Sunday, September 5, 2010

The art of branding

When it comes to wine I am really passionate and never really try to get out of my cocoon. Let me explain, throughout this last year during my wine business masters I have pushed myself further and tried to understand wine from a consumer point of view rather than from that of a wine lover. It’s really hard for someone who is so into the subject. Throughout the last 5 years of my life I have just travelled to wine regions in Europe just to discover new wine styles and acquire knowledge from different angles within this industry. Getting off tracked into what you like most other than what the consumer wants becomes natural.

I have been told this over and over again by my lecturers and even colleagues and I am just recently really distinguishing the difference. Well, today was a perfect lesson for me as a consumer in Australia. This insight into marketing actually dawned on me a couple of weeks ago on my first trip to the supermarket in my new home town Penola. There was I, ready to spend my first dollars yet I couldn’t get down to deciding what to get. I knew I needed vegetables and well those all “look” the same but when it came down to choosing toiletries it was a nightmare. No brand on the shelf that I could really recognise, nothing I could identify. Toothpaste.. yeah I found a brand I know.. Colgate.. mmm but I usually buy Aquafresh.. guess I have to do with Colgate down under.

Today is my first day in the city of Adelaide, the first city to visit in Australia. So, whilst Dru was tasting some “yummy” 2008 wines (“yummy” since most wines where from the Barossa and McLaren Vale and 2008 was unfortunately a hot vintage for them) I took the time to do some shopping in the city. Living in Penola doesn’t give you much options for shopping.. two ladies clothes shop is as good as it gets! So, I decided to hit the shopping centres in Adelaide for some good shopping. And well yeah.. It was a bit of a nightmare. First mall of choice was David Jones since the girls at the cellar door told me it holds all the big brands. Good!!! Well not so good.. the only few brands I could recognise were Armani, Gucci and Prada which is really like names of the first growths of Bordeaux which, lets face it, I cannot afford them even if they were sold en primeur. :)

Then I found a brand I know, Guess. Guess brand for clothing would be a medium to highish price range in most Europe similar to buying a nice Paleo from Le Macchiole or a Sito M
oresco from Gaia. I couldn’t find the Antinori, Bouchard, Rosemount range in any of the shops around; that is I couldn’t find Mango, Zara, Monsoon brands anywhere in Adelaide. Like most wine consumers I was lost; browsing through shops trying to make out what I want to buy but not really knowing if what I was buying was worth the money. Is this price related to quality? I couldn’t know cos I never tried it. And like most consumers I opted for the brands I know and bought a Guess bag which was a safe bet.

So really, if you are a wine maker how can you brand your wine? How will the consumer feel safe to make the right choice and pick your wine out of the rest? Price is always a good indicator.. I looked at the price continuously today (even if lost in Dollar/Euro conversion) since it gives me a quality indicator. Putting myself into a random wine consumers’ shoes, how do I really choose a wine? Most people just go with what they are familiar with; if it’s not the wine brand, then it’s the regional brand or the country brand. I know that what you just read above is just pure simple knowledge yet I think that branding plays an important part of our lives even if we think it doesn’t or we simply take it for granted. No matter how passionate I can be about wine and no matter how biased I am about big brands, they play the major role in the market: being different to be chosen is really key in a consumer world like ours.


  1. being a wine lover is much easier than being a wine consumer i guess..can so relate to this post since I am where you were a few months back!a simple yet thought provoking read..

  2. guess you are right..:) thanks for your comments..