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California Wine Guide

How Winemakers Can Use Tech to Grow Their Audience

Photo: Courtesy of Kelsey Chance

Designthis is a design company based in Napa Valley that is well-positioned to educate wineries on how to best market themselves. We spoke to designthis! CEO Kim Shaeffer about the specific challenges this industry faces and the tools they can use to overcome them.

P1: Kim Shaeffer, CEO, designthis!


Kim Shaeffer

CEO, designthis!

What are successful marketing and branding strategies that wineries are adopting in 2019?

More segmented digital campaigns. Identify your audience, define the buyer personas and target them each based on strategy that speaks to them individually. Also, a trend back to print pieces. People really miss tangible print materials. The texture, the embossing and/or foiling, and color techniques can really tell your brand’s story.

Millennials will soon make-up a majority of legal alcohol consumers. What can wineries be doing to better attract this younger audience to their brand?

Stay tech relevant. This group spends two or more hours per day on mobile devices and like an informal approach of connecting to your brand. Be sure you are speaking to them via social media, fun eblast offers, and through other digital media. They will be attracted to brands that approach them as friends versus traditional sales tactics.

How is branding in the wine industry different than other industries you work with?

There are more factors involved that drive the purchase, like knowledge of packaging and the commerce side of it. You have to have knowledge of working on all aspects of wine packaging — from corks to capsules to labels to bags and boxes, and selling products online. You need knowledge of compliance, ecommerce solutions, shipping laws, etc.

What questions should a winery owner be asking their marketing agency before building a long-term relationship with that organization?

What is your experience in the wine industry? What other brands have you successfully developed? What do you offer in-house vs. sub-out? Have a full understanding of who you are working with and what your agency can do under one roof. We believe great consistency is achieved by keeping everything in one spot, from strategy to execution.

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