Marketing 101: define your target market. Marketing 102: know your target market.
You’re not going to succeed if you don’t know who you are selling to or what factors into their buying decisions. [level-members]
For many independent wine shops, your market is defined to at least some extent by your geography. People don’t typically go far out of their way for wine, except if there’s something in particular they’re seeking and can’t find it locally.
So your market may already be well defined, but within that geographic market there are a great many kinds of buyers. (Even in the least economically diverse areas, there will be a great range for the value that people put on wine and therefore, what those people are willing to spend on wine.)
But defining the market is only half the battle. You then have to know the market – know it as well as it knows itself. That means knowing why your customers buy wine, do they consume it at home, at friends’ homes, with family? Do they prefer to buy enough for the month or do they come in each time they need a bottle? Is food and wine pairing a consideration? Are they more likely to be focused on a brand, a varietal, a region, or a style?
Knowing the answers to these questions for your biggest audience segments – the answers will vary, even amongst your best customers – will help you with everything from the content you publish as part of your marketing to the wines you stock on your shelves and everything in between.
Don’t stint on the thought you give to who your market is and what they really want. It’s not just a bottle of wine …