UK Fizz marketing English sparkling and British still wines

Smoothing the Bumps in Wine Marketing: A Look from 2013 to Today

While looking through some old files, I came across an article by Susan McIver of the British Columbia Fruit Growers Magazine, which was a follow-up to when I was the invited speaker and marketing expert at the 14th annual Enology and Viticulture Conference and Trade Show in Penticton, BC Canada in 2013.

When reflecting on my own statement from 2013, “I don’t consider myself a wine expert, but I’ve had over 15 years of experience in design, advertising, and marketing,” I didn’t realise the profound career evolution it would spark. Inspired by my own words and recognising the gap in my knowledge, I decided to delve deeper into the world of wines, leading to my pursuit of the WSET level 2 in wine qualification. This newfound passion shifted my extensive marketing and advertising expertise towards the flourishing UK English wine industry. As a result, UK Fizz was born—a dedicated team specialising in wine marketing, perfectly merging my experience in advertising with the nuances of the wine domain. Taking the stage at the 14th annual Enology and Viticulture Conference and Trade Show in Penticton, BC, Canada, I shared insights that were not just foundational for wine marketing but highlighted the unpredictable essence of the wine business at that time. Looking over my journey from over 15 years of experience in design, advertising, and marketing to my pursuit of the WSET Level 2 in wine, it’s fascinating to see how some fundamental principles have remained constant while new opportunities have emerged in the wine industry. Let’s walk through time, drawing inspiration from the article and exploring how the landscape of wine marketing has evolved while specific timeless strategies continue to shine.

“Give marketing the same careful attention you devote to what goes into each bottle of wine you make.”

 – Scott Davis

In Summary in 2013 my Key Strategies for Wineries:

  1. Pick It When It’s Ripe: Monitoring market trends and recognising what’s popular is essential.

  2. Squeeze It and Crush It: Realising full potential while navigating potential PR pitfalls.

  3. Mature It: Making adjustments based on feedback and reviews ensures a product stands the test of time.

  4. Test It: Platforms like Facebook are invaluable in measuring consumer reactions and preferences.

  5. Add Unique Ingredients: Stand out by sharing the distinct background and characteristics of the winery.

The Evolution of Wine Marketing

While core principles endure, the methods and tools have seen considerable changes:

The Power of Storytelling and Branding
Then: “Treat your marketing like making your wine,” I suggested back in 2013. The idea was simple: craft your brand’s unique story, develop its personality, and share it with your audience. Much like the care and attention winemakers give to their craft, marketing is an art that requires careful planning and cultivation.
Now: Storytelling and branding remain as vital as ever, if not more so. In today’s digital age, consumers crave authenticity and connection. Sharing the history, values, and people behind a winery is a powerful way to build a loyal following. Wineries that tell compelling stories are finding success in a crowded market.
The Rise of Social Media
Then: Social media was gaining momentum in 2013, and its potential was evident. About 90 per cent of customers recommended brands after social media interactions. Unlike traditional print media, it was clear that social platforms allowed for two-way interaction and engagement with customers.
Now: Social media has become a cornerstone of wine marketing. Wineries leverage platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to connect directly with wine enthusiasts, share their stories visually and build a loyal online community. The importance of social media in brand promotion and customer engagement cannot be overstated.
The Role of Personal Contact
Then: Personal contact, sealed with an old-fashioned handshake, was recognised as a powerful marketing tool. Building relationships through sponsorships, winery tours, and tasting room experiences was encouraged.
Now: While digital channels are essential, personal contact remains indispensable. Wineries that create memorable in-person experiences at the tasting room and through events that foster deeper connections with customers. The human touch is still a driving force in building brand loyalty.
Evolving Marketing Strategies
Then: In 2013, I advised wineries to keep marketing strategies simple and diverse. The goal was to get consumers to notice, promote, and remember the brand. While many marketing options made crafting a strategy challenging, simplicity and diversity were key.
Now: Wine marketing has evolved with the times. Today, wineries leverage a mix of digital marketing, content creation, email campaigns, and influencer partnerships. The challenge is to stay relevant and adapt to changing consumer behaviour while maintaining a clear brand identity.
UK Fizz: Guiding the Way
As my journey in wine marketing has evolved, it has led me to the vibrant UK sparkling and still wine industry landscape. With a commitment to the same principles that have stood the test of time, the team at UK Fizz is here to assist established wineries and boutique producers in promoting their wines within the UK and expanding their global reach.
In the digital age, wineries have access to a global audience, and the possibilities for creativity are endless. Whether you’re an established winery or a boutique producer, UK Fizz is your partner in navigating the evolving world of wine marketing. Our mission is to help you tell your unique story, connect with wine enthusiasts, and elevate your brand in the UK and beyond.

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