The Grapevine

Wine Shop Marketing: Avoid Gender Stereotypes

April 20th, 2016

An article in Punch brought gender assumptions in marketing to the forefront, and talks specifically about wine. [level-members]

No surprise, big winemakers target their marketing toward particular demographics. Those demographics are, almost by definition, based on broad personas meant to evoke the attitudes and habits of particular segments of the buying public. This process is how we’ve wound up with familiar terms like “soccer mom” and “yuppies,” and others.

Though inexact, it’s hard to imagine large-scale marketing without this kind of research. Who wants to make big bets based on just their hunch that a certain group of wine drinkers would prefer a wine called Orange Peel instead of Yellowtail? There’s a lot of money at stake.

Interestingly, the author claims to have been “privileged to know countless dedicated wine-drinking women, but somehow not one of them has ever shared anything in common with this “typical” female wine drinker.” That’s on him, and that’s exactly why marketers do research. Because usually, you’re not selling to you. What you – and your friends – like isn’t going to predict what the marketplace will take to.

Still, with all that as a preamble, be careful of the assumptions you make when you’re marketing, especially since, as the article points out, there is a research indicating that men and women have similar attitudes toward wine and gender-neutral marketing is likely to be more effective.

The article is long, but worth the read if you think about marketing beyond just marketing to your customers, but trying to appeal to the different kinds of customers you have. That sort of segmentation is worthwhile, even for relatively small audiences like most of ours, but be careful not to fall into the stereotypes of gender, age or anything else, that are so common. They’re sometimes hard to spot in our own thinking. [/level-members]