The project to accelerate the performance of the American distribution network and simplify the story into market-driven terms
The pathway from the wine producer to the American market is the distribution.
And both the importer and distributor can do a better job of selling if he “tells the story of a wine and its brand” and distils the reason for choosing it into just a few but powerful, well-crafted words, images, and formulas.
That was the jumping-off point, a few years ago, for Enotria Wine (https://www.enotria-wine.com), an American importer-distributor specialising in Italian wine producers who are artisanal in character and display a clear “sense of place.” Plus putting a spotlight on terroir, native grape varieties, the personality of the producer, and limited production.
All of this for on-premise establishments and wine shops looking for a focused photograph of a specific growing spot and an assurance that each bottle of wine contains wine and stories delivered straight to the curious, eager wine consumer, even if told in a different language.
This is the screenshot of the Manifesto – We are web page
The goal: Improve sales in the American market of often unknown wine brands and wineries too small to gain visibility.
The key: simplify the story by translating each producer’s raison why into market-driven terms.
The preparation: design a journey through the length and breadth of Italy, from the Valtellina to Sicily, stopping to meet, interview, and photograph the producers, and identify sales pitches — all those anecdotes, personal stories, inspirations, and hopes for the future.
The process: Put together a novel narrative method and personally engage every player in the process, from the producer right through to the retail account in Brooklyn.
Every single one of Enotria’s producers is different, but together they embody an authentic Italy that deserves to be known –tasted and appreciated!—, to disembark in America as Italy’s team.
Enotria’s website is the showcase that presents an eloquent, magnetic picture of all these families as they open their wineries for exploration by wine-lovers.
Here above some of the ‘Wine Lives’, the stories of each producer
Working with a formidable team of millennial photographers specialising in locale and personal coverage, and together with Enotria’s Andrea, Gabe, and Emiliano, we utilised both digital, oral, and other means to bring these nearly 50 stories to the distributor’s customers.
Now the post-Covid era will present a new challenge, that of showing an Italy that is resilient, that continues to sow and harvest, that wants to grow its position in the markets.
How to do this? We asked this question to none other than Enotria’s founder, Andrea Fassone.
Nicole: During and after the pandemic, how important is it to let your customers know that these realities, these faces of Italy—your producers—have re-opened, or are about to do so?
Andrea: That importance has not changed one iota; it is still absolutely vital, I’d say, since often we represent operations that are as yet unknown, like some undiscovered land. Before the pandemic, we were able to convey all this during personal meetings with our customers; now, however, communicating who we represent has to be exclusively online. This puts the burden on very carefully-designed tools, communications that are briefer, well-crafted, and concise. And the more pro-active a producer is, the better possibility there is of getting attention paid to his wines in those few, precious moments we have with our accounts.
Nicole: Since a producer can no longer travel to make market visits, what can you suggest that a supplier of yours can do in 2021 to effectively support you in your sales efforts, without relying solely on price reductions?
Andrea: Make full use of the latest promotional methods! They’re quick, easy to use and user-friendly. Use appealing videos with direct, dynamic, uncluttered presentations, social media posts and pieces that aren’t drably educational and self-celebratory, but that grab and engage. Create some games on social media and include bits from our site, do a few Zoom sessions now and then… Anything that can convey in the clearest and most uncluttered manner possible the story you want to tell, what is absolutely unique about your operation.
What is still lacking is that proactiveness on the part of the wine producer, as well as a realistic view of what our world is now like and what it takes to sell now. Just think: none of them, or almost, have given us, over this past year, tools suitable for our use, material specifically designed to help us represent them.
Nicole: What role should the digital world and the young generations play in the marketing plans of both the producer and distributor?
Andrea: Capturing the new generation has to be fundamental, and you need a stand-out label, an unusual photo, a concise but meticulously-tuned video that is really a virtual journey to the heart of the matter.
Nicole: What trends do you notice in the marketplace in this delicate re-opening stage What are your customers looking for?
Andrea: They’re trying to get out as much as possible and drink as much as possible :).
As far as trends go, rosés and sparklers are still gaining share, as is the concept of sustainability in all its aspects. So, it’s important to give the consumer good reasons for choosing these.
Nicole: What is the role right now of the importer-distributor?
Andrea: The ability to keep the attention of the customer, whether buyer or distributor, alive and focused on the importer’s portfolio, given the lack of face-to-face contact.
Thank you Andrea for these insights, let’s embrace the power of the network and synergy among producers and who is in the market like you.
The distribution world needs more well-informed producers, proactive, customer-faced and the whole value chain more connection!
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