WE GET YOU / wine motivations

Leah Jorgensen Jean

Some producers may never learn what truly motivates their customers. In our defense, we often get stuck in a loop about trying to distinguish the uniqueness of our products, of our branding, and in creating offers in earnest attempts to motivate sales. What happens more often than not, we’re so focused on our businesses and products, and ultimately sales, that we’re blind to our customer’s wants, desires and needs.

I have spent many years in winery sales, marketing and communications before leaving the office for the cellar and birthing my own brand. And the way we reached our customers thirteen years ago is vastly different from how customers want to be reached today! The problem is, many wineries – veteran and brand new – are still approaching customers in that now “old fashioned” way where the customer isn’t seen at all.

But, guess what? We see you! I see you.

I have learned a thing or two over the years. And I understand what motivates YOU. Uniquely you. You being any generation: Gen Z, Millennial, Gen X, Boomer.

I see all of you!

Generational marketing can be a distraction and yet, even if it creates some generalizations, it can also provide important insights about what matters most to you – the customer.

My primary goal as a winemaker and producer is twofold: to create a unique wine style that isn’t available anywhere else in my region, and, at the same time, grow a category of highly collectible, age-worthy wines that will last for many, many years.

So, personally, as a business owner I am more focused on the uniqueness of my products than I am on my branding or creating offers to motivate sales. That doesn’t mean I negate those things. They just aren’t my first priorities.

The focus I put on my product, as I mentioned above, does not exclude the customer. Circling back to my opening paragraph – when a producer’s goals around product, branding, or creating offers gets stuck in that loop about motivating sales – there is a massive disconnect with the customer.

The reason why I SEE YOU is because I recognize that my primary goal as a winemaker has nothing to do with the final sale, it’s not about the stress of closing a sale, it’s not about a need to sign you up for my wine club, or pushing more wine out the door like up-selling you from two bottles to a case. I have never intentionally up-sold a customer in the history of my business! It’s the opposite.

It’s about holding on to my wines intentionally to build a library for the mix of generations who want access to special bottles, library wines, collectible wines, intentionally crafted wines that will last a long time. That means I’m not reaching every customer in the wine drinking universe. It’s a specific customer – LIKE YOU – that is here, that is searching for this kind of wine opportunity.

Here’s what I have learned about generational marketing when it comes to purchasing the kind of wines I make – limited production, collectible, rare wines meant to age for a long time – and I’m curious if any of these feel accurate for YOU?

Different generations may be motivated to buy extremely rare or expensive wines for a variety of reasons. Here are some factors that can influence purchasing decisions – do any of these apply to you?

  1. Status and Prestige: For some individuals, owning and consuming expensive wines is a symbol of wealth, luxury, and social status. It can be seen as a display of success and achievement, especially in certain circles or among peers who appreciate fine wines.
  2. Collecting and Investment: Wine can be viewed as a collectible and an investment opportunity. Certain rare and highly sought-after wines can appreciate in value over time, making them attractive to collectors and investors. Some individuals may buy expensive wines with the intention of storing them or reselling them in the future.
  3. Exclusivity and Rarity: Limited production and scarcity of certain wines can drive up their prices. The appeal of owning something rare and exclusive can be a strong motivator for wine enthusiasts who seek out unique and hard-to-find bottles.
  4. Wine Appreciation and Connoisseurship: Wine enthusiasts who have developed a deep appreciation for the complexities of wine may be motivated by a desire to explore and experience the finest expressions of the craft. They may be willing to invest in expensive wines to expand their knowledge, refine their palate, and savor exceptional flavors and aromas.
  5. Special Occasions and Celebrations: Some people associate expensive wines with special occasions and celebrations. They may purchase them for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, or other significant events as a way to enhance the experience and create lasting memories. And selecting certain vintages that correspond with those milestones can be especially of interest.
  6. Curiosity and Exploration: Wine lovers who are passionate about discovering new flavors, regions, and winemaking techniques may be motivated to explore the world of high-end wines. The allure of unique flavor profiles, innovative winemaking methods, and extraordinary vineyard locations can drive them to seek out expensive wines.

Notice that I didn’t specify any of the generations above? It’s important to note that motivations can vary significantly between individuals and generations. While some motivations may be consistent across generations, others may be influenced by factors specific to each generation’s values, preferences, and cultural influences. We get that!

So, while we’re not interested in the old methods of selling to YOU, we are interested in learning more about your motivations and interests – and if we can help check your boxes in a more meaningful way then that’s a huge win for us! Providing YOU with your wants, desires and needs is special. We get that. And we might not be able to do that. But it always starts with YOU. Not the product, branding or offer.