Connecting To Your Customers:
Are you in the business of beverage sales… specifically craft beer, wine, or spirits? Maybe you even bought a winery yourself or are building a craft brewery?
If you are, then you understand the importance of getting people through your doors and picking your product up off the shelf. The importance of engaging your potential customer and creating a positive connection with them, ideally leading to a purchase. There is no shortage when it comes to other brands and products all vying for that same attention, engagement, and money! When it comes to these buying decisions, a lot of factors come into play.
What are buyers looking for?
Quality. Price. Design. Recommendations. Availability. What else?
How about your brand story? Not your brand as a whole… just the literal story that you and your team tell to your customers while you are in the tasting room or on a sales call. The story that is written on your labels and on your website. Your story.
Hopefully, this story is a lot more than the technical details about your product. While those technical details are very interesting to some, they are rarely the reason your core audience will try your product or remain loyal even if they do try it. Data is boring. So when it comes to storytelling, you need to focus on the experience and emotion of the audience and give them a reason to connect with your products and your brand.
Crafting Your Story:
The art of crafting your story can be the easiest part of your business… or the hardest. Some stories practically write themselves, while some are created out of thin air. With well over 300 wineries and nearly 200 breweries in BC alone, people can find great wine and amazing beer all over the place. Beverage sales are booming as consumers are becoming more educated and more enthusiastic. Again, this means that there are a lot of brands with great stories out there, competing for the buyer’s attention and money. It is now ‘the why’ of your brand that can most easily separate you from your competition and gain you an advantage in finding loyal customers.
This almost always comes from an emotional place. From the brand’s perspective, ‘the why’ is often more literal. It may be comprised of your history, your passion, an opportunity, or even a legacy. From the buyer’s perspective, it is an opportunity to build an emotional connection to your business. Typically, buyers aren’t actively looking for that connection but they know it when they feel it. We all do. It’s that same connection that makes us recommend a bottle of wine to our friends, or choose one restaurant over another. When we make an emotional connection to a brand, we become loyal for reasons beyond quality or price. We become invested as brand ambassadors and place our trust in you and your business.
People want to learn why you are different, but it’s why that difference matters that you should focus on.
A great example of this is in automotive brand advertising… they don’t sell extra airbags, they sell your children’s safety. Use emotion to help create a connection to the consumer. Maybe that emotional connection is to the owners, the property, the packaging, the quality, the community impact, or a million other things.
When you are working to increase your beverage sales, remember that the buyer is not making a rational decision based on facts, data and logic. They are making an emotional decision around their experience with that brand. Then they justify that decision because of the brand value you have built with them. People want to learn why you are different, but it’s why that difference matters to the customer that you should focus on. This can then become ‘the why’ that will drive a customer to purchase.
It is then that ‘the why’ becomes ‘the how’.