People always ask how I [R. Schimmoeller] got into wine. To be honest, it was never something I thought would impact my professional path; it was purely a hobby. My day-to-day was related to brand strategy and business development. It wasn’t until later (on vacation) that I realized wine could be leveraged to tell a compelling story about a brand – and on a key, subconscious level.
Wine wields a powerful sword. It has the power to bring people together, reignite memories and provoke connections. In effect, the entire shared experience of discovering a new wine strikes a particularly memorable cord for people.
And marketers know that the more people connect to something (or someone) on a core level, the more compelled they are to act or engage. The challenge is that emotion is hyper-personal. It is incredibly difficult to pinpoint what ultimately triggers a consumer to buy – in large part because they often struggle to tell you why they prefer your brand over another themselves!
To develop a winning brand strategy the challenge (and fun) is to be as subtle as you are strategic. You must plant seeds through different channels and approaches, and with a consistent brand experience each and every time you do. Such a nuanced approach will intercept and ultimately engage consumers meaningfully.
For example, events offer a great opportunity to leave a particularly lasting impression – that you control. You know how rare this is in brand-work, where others’ perceptions are the reality you contend with. An event experience offers a chance for potential customers to interact with multiple pieces related to your brand, too – from your staff, to your physical office space, sometimes even to your actual product.
Now, how many times have you been to an event with just one wine?
If one wine has the power to compel curiosity and interest, imagine what happens when an entire flight (aka multiple wines) has been curated – very deliberately – to tell a bigger, even more captivating story that ties back to your brand. Think about it. Each wine offers an opportunity to elicit a reaction, to draw someone in. Together, each wine can serve as a chapter in your brand story; the flight delivers a beginning, middle and a (happy) ending.
Here are some starting points.
If you’re all about innovation, choose wines that are in some way; if you’re about luxury, go baller; if you’re showcasing a product with a customizable interface, craft an entire wine experience that has a personal, hands-on element. Ping me and I’ll give you a few specific ideas.
BOTTOM LINE. If you’re clever and creative, you can create a larger wine experience that’s fun and uniquely personal, that reinforces connections and celebrates your brand – without ever waving a big red flag. You will tickle your potential buyers’ subconscious in a truly memorable way. The key is to tell each wine’s story during your event synergistically and such that the subtly is not lost. Guests should go home appreciative of the artful tie-ins because you set the stage accordingly.