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.

How Market Research can help your wine, spirit or food brand import to the US




Do you know the type of wine club your customers prefer? The social media channels they visit daily? Do you know what radio stations your customers listen to? Read the top 4 reasons why your brand should use market research.

This past year we have worked with several wine, spirit and food brands on gathering market research through online surveys. We have helped the Japanese company, Shirataki Sake, use market research to learn how Americans perceive sake. For Maruhon Sesame Oil, we created surveys and used the results to determine final packaging design, bottle closures, flavor preference (dark, medium brown or clear) and pricing.

What is Market research?


“The process of gathering, analyzing and interpreting information about a market, product or service to be offered for sale in that market, and about the past, present and potential customers for the product or service; research into the characteristics, spending habits, location and needs of your business’s target market, the industry as a whole, and the particular competitors you face .” –


In a nutshell, we love market research because it helps focus the design and marketing recommendations we make.

Top 4 reasons to do Market Research:

Identify your demographics

  • If you know your target demographic for your wine, spirit or food brand, it will help you know where to advertise and what social media channels your brand should be on. Are most of your consumers Millennials? Then being on Instagram is a must, as well as having innovative events.
  • Knowing your demographics can also help you know which radio station to advertise on and which magazine to appear in. All media rep’s will be able to tell you exactly which demographics (age, male/female, zip codes, etc) listen to their radio station or read their magazine.

Guide your communication with current and future customers

  • Through Market research you can determine how your customers prefer to be communicated with. Weekly or monthly email? Social Media? Snail Mail? More information on your website? All of these things can easily be determined with market research.
  • Knowing who your customer is, helps you write in the correct tone of voice.
  • Market Research is particularly important in crafting your yearly marketing plan.

Identify opportunities

  • One wine brand we worked with found out that their most loyal customers had wine club memberships elsewhere, which lead them to start their own wine club.
  • Our client, Shirataki Sake, found out that many Americans don’t realize that sake can be paired like wine, which lead to more educational posts on social media and in their email newsletter.

Helps you minimize risk

  • Are you planning on importing your product into the US? Market Research is a great tool to find out the preferences of the people in the cities you plan to launch in.
  • For both Japanese companies, Maruhon Sesame Oil and Shirataki Sake, we developed questions to determine which flavors, bottle closures, buying behavior trends, plus key selling words like “100% pure” and bottle styles that consumers preferred.
  • Want to find out if your customers are interested in trendy wines, like rosé, or a new wine varietal? Surveys are a great way to find out this information. Plus, since online surveys can be filled out anonymously, your customers are more likely to be honest.
  • Which is easier – paying money up front to figure out preferences or launching a product that doesn’t sell?

How can you do market research? is a great free online resource to build your survey. Not sure what types of questions to ask? Schedule a free 30 minute chat with owner, Rebecca Ritz.

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.

Millennial Wine Consumers: Profiles and Responses towards Alternative Wine Packaging


Texas Wine Marketing Institute presented their research study at the #TWGGA17 conference.  As a packaging designer, I love reading this type of research and love passing it along to winery owners.

This past weekend I was a speaker on Content Marketing at the Annual Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association conference and had the pleasure of sitting in on a talk by the Texas Wine Marketing institute: Millennial Wine Consumers: Profiles and Responses towards Alternative Wine Packaging by Nicholas E Johnston, PhD and Natalia Velikova, PhD.

Overview of Research

They presented Millennials ages 21-39 four different types of alternative packaging shown below and asked their impressions on each one:



What influences Millennial wine purchases?

Texas Wine Institute found the below factors influence Millennial wine purchasing. Price, brand and variety are the most important factors, similar to other wine consumer demographics. Right behind those three are label design, entire package design and information on the back of the label. Lastly, country of origin and location on the shelf.



Why buy alternative wine packaging?

Why would a Millennial buy wine in something other than a traditional wine bottle? There were many reasons, but the two situations that had the highest percent of Yes responses, were for regular consumption at home and gathering with friends (Millennials don’t want to crack open their expensive wine with guests 🙂



Perceived Perception

We at Bauerhaus Design also talk a lot about perceived value on this website and in our own presentations. Some winery owners don’t realize the importance until you show two wine labels side by side and then ask them which is more expensive.

In this research study they rated 4 different perceptions: Attractiveness and Aesthetics, Functionality, Value, and Quality of Product. Which packaging alternative ended up with the best perceived perception? Cans win overall:



Want more information about the study?

See the full presentation here and the original report on the Texas Wine Marketing Institute website here. They dive into much more detail than I go into here. You can contact the presenters directly with this information:

2017-02-17 11.00.56


Does the research translate to sales?

Interestingly, this week the Wine Industry Advisor just published: Sales of Wine in Cans Jump Over 125% As Wine Consumers ‘Open Up to Cans.’ Bota Box, a leader in boxed wine, sold over 4 million cases in sales in 2016 and their Nighthawk Black Red Blend scored the #1 Red Wine in Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Best Buys of 2016. What does this tell us? It tells us that the market for alternative packaging is growing. Have an idea for a boxed wine, pouch, can or mini-bottles? We would love to hear more about your project. Contact us  and let’s set up a time to talk.








What kind of marketing can your small wine brand do for cheap?

Read our top seven low-cost marketing tips for growth in 2017.

I was talking to a client of mine that just launched a new wine brand. He talked about how he felt like marketing he has tried just doesn’t work. However he doesn’t have a monthly marketing budget to outsource marketing to an agency like Bauerhaus. He already took our free Sell More Wine email series, so what can he do himself that will make a difference? He doesn’t have a tasting room, but instead is relying on restaurant sales, online wine sales and wine club memberships to sell 400 cases of wine in 2017.

1. Create a strong brand

Having an unforgettable brand – logo, packaging, story, messaging, photos, type, etc – is always the first step before you start any marketing campaign. Each piece of your marketing should be communicating the same brand elements over and over. Marketing still takes at least 7 touch points before most sales, so having a consistent message is essential.

2. Create a blog and update it monthly

Think about this – if someone wants something, where do they go? Usually they Google it. The more content you can produce around your wine brand, the higher you will rank when a user types in a question or topic in Google search. For example, if you are a New York winery specializing in Rieslings and weddings, all of your content should be focused on these two topics. It could be Riesling food pairings, Top wine wedding trends in 2017, or the best wedding toasts of 2016 (featuring your wine of course!).

3. Email list sign up

Every website we design and develop has to include one key thing: Email newsletter sign up. Why? Did you know email marketing is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter? Email marketing should be the cornerstone of your small wine brand. Every person that comes to your website should see a clear path to sign up for your email newsletter.

4. Email newsletter

Now that you have their email address, what is next? Use the monthly blog content and send it out in a monthly newsletter. To make any sale, a customer goes through the steps of “know me, like me, trust me” before they make a purchase. Consistent email is a great way to build trust with your potential customers. Check out this great list of 7 tips to improve your email marketing.

5. Social Media

Use the same blog content on social media and make sure to include photos and video. Posts with photos and video rank higher in social media than plain text posts. One common mistake we see wineries make is that they only try to sell wine or an event on social media. Many experts now say 90% of posts should be value-add and only 10% promotional. Instead inform, inspire, entertain, discuss and engage. Learn 5 secrets to improve your social media here.

6. Facebook ads

If you are going to pick one form of advertising, we recommend Facebook ads. They are very cheap and allow you to target your exact customer demographic. A few of the ways you can target future customers – pick age, location and interests that they like in your ad settings. Plus, with Facebook ads you can test several different ads and see which messaging gets the highest interaction.

7. Collaborate

If you know your target consumers demographics, you can collaborate with another company that has your same audience. This way you will both benefit from combining your two email lists, social media contacts, etc.

Need help with marketing?

As a full service branding and marketing agency, we provide a variety of services to help you build relationships with customers and sell more online. Contact us to discuss your needs and we’ll provide a free estimate customized specifically for your brand.