Your wine shop itself should be a part of your marketing. Here’s how. [level-members]
The way your shop looks, feels, and smells has an enormous impact on the way your business is perceived by your customers and potential customers. They will notice, even if only semi-consciously, the flaws you’ve gone blind to. And they’ll notice (again, not necessarily consciously) the subtle and not-so-subtle cues the physical space creates.
The feeling they get goes beyond scuffed floors or dusty shelves or a bright new paint job. There’s a huge difference between a gleaming, sleek, modern, well-lit space and an old-world, comfortable, and more clubby look. Neither is good or bad on its own. Whether they work or not depends on the brand you’re building around it.
And don’t overlook the way your shop smells. Neutral is good, particularly if you’re hosting a tasting. Musty, stale or overly perfumed are all no-nos.
Have someone you trust but who doesn’t spend much time in your shop help you assess where you are. It’s great to build a brand around an identifiable personality by stocking items that fit that brand and talking about those products (and other topics of interest to your audience) in ways that fit the brand, but the shop has to work, too, or you’ll lose a not-insignificant percentage of your customers the moment they walk in your door.