Branding is not about creating an interesting label or a logo. Strategic branding focuses on building a sustainable reputation and visibility over time.
In my previous blog post, we’ve discussed the financial metrics of successful brands in the wine world. (Click to Read). This time let’s have a look at the brand-related metrics such as:
- Brand awareness
- Digital success
- Organic PR
Successful brands have unique personalities, a clear mission and vision statements that define what they stand for. These factors determine the success in creating a solid consistent strategy for marketing, communication and distribution. Brand awareness is built upon these components. A part of brand managers job is to evaluate if the brand keeps its brand promise at every point of contact, whether with employees, customers, consumers, suppliers, investors, or shareholders. This sounds quite simple. But it’s not. Let’s take a mid-size winery that runs touristic visits. There is a high chance that the person who runs the tours for the visitors will not tell you the same story as the owner would. Somehow, the importance of this consistency is underrated. But it’s a crucial part of a consistent branding. Whether small or large, companies need clear definitions.
Loyalty is another interesting topic in measuring brand’s strength. Wine industry is highly fragmented and customer's choice mostly does not depend on a specific brand. According to various academic research, creating a marketing plan that focuses on building loyalty is not very realistic considering the consumer behaviour in many different markets. Only large brands such as Barefoot, Carlo Rossi or Chateau St Michelle have relatively higher loyalty. The visibility of these brands together with their satisfying quality result in repeated sales in various distribution channels. However, some of the boutique wineries that are available only in local market are also able to build loyalty, for instance through building wine clubs.
Now, let’s come to the digital world. Social media is only one part of it. But does the number of followers matter? Well yes and no. Followers matter if they help the brand to build community and trigger sales. Number of followers matter if it reflects to the revenue and increases awareness. Pacific Rim Winery is a good example that Liz Thach and Dani Kolb mentions in their article on Wine Business (Click to Read). The winery used a newsletter subscriber list and offered free unique gifts to the visitors, created video animations and a Riesling Rules Book. According to their statistics, they gained 11,000+ fans in two weeks, 7000% increase in traffic to the site from Facebook, 15% increase in revenue and 7% increase in transactions since the Fan Page launch. This shows the success of digital tools when they are planned and used strategically with high ROI.
Number of organic PR also indicates that the brand has a successful story. For instance, there are wineries spending thousands of dollars to put their story on Wine Spectator or Decanter but their wines are not even available on international markets. It just doesn’t make sense. However, for example, Lenz Moser, who launched premium Chinese wines in Europe, tells that he ended up having many articles about Chateau Changyu Moser XV organically on major platforms such as Harpers, Decanter, Drinks Business as he based his story on “The First and Best Wines of China” and enjoyed the luxury of being promoted without really paying for PR.
These are some on the measurable components of brand-related metrics. Next chapter, we’ll speak about customer-related ones. We’ll discuss how companies develop products considering the customer needs and their success as an outcome of customer satisfaction!
Meanwhile, if you have any branding/marketing project in mind, feel free to drop a line to email@example.com