I have been reading a lot lately about sales of wine going down in 2016. With the baby boomers buying less and the thrifty millennials being more cautious about their purchases, it seems that the amount of wine sold over the next few years is expected to go down.
Additionally, the number of wineries throughout North America is expected to climb. This is in part because the wine industry is primarily an industry of passion and not an industry of reason, which means that the number of wineries and vineyards is going to increase and when these people decide to grow grapes or make wine, the first thing on their mind is the product. While following up very closely behind the product should be marketing and sales – it isn’t.
Unfortunately, marketing and sales invariably fall a very distant second to the processes of growing grapes and making wine. I have been teaching wine marketing studies to winery and vineyard owners and employees at various colleges and universities and spoken to enough winemakers and grape growers throughout North America to know that the belief is that if growers and winemakers make a good product, it will sell. That is just not the case.
To stay ahead of the game, as the wine business becomes more and more competitive, it is critical that a clear plan for the marketing and sales of your product should very much be a part of the general plan from the very beginning. If your first thought is that you want to buy a vineyard or open a winery, your second thought should be how the product is going to be marketed and then sold.
I know that marketing and sales plans seem like a lot of work and they can be, but you can start with the basics. If you would like an outline of a simple marketing/sales plan, let me know and I will send one out to you.
A tip of the glass from me to you!