The Grapevine

Retail Wine Marketing Tips: Create Fun, Risk-Free Wine Adventures

January 23rd, 2014

A bit more than a week ago we devoted our Friday food and wine pairings column to adventurous drinking. Here’s another look at that idea from a marketing perspective. [level-members]

Encouraging your customers to try new things is a win/win situation. You may sell some more wine immediately, but the long term benefits are broader. By getting your customers excited about what they’re drinking, you win even if they stick to, say, a one bottle a weekend routine. You win because

  • They’re excited about what they’re drinking, so they’re likely to be talking about what they’re drinking. That means their one bottle a weekend routine isn’t likely to become a zero bottles a weekend.
  • They’re also likely to be talking about your shop when the subject of wine comes up casually. “You should check out Charles’ shop. He turned us on to this really nice bottle of …”
  • You gain a reputation for thoughtfully meeting your customers’ needs, not just selling wine.

Give it a try. Create an “Adventurers Club” or something similar. Let people rack up “adventure miles” they can redeem for free bottles after 6 months. Make it fun, reduce the risk of trying something unfamiliar and you’ll win fans and generate a bit of buzz.

Perhaps the best part of all of this: it works for sophisticated wine lovers, snobs, those with less knowledge … basically everyone can participate without fear of looking foolish.