Last Friday I introduced Wine Vision, the global wine industry conference, that wrapped up last week in London and out of which a few interesting industry trends had emerged. I discussed briefly the major trend of marketing towards a younger demographic, as well as brand’s making themselves more accessible to audiences across the board.
For today’s post, I’d like to move onto another interesting movement; that of brands starting to not only advertise their products but to use advertising to educate their consumers about their industry and their products.
Brands are beginning to understand the need to teach people about wine in order to drive wine sales. The unattainable and exclusive quality that the wine industry has, and that may have previously made wine more attractive to an older, moneyed crowd, is now alienating the younger crowd that feels uneducated when it comes to good wines, and not only uneducated, but also inferior in that lack of knowledge, especially when they need to ask for advice.
Enter the rise of the wine advisor. Top restaurants have had sommeliers for as long as we can all remember, but some more mainstream restaurants are now using ‘wine advisors’, someone perhaps less intimidating than a sommelier, and not always qualified to offer advice on as wide a range of wines as our top sommeliers. In fact, the local wine advisors course offered by the Cape Wine Academy is also called the level 1 Cape Sommelier Course.
This goes a way towards making wine more accessible when consumers are at an on-consumption venue, but some brands are going further and allocating a portion of their ATL budget towards educating staff and consumers alike on wine as a whole, and their own wine products in particular.
Group Chief Executive of Direct Wines, Simon McCurtrie, initiated this process when he first joined Direct Wines from the publishing world. The budget allocated to wine education has increased tenfold since this day, but according to McCurtrie, this investment has been rewarded not only in increased sales but a better atmosphere and feeling of team spirit amongst the staff.
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EATING IN THE WINELANDSTOURISM SUPPORTING THE WINE INDUSTRY