Branding is a vital competitive tool of critical importance regardless of the industry, the product or service. A brand is what the consumer perceives it to be and is created by people. It is not simply a name, symbol, sign, or design.
A brand involves an emotional connection. People transform the product into an implicit promise. The implicit promise drives feelings, behaviour and expectations. (Charles Kenny).
Building brand equity in the wine industry is particularly difficult and in the same time necessary.
In California are more than 1,000 wineries and 5,000 brands. Brand equity is exactly what the name implies – the value of a brand.
Half of all French wine (37% of AOP) is produced by cooperatives who sell most of that in bulk to merchants and half of all the wine in the world is sold in bulk. The price of Spanish Merlot is € 0.54/litre and the price of French Merlot is € 0.94/litre. If there is nothing to differentiate one wine from another then there is no reason for a winery to be in business.
When I present Foss Marai, most of the times I speak about the values with which the Biasiotto family has created and consolidated one of the most successful Italian sparkling wineries. I do not use to speak too much about the quality of Foss Marai wines. Quality can be “tasted” and recognized. I speak about respect, courage, guarantee, no compromise, constant evolution, territory and tradition (Marinela Ardelean, Brand Manager Foss Marai).
Successful brands are ones that you choose without making (much of) a conscious choice, based on your experiences and your memories.
What are consumers loyal to? 75% of consumers usually buy what is on promotion and the rest of 25% usually buy wines from the same brand.
Being a brand is not simply about being known. It’s about creating brand loyalty – among customers who keep coming back for more. All successful brands offer confidence. But they can do so in two different ways: functional (supermarket own-label Prosecco) or emotional (Foss Marai).
While both taste and extrinsic attributes influence a consumer’s liking for a bottle of wine, packaging and brand are the biggest influences. For wine and especially sparkling wine, 70% of liking a wine can be attributed to the expectation created by packaging and labelling.
Biasiotto family patents the unique shape of all Foss Marai bottles.
We do not sell Prosecco or sparkling wines, we sell Foss Marai and our bottles are so distinct that you can easily recognize them (Mr Biasiotto).
A strong brand name carries name awareness, high credibility, loyalty, perceived quality and a strong brand association.
Worldwide, the wine industry has become tremendously competitive, with new world wine countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, Chile and South Africa becoming relevant players.
Consumers are increasingly offered a broad range of wine brands in supermarkets, restaurants, and wine stores. Consequently, wine marketing managers are required to develop strategies for building consumer brand loyalty for their own wines.
Branding can differentiate a wine from other national and international competitors, offering a defence against competition. It seems, then, that local wine producers have a great deal of work to undertake before they can start to enjoy the benefits of strong brands.
Even though not active on social media, wine professionals should monitor what is said about their brand. Components of the digital approach are complementary; companies should not bet only on social media. On the other side, the consumers should be curious and informed in order to make successful choices.
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