According to the 2016 Direct to Consumer Wine (DtC) Shipping Report, prepared by Ship Compliant and Wine & Vines “…Millennial wine drinkers are beginning to replace Baby Boomers, and the smaller Generation X is poised to drive DtC sales over the next 5 to 10 years. These generations have very different tastes when it comes to wine and it’s important to understand their preferences and what that means for your business.”
What does this mean for your winery? More competition for high-end beverage spending than ever before. “Craft beer, spirits, and cider are beginning to impact the wine market (particularly among Millennial drinkers). However, the wine channel also continues to grow, with 450 new wineries joining the industry just last year (2015). Most of these new wineries will look to the DtC shipping channel as a significant part of their sales and distribution strategy.”
What are you doing to change your business model to attract and retain the next generation of wine consumers? Here are five ways that you can crush your competition!
Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Do your research, learn who your market REALLY is (no, it’s not everyone), lock in on where their attention is, and deliver consistent value, over and over and over again. Stop trying every little thing because it’s shiny and new and the sales person tell you it’s a “game-changer.” Create a plan, stick to it, and be patient.
Don’t try to tailor your business to what the market demands today. Chasing trends only means you’ll always be one step behind. You have to choose your market and start telling your story.
Consumers are looking for transparency, consistency, and authenticity. Let people in and allow them to become a part of your future. Decide on your story and stick to it. Share the end product with people, but also, give them a glimpse into why you do what you do along the way.
Don’t be a flip-flopping politician. Consistency is key. No one trusts someone who is constantly changing their story. Solidify yours and stick to it. Then ask yourself how it stands out in the 7000+ marketing messages consumers receive every day? Your brand needs to be delivering an intriguing, engaging, and consistent message to your targeted consumers. Think to yourself, why should people pay attention to what I have to say? Why should they care? What value am I offering to them? If your answer is “I’m just trying to sell wine,” then you need to rethink your plan.
What is the intended value that you’re offering to your customers? Do you know? Value needs to be intriguing, consistent, and something that separates you from your competition. Are you listening to your customers and doing research on changing market demands or are you following what everyone else is doing? Remember what we said about telling your story? Are you riding the wave or are you making the wave? If you’re not innovating, you’re dying. Focus on your value proposition and ensure you’re delivering something your market wants, needs, and is willing to pay for.
“Value is subjective but consumer perception is reality.” – John Stocki
How did you develop your wine club membership? Did you simply look at what everyone else was doing and copy/paste? If so, stop and rethink it. When was the last time you actually looked at what other wineries are doing with their clubs?
Decide what makes you unique, understand what your target market finds valuable about your products, and create a plan that delivers your hospitality promise while making members feel like a part of the family.
Instead of sending them an email every quarter to tell them that their wine is on the way and that you’ve charged their card, give them a reason to get excited about the relationship that they’ve started with you. A relationship that must be nurtured in order to be profitable.
What are you doing to keep those valuable customers coming back year after year, to increase their purchases, and share their experience with others? If your answer is nothing, it’s time to make some changes. It’s time to treat your members like they mean the world to you.
It’s time to audit yourself and your business. Are you focusing on revenue-generating activities or are you spending most of your time trying to react to headlines? If you haven’t developed a strong Direct to Consumer sales channel, it’s time we chat.
Read the full 2016 Direct to Consumer Wine (DtC) Shipping Report, click below.
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