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Getting Branded

We asked, “What is the biggest challenge in the wine industry in the U.S. is at this time?” Toby Baird, Group Supervisor at Fineman PR gave us his insight.

“Building and maintaining brand loyalty is one of the key business challenges facing wine brands today. Not so much the wines at the very bottom of the price scale, nor those on top, but the “everyday” brands competing on supermarket shelves from about mid-thigh height to eye level or so, wine priced from about $8 to $15, or premium to super-premium wines.

Why is achieving brand loyalty so difficult in these categories? The main answer is that there are hundreds upon hundreds of brands that fall within this range, and they are all literally staring consumers in the face when they walk into the supermarket wine isle or large beverage retailer. There seems to be limitless selections within in a price point, but, more often than not, consumers shopping for a $12 bottle of wine, for instance, will choose the one that is for sale for a few dollars less. Even within a single varietal category, there can be dozens of brands to choose from, with origins that span the globe, and all within a few dollars of each other. Herein lies another challenge – sometimes people simply want to branch out and try new wines that have attracted their attention.

Brand building, and subsequent brand loyalty, can only be achieved through a combination of factors, the first being quality. The brands that offer the best quality to price ratio will usually rise to the top through consumer trial and error. Just as important, though, is the right combination of marketing and public relations. With so much competition, it is crucial for a wine brand to communicate its value proposition, key points of differentiation and back story in a way that resonates with consumers. Word of mouth, media endorsement, social media engagement and countless other marketing and public relations efforts are all essential for wine brands to emerge from a crowded field, encourage consumer trial, and ultimately achieve brand loyalty and repeat purchase. Long term, you need more than a pretty label.”

Fineman PR

330 Townsend Street
Suite 119
San Francisco, CA 94107


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