Have a plan with your wine.
More than in any other business in the viticulture there might be unforeseen busy periods when you can’t think about doing marketing for your products, because you have to be in the cellar or need to take that walk with the enologist to know, when to start the harvest.
A yearly marketing plan is crucial for everyone, but for winemakers it is a must. It can be made very quickly, let me break it down for you in just a few steps, which you can interpret at your liking:
Plan your visit way ahead!.
If you are skeptical or have no idea which one is the best for you, ask your fellow friends, who participated at a fair the year before.
Plan the costs AND benefits. It is crucial that you understand, your investment has a meaning only, if you have a benefit from it. Say it out loud how many exported bottles would make from the fair a good investment and work yourself towards your goal! Contact restaurants, wine-bars, people you know in that region and invite them to your stand! Be sure to have something in their language to take with themselves, craft new business cards, control your website’s translation!
There are wine-fairs all over the world, it depends on you, which you’d like to visit, where you’d like to grow.
London, Düsseldorf, in China everywhere, Verona. There are websites, listing all the industry events in the USA.
2. Wine events in your target market
Most of the wine-fairs or trade shows come along with wine-events in the organizer town. Even, if you are not in a wine-fair, just visiting a town, or during your holiday, organize a tasting of your wine in a wine-bar, some bottles won’t make a difference for your cellar, but you can see for yourself, how people react to your product.
In these events put a printed poll on the tables with 3-4 questions asking if people would buy your product in a restaurant, if they think, it is a good wine for an aperitif or even as a Christmas gift.
Why ask them? Because they will be your customers. You have no idea, how big differences there are in the appreciation of the same products in different countries. (what you are doing during tasting is shown in the video from 0:38 to 0:44, followed by a statement of Kraft about why to change your product for a local market.
The opinions will help you to start building up your further steps, where to offer the wine. Should it be a restaurant rather than a wine-bar or you only should ship in special periods, maybe better bottle it into smaller formats, another color of glass, more appealing label for younger people? You won’t know the responses to these questions sitting at home).
During tastings, always place some of your brochures into the bar’s hall, which can be taken away. The brochures should have relevant information – website in the target language, contact information, where to purchase your wine, upcoming events, where to meet you)
Stand out from the crowd!
You could for example organize a competition to guess the variety of the tasted wines or let the tables fill out a wine tasting sheet! Reward them with one of your bottles or organize a cooking class, where at the end people can eat what they prepared and drink your wine with it!
Make a personalized experience, not a usual tasting! You can half the costs with the bar or restaurant. Launch a hashtag of the event of your wine, so people will get the word out there about the event!
3. Dine in restaurants
While abroad, go to places which offer a wine-list. Plan this visit ahead and while eating well, you can have a fruitful chat with the restaurant owner to see, if they are willing to place your bottles for the next season on their list. Leave them a couple of bottles to start offering your products for free maybe to the guests, who have to wait at the bar for a table. Later on you can ask for the opinion of the restaurant, how people reacted to your product.
4. Tastings for tourists or the locals
I very often hear wineries complaining about their neighbor towns, where it is impossible to place their product. Maybe it is just an attitude of one of you. Break the bad habit, organize for the local restaurants tastings, make them offers, they are your enlarged arms reaching out to clients. Invite the tourists to taste your products during the summer months. It just takes a bus, a couple of cheeses and a guitar to make an event of it. Don’t hide behind organizing it for long months, make it easy and simple. The protagonist will be your wine!
5. Stay informed about your region
Wine-regions usually are touristic regions. It is a good way of preparing your material in the language of the people, who most probably will reach your winery. A good hint can be the departure list of the airlines arriving closest to your place. If there is a new route from Germany, make sure to have at least the brochures in German!
There are numerous studies saying that according the well-known Can’t read won’t buy principle people are more likely to buy, if they have and understand information about the product, so always have material in the language of your customers or visitors. While the first contact can be made in broken English, when it comes to promote your products, or craft contracts, it is much better to face the final customer in their own language.
Choose wisely, where you want to grow!
Although you might think your next target market is WHEREVER, believe me: your chances to grow are much bigger, if you choose one or two markets.
Be sure, our professionals are natives, they know, what it takes to turn your words into tastes and perfumes.