A handful of companies are responsible for producing & selling wine in Oz
WA’s Brad Wehr of ‘Wine by Brad’ has been talking to PWF about Australia’s wine industry. Brad has been in the wine industry for 17 years – mostly in the Margaret River region – in all areas from production, marketing to management. He has also worked all around OZ, in NZ and South Africa.
First Brad draws on some very interesting stats, then tells us about his creative ‘little guy’ marketing tactics!
Brad asks if all this be a good thing?
It is often said that the small, independent and hardworking producers are the backbone of the industry…..and right now the back is hurting and in need of a little massaging.
Yes we do know there is currently a surplus of wine in Australia. Rapid growth in vineyard plantings in the past decade to feed an export drive has resulted in excesses of grapes being supplied into the market.
This excess has to go somewhere and quite often it ends up in cheap, big-name brands produced by the ‘big guys’, or it ends up sans label in a bargain bin or in cleanskin shops.
A boon for the consumer & great news for the big liquor retailers.
Coles Myer and Woolworth’s dominate the retail liquor sector in Australia and as the big guys fight it out for market share in the retail shops, the small producers are left to compete for the remaining miniscule share of shelf space. Most don’t have the capacity to enter into unprofitable and damaging discounting wars so they have to work even harder to be seen and heard.
Some of the ways to do this include:
Like all small businesses…..
The successful ones survive, continuing to sell their wines for the desired price, and offering the consumer the quality, diversity and value necessary for a healthy marketplace. BUT like all small business, they need the ongoing support of loyal customers, the community, and other small businesses.
SO next time you’re in the local wine shop, Brad asks you to stop and think about who will be the recipient of your valuable dollar, and remember to massage the back of the industry!
A ‘little guy’ marketing response to supermarket domination
The supermarket duopoly and market domination, an issue that makes Cellar Door operations/tourism/marketing so incredibly important, is certainly worth airing. PWF would relish some feedback on this from other readers???
The ‘Wine by Brad’ website has a ‘fun’ approach….. ‘influential winemakers and shadowy ruffians’. Check it out! Brad says he’s no marketing whiz ….. BUT….
“you gotta have a point of difference and a means for people to see your product, so we try to be very unique. You need to be creative….I prefer to stay a little in the background and let the brand do the talking, but I guess I’ve become the ‘front guy’! Basically it’s me and a mate and we started out having a little fun before we realised people really took to it.”
Did they set out targetting a particular group or market segment? No, but they thought that perhaps younger people would get into the concept (breaking down traditional wine barriers), and women. This has proved very true – women really enjoy the irreverence of the brand.
Generalising of course Brad believes both men and women are ‘label-buyers’ but:
Words encompassing the Wine by Brad brand…fun, funky, fresh, unpretentious, warm and honest. They take themselves seriously where it counts….
‘Guerilla tactics’ sums it up!
HOW do you tackle the supermarkets’ market domination?
Tough…..they dictate the terms and conditions by which producers can get shelf space which unfortunately cuts out the vast majority of small producers, unless you are a must-have-cult-wine.
BUT there are still consumers who enjoy personal service….they are not-so-much anti-corporation but pro-small-business. You just have “reach out to them or tease them out, and then maintain the service, quality etc to keep them.”
You have to provide:
3. A product easily identifiable and in demand (essential varieties and styles from a recognised region – ie make it easy for the customer to do business with us)
4. The X factor – interesting story/package/presentation/attitude
Thanks for a great interview Brad!
For more info contact:
Brad Wehr, Wine by Brad
Mob: 0409 572 957