The Grapevine

What’s Your Wine Shop’s Back Story?

June 28th, 2017

It’s hard to overestimate the value of a good back story. What’s your wine shop’s story? [level-members]

Whether you’re the third-generation proprietor or someone who left the corporate world after a vacation to the vineyards of Burgundy “changed your life” – or even something more prosaic, you should identify and make the most of the story that lead you to where you and your shop are today.

Even if back story doesn’t read like a Hollywood script, there are elements of it you probably can make the most of. Even if you need to turn a negative into a positive. As in, “I bought the shop because it seemed like a really good way to make money” can be spun as a personal transformation that now has you loving, say, food and wine pairing, and helping people discover lesser-known wines.

But keep in mind that there can be a thin line between spin and outright falsehood. You don’t want to wind up on the wrong side of that line. Authenticity is an enormously highly valued attribute for most consumers these days. Faking it is a dangerous game.

Still, it’s worth thinking about what drove you to open or buy your shop, assuming it’s not a family business you were born into, and what motivates you to continue doing the work you do. That should be part of your back story, and something that, though I wouldn’t lead with it as a main component of your marketing, should certainly be a part of your marketing materials, including your website and anything you make available to the press.