The wine industry is a highly competitive one. However, even with all of the challenges that winemakers face today, the industry as a whole is growing substantially as consumer demand has increased in the wake of the pandemic. So how can a California wine brand take advantage of this demand and stand out amongst competitors? There are many marketing strategies one can invest time and money in, but one of the most lucrative ways one can boost engagement and interest involves taking the time to craft your winery's story.
Wine clubs in Willamette Valley and around the country could significantly improve their marketing endeavors by sharing the story behind their vineyards and wineries. Whether your winery has great historical significance or is relatively young, your story can spark interest in consumers.
In this guide, we’ll break down the importance of a brand story for Napa Valley wineries, how to get wine club members interested in your unique brand, and how to craft your winery's story. We’ll also include a few great examples of winery stories that add credibility and interest to successful brands.
Craft Your Winery's Story in a Compelling Way
Napa Valley wine companies can really stand out from the competition in the California wine industry by writing a compelling and interesting winery story.
Why is a Brand Story Important?
A brand story is designed to recount the events that led to the creation of a company. This narrative can be used to express how your company’s mission has evolved and improved. Think of it this way: Your favorite stories or films are full of compelling characters with their own unique stories. Those unique stories spark interest because they’re simply fascinating. This can be applied to business as well.
Today’s consumers are somewhat distrustful of brands. To put it simply, consumers are picky about who they choose to give their money and need a little bit of work in order to catch their interest. A brand story will help your target market remember your brand, empathize with your mission, and ultimately become interested in the product you’re selling. For wineries, this can be especially powerful. Wine aficionados and club members want to join a club with a compelling narrative that translates into their club experience.
How to Write a Great Wine Brand Story
Writing an excellent wine brand story really isn’t that difficult. All it takes is a little dedication and knowledge of your winery’s roots.
Break Your Brand Story Up the Same Way You Would a Fictional Story
If you have any experience in story writing, this step will be pretty easy. When approaching your brand story, it can help to split your story up into archetypes like the following:
- The Protagonist - This will be your audience or a target demographic in your audience.
- The Brand - Your winery.
- The Gift - A program or unique offering that your brand can offer your audience, such as a discount program or a new and exciting event.
- The Villain - Your enemy, which is almost always a competitor.
- Story Moral - What lesson will your audience learn from your brand story?
- The Value - What values can your winery teach your audience? Example: Support local businesses, support the California wine industry, etc.
With these key archetypes in mind, writing a story becomes a lot easier and also quite a bit of fun. Your audience wants to be entertained, so your narrative should be entertaining and have the energy of an exciting fictional story.
Humanize Your Brand
Consumers will connect with your wine brand if they feel like they know your brand the way they would know a real person. When a visitor stumbles upon your winery website, they should feel a level of connection when they finally make the move to visit your winery and attend a tasting. The goal of a narrative is to give your leads a sense of belonging and familiarity.
For example: If your winery has gorgeous views of the California sunset, mention it in your copy. If the winery owner has a compelling and emotional backstory, include it in your copy. If you have a group of club members or staff that are entertaining and want to be on camera, include footage of them or interview them. When you lend a human element to your brand story, the more your audience will feel like they know you. A connection between your audience and brand will form. This is ultimately what generates sales and additional marketing through word of mouth.
Use Media, Not Just Copy
Human beings are naturally visual creatures. When a consumer visits your website or comes across one of your marketing materials, the first thing they will notice is the imagery you use. The second thing they will notice is the copy. Essentially, your visual media will be the grand first impression that will determine their initial interest in your brand.
Record videos and take photographs of your winery. Upload interviews with the business owner. Create a tour of your facilities through the eyes of one of your vintners. If your location is particularly stunning, invest in high-definition photography of your facilities. Consider starting a casual podcast with key individuals in your company to talk about all things wine. The written word is powerful, but a great way to get your audience to actually read about your brand story is to create media that gets them interested in reading.
Tips and Tricks for Crafting a Compelling Winery Brand Story
Give these tips and tricks a try when writing your own compelling narrative for your wine brand.
Apply Key Tips When Planning, Storyboarding, and Writing Copy
Try applying these tips when you craft your winery's story:
- Focus on creating an emotional connection with your audience.
- Keep your target demographic in mind when writing. Put yourself in their shoes.
- Always be authentic in your brand story, even if you think your winery’s history or conception isn’t all that interesting. You can make it interesting through storytelling.
- Highlight the benefits of your wine and winery services in your brand story.
Get in Touch with Your Biggest Fans
If you’re struggling to create a narrative that is compelling, your first stop to break your writer’s block should be your biggest supporters. Are there club members out there who are already brand ambassadors? Do they spend a substantial amount of time at your winery? Are they vocal about your company on social media? If someone comes to mind, you should reach out to that emotionally driven customer. Ask them about what makes your brand so unique and why they enjoy the experience you provide. The answers they give might surprise you and can absolutely be incorporated into your brand story.
Invest in the Aid of a Digital Agency
Between hosting a wine tasting room event and managing your estate vineyard, investing your time into branding and marketing might leave you spread very thin. In this case, why not invest in the aid of a digital marketing agency to help you craft the best possible brand story?
Barrels Ahead is a digital agency that services the wine and alcohol beverage industries, specifically for wineries in Sonoma County, Napa Valley, Finger Lakes, Mount Veeder, Paso Robles, and other key areas of the California wine industry. Our goal is to help wineries improve organic growth through top-notch marketing. If you need help telling your compelling winemaking story for your brand, our team is here to help.
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Get Inspired by Examples of Excellent Wine Stories
This winery took its brand storytelling to the next level by applying a storytelling approach to multiple channels, from the website to social media. This company also diversified its content with recommended food pairing guides, scenes of its vineyard, and lifestyle articles that all tie into its unique winery story. The result is a very authentic and entertaining marketing campaign that entices wine club members and potential leads alike.
Bel Vino Winery took a simple approach to its website content. However, they put a substantial amount of work into the copy in their “About” section that tells their winery’s story. In particular, this winery put focus on pleasant and comforting language and noted the physical attributes of their wine and vineyard. Rather than focusing on the flavors of their cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir, Bel Vino Winery instead focused on their location, authenticity, events, and property.
Bottaia Winery is a beautiful example of wine brand storytelling done right. This brand’s website tells a story through ample high-resolution photos of their club, facilities, terrace, tasting room, and more. Each section of their website incorporates their brand story, even in sections that focus mainly on services and signup forms.
How was our guide on how to craft your winery’s story? We want to hear which tip or trick in this guide helped you craft your winery's story in the comments section below.