You’ve taken a leap of faith and decided to start your own wine brand. We’re tipping our hat to you. Feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. In our “How to Start a Winery Business” series, we’ve culminated years of valuable learnings into a roadmap packed with insights for winery startups.
In part one of the series, we tackled the Top 4 Mistakes New Wineries Make. In part two, we dove into Starting Your Own Wine Brand. And in part three, we talked about Powerful Brand Positioning for New Wine Brands.
For this next segment of our series, we’re going to explore the importance of storytelling and how your brand story will serve as the heart and soul of your business.
When we work with winery startups, we build a strategic headline and brand story to drive upward mobility for their business. You only have a few seconds to communicate how you’re different and what your brand stands for, so getting it right is crucial. And once it’s complete, it can be utilized across mediums – your packaging, social media, email marketing, and, most importantly, your website.
WHAT’S YOUR STORY?
Do you have a captivating tale about your ancestors? A childhood experience that altered your perception of the world? Unique traditions or interests that inspired you to start your own winery business? Whatever your story may be, it’s time to use it to your advantage.
The human brain is innately wired to connect with a well-crafted story. It’s fundamental neuroscience. And because our brains thrive on storytelling, it’s the most effective way to forge connections, capture your audience’s attention, and bake your brand into their memory.
In fact, stories are 22X more memorable than facts alone. Think about it: do you expect consumers to be moved when they hear a winery has been operating since the early 1900s? Hint: it’s a bit snooze-worthy. But, what if it was a narrative about a tradition started by your great-grandmother that’s rooted in your Spanish heritage? Sounds far more compelling, right?
A story ripe with emotion will resonate with people on a deeper level. It’ll motivate and inspire. It’ll humanize your brand and cultivate trust.
Remember, words are powerful. They can transform an otherwise transactional relationship into something meaningful – fostering long-term customer loyalty. Because people don’t buy products. They buy stories, experiences, and lifestyles.
And a brand story that represents the essence of who you are and why you wake up each day to make wine is integral to building a successful winery business.
So, what exactly is a brand story? As Hubspot puts it, “A brand story recounts the series of events that sparked your company’s inception and expresses how that narrative still drives your mission today. Just like your favorite books and movies’ characters, if you can craft a compelling brand story, your audience will remember who you are, develop empathy for you, and, ultimately, care about you.”
When we work with wine clients to craft a compelling brand story, we walk them through the following process.
HOW STORYTELLING IMPACTS WINE BRANDING
In the past, wine was perceived as something fancy. Classy. Revered by a very niche group of consumers. Over the years, brands like Charles Shaw – or, as it’s more affectionately known, Two Buck Chuck (courtesy of Trader Joe’s) – have driven the mainstream consumption of wine.
The fact of the matter is: perception is everything. There’s a tremendous difference between an inexpensive bottle of cabernet and one that’s perceived as cheap. When you hear someone say “cheap wine,” what type of image does your mind conjure up? For most, it’s a cardboard box with a plastic spigot. Or maybe you picture a big jug like the one you’d split with roommates in college.
But you certainly don’t picture Charles Shaw or Red Diamond, despite their low price points. Why? Thoughtful and strategic wine branding. And at the epicenter of effective branding lies your story.
WHAT DEFINES A POWERFUL BRAND STORY?
Your brand story communicates your value and embodies how you want to present your wine business to the world. It serves as a holistic view of who you are as a brand and is infused into everything you do – from your packaging and your website copy to your social pages and advertisements.
As William Bernbach infamously said, “You can say the right thing about a product and nobody will listen. You’ve got to say it in such a way that people will feel it in their gut. Because if they don’t feel it, nothing will happen.”
And it’s true. Your story will dictate your messaging, the type of imagery you use, the customer experience, and ultimately drive brand recognition and sales.
When we partner with clients to create their strategic brand headline and story, we focus on checking off the following boxes:
- It speaks to the needs or pain points of your target audience – i.e. How is your wine improving their life? Tapping into your customers’ values, lifestyle habits, and needs will help you build brand equity and convert more leads into business.
- It clearly demonstrates what makes you different. Some questions to ask yourself include: What differentiates you from competitors? Why should your ideal customer do business with you, and you alone? What value do you offer?
- It packs an emotional punch. Engaging stories unite people, evoke empathy, and create a memorable footprint in the minds of your target audience.
- It harnesses the human element and leans on authenticity. It’s okay to be honest and vulnerable – that’s what draws customers in and builds loyalty. And loyalty is paramount. Because over time, it translates into repeat business, referrals, and lower customer acquisition costs. What’s more, loyal customers are worth up to ten times their original purchase, according to Neil Patel.
CRAFTING A BRAND STORY THAT CONNECTS
Are you the perfect light wine for a girls’ night out? Are you the kind of wine that pairs best with smoked cheese and intelligent conversation?
Take time to reflect on why your business exists, who you’re helping, and the problems you’re looking to resolve. Your story should reflect these elements, portray your values, and speak directly to your ideal customer.
The goal is to foster a genuine connection with your consumer base. Your story should be conveyed in a way that communicates to your audience: “we understand you, we relate to you, and we are like you.”
Take North Face, for example. Their mantra, “never stop exploring,” is designed to inspire adventure and connect with people who enjoy an active, outdoor lifestyle. Their brand story paints a clear picture, communicates their vision, and uplifts the stories of their community.
To craft a compelling brand story, it needs to include three fundamental elements: status quo, conflict, and resolution. To better define these elements, HubSpot shares: “The status quo is the way things are or the initial nature of your situation. The conflict disrupts this situation and puts something at stake, forcing the protagonist (your brand) to actively find a solution to this problem. The resolution describes how the protagonist solves the problem, giving your audience an emotional payoff.”
It’s simple, yet impactful. And it’s a formula that big-name brands have leveraged time and time again because it’s effective and delivers results.
EVERY BOTTLE HAS A STORY
A brand encompasses three main things:
- An identity
- Expertise and the promise of delivering value
- An experience
In other words, a brand is more than just a product or a logo. It’s an all-encompassing persona that is relatable and identifiable across all platforms in terms of style, tone of voice, and messaging.
A brand inspires and educates. It creates an experience for your target audience. And a well-crafted narrative is crucial for establishing your brand identity, generating awareness, and fostering engagement.
Not sure where to get started? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s a big undertaking to shoulder on your own. We utilize the Bauerhaus Brand Map when developing strategic headlines and brand stories for our clients, as it allows us to take a deep dive into who you’re targeting, how you’re different, and how to better reach your audience.
And the great thing about a story? It always lives on. Authentic stories are living, breathing things that foster connections and create a community around your winery business.
So, what are you waiting for?
At Bauerhaus, we work alongside wineries just like yours to create distinct, compelling brand stories and strategic headlines that’ll captivate audiences and convert prospects into loyal customers.
We built our Bauerhaus Brand Map to provide your new wine brand with the tools and guidance needed to stand out on the shelf. From understanding your customer to developing effective marketing and branding strategies, we want to help you tell your story so your target consumer can sip and savor your flavorful wine.
Getting started is easy. Simply contact our Creative Director, Rebecca Ritz, for a FREE 30-minute discovery call today.