"Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business."
Is Brand Equity
The Missing Ingredient In Your Wine?
Brand equity: the bottom line
Defective or anemic brand equity ("valor de marca" in Spanish) undermines all other business investments, regardless of category or price segment.
Do the product benefits and value proposition of your wines fail to attract competent distribution partners, or reach and engage the right consumer segments? Does your retail pricing in the marketplace tend to erode quickly to levels that are lower than the wine quality deserves? Does your sales team always seem to struggle to achieve their volume goals, or find it impossible to avoid spending more on discounting than the promotional budgets they were given? Do your key financial metrics generally come up short vs. the fiscal targets? If the answer to these questions is yes, upgrading your brand equity could be a very smart investment.
The global wine sector generated 26 billion liters of wine in 2022, brought to market by 65.000 producers in 193+ countries around the world. Although impossible to measure with precision, industry analysts believe the total number of international wine brands could be as high as 200 thousand. This proliferation of labels has led to intense competition for retail shelf space, which in turn is shrinking year by year due to consolidation throughout the value chain. As a result, Nielsen scan data in the United States now indicates that 98% of total wine sales in high-volume retail channels is divided between fewer than 1.800 brands (less than 1% of all labels).
But how do these market dynamics relate to brand equity? The bottom line is that brands without strong perceived value and a compelling "reason-for-being" have little chance of breaking through the massive competitive clutter of the post-Covid international wine market.
Few would argue with these points. And yet, many wine producers invest a minuscule percentage of their total operating budgets on brand development. Some entrust their strategic branding and brand planning to a commercial director, a regional importer, or even a creative agency. Others are wise enough to create a small marketing team, but without hiring any truly qualified brand managers. Still others trust only themselves when it comes to their brands, which they view as an extension of their personal story and image. I have witnessed each of these situations over the years. These same producers may feel puzzled when competitors with similar portfolios continually increase their market share with less reliance on discounts and promotions. The competitive differential is often nothing more than brand equity.
Experienced winegrowers know how to make the best wine possible from their vineyards and facilities. Executives and owners are the foremost experts on all details of their commercial strategies, operations and financials. My own expertise is brand equity: how to create and increase the perceived value of wine brands and portfolios in the eyes of designated target audiences.
At the end of the day, strong brands are the most direct path to more robust return-on-investment for any winery or supplier. It's mathematical. Like making high-quality wine, constructing brand strategies that align with internal business dynamics and can also effectively compete in today's complex marketplace is a science, not an art.
No serious winery owner would allow a relative amateur to oversee their vineyards or their winemaking programs. Why not invest as much due diligence in an equally vital business asset: your brand portfolio?
Joseph Rey Granados, Sole Proprietor
Developing strong brands begins with defining the target audience, then making sure the brand concept, production story, portfolio architecture, logo and packaging are all in alignment with this audience.
Compelling stories express your brand's reason-for-being: the consumer promises, product features and cultural mythology that create an identity for the brand and establish a relationship with the consumer.
Effective brand identity begins with a meaningful, fact-based concepts that offer something
authentic, fresh and memorable. Strong brand ideation drives consumer interest and always stands out in a crowd.
Global brands are more than just labels. They strategically integrate the winery's quality dynamics, product portfolio, sales proficiencies and market relationships to build a sustainable image in the marketplace.
Riccardo A. Mora
EVP Strategy & Business Development at Delicato Family Vineyards
I have often relied on Joseph's industry experience, classical marketing background and critical thinking ability to help me navigate complex issues in brand identity, product life cycle, and portfolio positioning challenges. Joseph brings a deep understanding of the critical success factors required to invigorate brand portfolios, to grow trade and consumer awareness, and to build distribution.
Business Development Manager, N. America at Domaine Bousquet
Joseph began his work with Fecovita at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 and guided us in a very strong transition in the winery towards leadership in the global market through a premiumization strategy for our portfolio of brands. He adapted to the bilingual context with no problems, working digitally with our team in Argentina. It is a pleasure to have had Joseph as a mentor and leader, with his passion for winemaking and his in-depth knowledge of the US market. Joseph has been extremely proactive and involved in all projects, working on brand strategies, trend analysis, presentations to management and sales teams, content generation and story-telling.
President / CEO at Oregon Fruit Products LLC
Joseph has a unique ability to start by creating a brand vision and then helping create impactful tools to help effectively sell and market the brands. These tools allow the selling organization to take the message to the street and create interest with buyers. In addition Joseph did a nice job of working with the distributor management to gain their engagement and then he personally helped them execute the strategy on the street. I found Joseph to be creative, bright, enthusiastic, realistic, collaborative and willing to do the hard work that it took to see the rebranding come to life in the market.