981 and mid-1990’s) and Generation Z (born in the mid-1990’s to mid-2000’s) are different than previous generations because of their preference for all things digital.

While Baby Boomers and Generation X grew up with traditional media talking at them – Billboards, radio, TV – where there was zero interaction between brands and consumers, Millennials and Generation Z now expect interaction and a personalized experience.

Think of a dinner party where the person next to you talks about themselves the entire time and never asks you a question. This is how Millennials and Generation Z’ers view most brands.

Now think of the same dinner party where the person next to you asks you questions, and you also ask questions and it leads to a conversation. This is a much enjoyable dinner party for all involved. This is how Millennials and Gen Z want the online brand experience to be.

In terms of marketing, this means shifting from conventional advertising to content marketing strategies like email marketing and content creation.

marketing wine to millennials

Here’s another way to think about it: There’s a marketing saying, “Know me. Like me. Trust me. Buy from me.”

Each generation goes through these marketing stages in a different way.

Thirty years ago, it was about getting people to come into a physical store to make a purchase. Their customer journey went something like this: A consumer found out about companies through newspaper ads, television, billboard or radio, then went to the store, talked to the salesperson about the product, bought the product, and used it. The product worked, so they became repeat buyers.

Since Millennials and Generation Z are so digitally focused, they want this same customer journey to play out online.

Brands need to think of the entire online customer journey, so that customers can know their brand, like them, trust them and ultimately buy.

Who are Millennials?

For a host of cultural and historical reasons, Millennials prefer to spend their money on an experience or an event, not just a product. They’re socially conscious and prefer to collaborate with others and with brands (which is why social media is so important to this generation).

millennials marketing wine

They’re idealistic, inclusive and want everybody to win.

Their favorite way to communicate is by text or messaging. When making purchases, this generation is heavily influenced by social media ratings, friend’s thoughts, reviews, and recommendations.

 

Convenience is King for Millennials. If they see a photo of a product, they expect that they can immediately purchase it online.

This generation is also all about loyalty, and they want to be rewarded for it. They love loyalty programs and subscription boxes. Millennials are about twice as likely to use a subscription service as other generations.

Who is Generation Z?

Generation Z grew up knowing how to swipe a smartphone before they could walk. This generation, around 86 million in size, is known for liking privacy and finds more value creating things instead of watching or sharing. They prefer to communicate with images over text.

Since this generation is so young, their buying power is estimated at $176 billion per year, but research has shown they have influence over their family’s purchases. This generation grew up during the recession and are known for their love to save and looking for deals.

marketing generation z

While Millennials are all about texting, Generation Z prefers to communicate with each other through images, videos and emoji. Social media channels that appeal to this generation include Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube. If you’re targeting Generation Z with a digital ad, use an image and 5 words or less of text.

They love the process of creating images and content, and they love to show others how to do something. This is why YouTube is their platform of choice. 95% of Generation Z uses YouTube and are particularly attracted to how-to content, like applying beauty products or gaming.

Real people, like YouTube stars (not just celebrities or brands) can create and distribute content, which lets Gen Zers feel like they’re getting a real, authentic experience. With Gen Z being all about authenticity, they prefer things that look less produced and more real.

Why it’s tricky to reach these two generations

Both of these generations have a short attention span: Millennials have about 12 seconds and Generation Z have only 8 seconds.

Traditional forms of advertising just don’t work with either of these generations.

Millennials particularly hate aggressive sales pitches, traditional media, and long-form content, while Generation Z does not like major celebrities nor promoted content. Plus, Generation Z doesn’t want to be tracked and prefers to remain anonymous.

Generation Z is known as the hardest generation to engage, because they tend to look past messages that say promoted or sponsored. They instead want personalized messages and experiences that are unique only to them.

How to target each generation

If you are targeting Millennials, host events that will increase interaction like live events, experiences, and online contests. Plus, build a loyalty program.

Make sure your brand is on review sites like Google Business and Trip Advisor, and respond to all reviews (both good and bad).

Generation Z likes to find deals online and Millennials prefer apps for discounts, like Groupon.

Both generations love video.

We often tell our clients that video produces more online conversions than any other content, across multiple generations. For Millennials, they consume video across several social media channels, like Instagram. Brands wanting to reach Generation Z can use YouTube with short, 6-second video ads.

Both generations are socially responsible and prefer to research online before making decisions. This is good news for marketers, because brands can make sure they participate in ratings and reviews. Plus, you can communicate your benefits on online.

Optimize your mobile experience. Make sure your website is responsive. 75% of Generation Z rely on their smartphone for their entire web experience, including purchases.

To better deliver a customized experience, segment your email list into different age groups and market different content to different users.

Another key tool for these younger generations is for brands to work with Influencers. They often require a flat fee or a percent of commissions for users using their code at checkout. They tell their fans about your product and off giveaways or contests with your product. Building a relationship with an influencer is important and should not be a one time thing.

You can find influencers for your brand through Ninja Outreach, Snap Influence and Keyhole.

Here’s the gist


Both Millennials and Generation Z want to have a conversation with your brand online, not just be talked at.

Brands need to consider the online customer journey across all web and social media platforms.

Rather than shying away from these next generations, think about how you can build community online and create a brand that younger generations can interact with, know, like, trust and buy from.

 

Not sure if you’re poised to attract Millennials and Generation Z?

Schedule a One-on-One

Secrets to Growing Direct-To-Consumer Wine Sales

Your tasting room provides customers with a magical experience. But are you focused on growing your online wine sales this year? New research tells us that it’s time to take your wine customer’s experience from the tasting room to online purchasing.

Silicon Valley Bank’s Wine Division hosted a live videocast earlier this year to discuss trends in direct-to-consumer wine sales. Their findings are based on a survey of more than 800 respondents.

Highlights include:

  • Tasting room visits are down, but the average check has increased.
  • Wineries should focus on making a digital customer experience path for each customer segment.
  • Wineries could be reaching more customers if they take advantage of digital marketing tools the way non-wine brands do.
  • Plus, how wineries can reach more Millennials.
Watch the full video here:

Ready for growth with digital marketing?

One of our specialties is helping wine brands figure out who their wine consumers are and how to target them with a variety of digital media. Do you need help in identifying your wine consumers? Do you have a digital marketing strategy in place to give your customers a virtual experience that rivals your tasting room? If not, we can help! Contact us today and set up a free 30 minute Discovery call.

How can you increase your small wine brand’s Direct to Consumer shipping?

Shipping Leonard-1024x576Every winery has a different model for their revenue streams, but if you produce less than 50,000 cases you should be growing your Direct-to-Consumer Shipping.

Why? The latest research tells us that wineries this size are growing their Direct-Consumer shipping. In the 2017 Direct-to-Consumer (DtC) Wine Shipping Report, compiled by Wines and Vines and ShipCompliant, we see the following: “In 2016, the roughly 5,500 U.S. wineries that fall into “small” (under 50,000 cases) and “very small” (1,000-4,999 cases) categories accounted for 80% of the additional $392 million in the direct-to-consumer wine shipping channel.”

Plus, “90 percent of new U.S. wineries fell into the “Limited Production” (under 1,000 cases) and “Very Small Production” size and is potentially even more important, as these two categories have the highest average price per bottle shipped. Very Small production had an average bottle price of $55.52 and Limited production had a price of $50.98.”

The average price per bottle across all categories increased by 1.2 percent to $38.69 in 2016, while order volumes saw a healthy 17 percent boost. Interestingly, the only winery size segment able to mirror that growth in both price per bottle and order volume was the small winery segment.”

How can you increase your shipments?

Are you reading this and not sure how you can increase your direct to consumer shipments? The first step of growth is to make sure you have a wine club and an email list you are regularly sending emails to. If you don’t have these two things, let’s talk. You could be missing on out on a whole section of revenue.

Already have a wine club and an email list?

Every winery is a set up with different revenue streams. A few of those are wine clubs, focused email marketing, eCommerce on your website, and tasting rooms. Some wine brands have an email list, but they aren’t converting. Or they have an email newsletter but they never ever mention their wine club. If you need help on crafting an email marketing strategy to get more online sales or develop a strategic wine club email series, email me at [email protected] to schedule a one-on-one.

Five tips for branding a new wine brand

Packaging design

Packaging designDo you want people to think your brand is expensive or cheap? What do you want the perceived value of your wine brand to be? A brand is all about people’s perceptions of your company or product. If you like what people are saying about your existing brand, then repeat that message and grow it. If you don’t or you are starting from scratch, it’s time to define your brand and build it. If you don’t define your brand, your competition will.

Branding = positioning your company as the expert and people come to you. Once you take a stand for something, you will naturally get people hunting you down wanting to buy your product.

1. Define your target wine drinking audience

Who is your target market? Often when I ask clients that question, they reply with “All wine drinkers.” The problem with that thought process is that there are 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, if your top wine buyers are “Image Seekers” they will check restaurant wine lists before they dine out so they can research wine scores online. If you want to appeal to this audience, make sure you reference outside reviews and wine scores on your website. Plus, know that Image Seekers are greatly influenced by packaging and design. Click here to read about the 6 different wine consumers.

2. Define your brand strategy

Any business can only stand out on three levels: Price, Innovation and Differentiation. Only large corporations like Walmart can compete on price and only if you have a brand new product (think iPhone or the Kindle) can you compete on Innovation. So for most businesses that leaves Differentiation. As Mary Neumeir of the Brand Gap says “Our brains are hardwired to notice what is different, not what is the same.” For example, think of how we love all of those iSpy photos where your eyes dart back and forth trying to find the difference. Make it easy on your potential customer and define how you are different. Take a stand.

How can your winery be different? Three strategies that many of the most successful wine brands have taken is by choosing one of these:

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

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).

Now think outside the box. For example, instead of saying we are the best or cheapest or have the best customer service, take a new approach. For instance, there are a million different Pizza places out there, but Domino’s skyrocketed because they promised “30 minutes or it’s free.” They didn’t say we have the best pizza. Another example, Tom’s shoes took off because they focused on a moral good: A new pair of shoes goes to a child in need for every pair purchased.

3. Tell your brand story

You know your target audience, now what? It’s not enough to just simply insert keywords into your website. Your website has to tell your brand story to your niche and sound well, human. Every human being has a unique story, just like every business has a unique story. For thousands of years we were storytellers, and because of this our brains are hardwired to remember stories. Craft your brand story and repeat it everywhere. Having an easily recognizable brand story will help you stay in the forefront of your customers mind.

wine label design with music

4. Packaging

Think about this fact:

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. For example, how many times do you really notice all the details on a wine label when you are walking down the aisle of a wine store? Do you really notice each font on the label, the paper type, Pantone colors, foil, and embossing that were used?

Instead you glance at a wine label and unconsciously think:

Poor label design = poor wine quality. Professional wine label design = high quality wine.

5. Translate your brand online

More often than not, a person’s first impression of your company is made online. Do your photos on your website and social media networks tell your brand story consistently? Or does your website have a photo of vineyards and match the competitor down the street? Do you only post winery events or sales on social media? Sharing how your brand is different consistently helps your brand grow faster, so consumers can put you into your own category.

Rebecca is the owner of Bauerhaus Design, which specializes in building brands for wineries. Take our free 7 week wine marketing class to learn how to sell more wine with a powerful brand, social media and online tools at /sell-more-wine/

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