Are You Selling Value or Discounts?

Today I am doing a workshop, Sell More Wine Club Memberships. As some of the workshop is about differentiation, I spent some time over the last few weeks on the Internet looking up winery websites to see what they have to offer.  Most of the wine clubs were very similar, offering discounts, complimentary tasting, winemaker notes, wine club events and a newsletter. It’s not that any of these things are bad (unless you overdo the discounts) it’s just that all the wine clubs start to sound the same after a while.

The one thing that did amaze me was the number of discounts that many wine clubs offered.   There was one winery that offered nine different discounts. Without giving away the winery, here is the list:

•  25% discount on 12-bottle case reorders of current club shipments

•  20% discount on wine by the glass when visiting the winery

•  20% discount on table bottles when visiting the winery

•  20% discount on food when visiting the winery

•  20% discount on merchandise at the winery or online

•  20% discount on 12-bottle wine purchases at the winery or online

•  15% discount on six-bottle purchases at the winery or online

•  10% discount on single bottle purchases at the winery or online

•  10% – 20% discount on club shipments

Perhaps it’s time to start selling value rather than discounting, or at least cut down on the number of different discounts. Yes, most of us love a bargain. But just keeping track of what I save on what, is more than my brain can take in. All I know is that if I pay full price I am doing something wrong. All these discounts devalue the wine and the winery experience. Although interestingly I see no discounts for event tickets, maybe this winery doesn’t do events, or they just forgot to put it on the list.

I’m not against discounts but let’s be a little selective about them. It’s easy to fall into the trap of discounting as a quick fix to raising sales, but it’s a hard trap to get out of.  It’s time to start creating value and value doesn’t necessarily mean price. It means positioning your brand so that wine consumers find it a good buy, regardless of the price.

A tip of the glass from me to you!


2 comments on “Are You Selling Value or Discounts?

  1. sdematei says:

    yes, Yes, YES! I couldn’t agree more. And, you can see this when you look at the cancellation reasons. Vague answers like “I have too much wine”, “we’re trying to cut back”, “finances” all translate to “you aren’t valuable enough for me to keep you”. It has to be worth it – and if you’re discounting, by definition it isn’t.

  2. Laura says:

    I wish the entire wine industry would read this and take it to heart. Our product IS valuable, and I hate it when nearby wineries “slash” prices and devalue the whole region. Have confidence in your product! Don’t overprice in the first place! PROVIDE ADDED VALUE, DON’T UNDERCUT PRICES!!! Thanks E!

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