In an industry with small advertising budgets, where word of mouth and long term relationships are vitally important if you are to be successful, the rise of social media represents the modern face of traditional networking and communication. With a seemingly never-ending feed of messaging and imagery – in traditional print media and online – it can be easy to get lost in this tidal wave of “stuff.” My suspicion is that a lot of these “liked” and “endorsed” conversation are very insular and come from position within the industry that do not necessary reflect the views of the customers. Of course, this is fine if you are a wine producer or an agency house selling to the wine trade themselves. But, for companies such as Jeroboams, the focus of our business is private customers and the people out there in the “real world.” So, how does this translate?
Let me give an example: the wine trade is notorious for incorporating the enjoyment and consumption of products into day to day life. Most commonly this either through tasting new vintages, the wines from new producers, or keeping up appearances with business colleagues over lunch and a few bottles. This becomes the relatively standard “day to day” lifestyle quite quickly. It also informs the way in which we in the trade discuss and portray the wines and spirits we sell.
My question is this: do customers really want to see picture after picture of tastings and dinners they were not invited to? Of course, it gives an insight into the inner workings of the trade but is it out of step with day to day life? From the perspective of social media, there is always an aspirational angle to having these on your own feed. But there are other more interesting ways to engage with your customers. After all, these images and content feed back into the day to day – both in the trade and for customers – like a mirror.
So, what is wine to me? In my mind it should be a fun and enjoyable subject that is part of a person’s lifestyle, but not a lifestyle in itself. A lovely bottle or two is a perfect way to find common ground and relax with friends, a great element in life’s wonderful patchwork quilt, an aspect of our lives that we use to relax and take pleasure in. Art, London’s parks, holidays, family, theater, country pursuits, politics, cinema, sport….there’s a whole world out there! And that includes the latest releases and wine offers! As Oscar Wilde put it, “everything in moderation…including moderation”!