I have been reading a lot of winery newsletters recently and have noticed that many of them are very similar to each other. Taking into consideration that most wineries have the same goals and are interested in the same things (primarily growing grapes, making wine and selling wine) it is hard to stand out and be different. How do you differentiate yourself from others in your industry? There are ways to differentiate your business; you might differentiate by price (at either the low or high end), or create a niche for your company through innovation (wine available in disposal, sealed, individual, plastic glasses). There is differentiation through by convenience (think of Amazon’s one-click purchase) or through service, which should be one that most companies could work on and do well.
If a consumer came up to you and asked you why s/he should choose to do business with you rather than your competitors, what would you tell her/him? I suggest this as a great question to ask each one of the employees and then listen to their answers. I would then go on and ask the same question to your customers. There are reasons that people do business with you and you may not know what they are. Another good question to ask your customers would be what they value about your company, products, and services. In short, what brings them back.
As the number of wineries continues to increase (according to the U.S. Tax and Trade Bureau there were 11,496 wineries in the United States in 2016 - a 7.6% increase from 2015), I believe we will see the same growth for 2017. This doesn’t take into account the wine coming into the U.S. from the rest of the world.
As Entrepreneur magazines states, “The majority of businesses in crowded industries fail to stand out because they don’t do anything to differentiate their brands. They simply do what everyone else does, content with scraping by and ignoring the scary proposition of taking a risk.”
The easiest way to differentiate your business is to focus on customer service. According to an article in Entrepreneur magazine, “Long-term loyalty of a customer base is the best way to guarantee profitability for years to come.” Stand out from the crowd by focusing on what your customers want. That means, asking questions, listening to the answers and putting into play the procedures the processes that will make your customers feel important to your company.
Be daring… be different.
A tip of the glass from me to you!