The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do. -Galileo Galilei
Galileo’s comment, though in jest, is still quite fortunate for us. Without our sun, nothing living would exist, which means we certainly wouldn’t be enjoying the palatable blood of the grape. This for many would be a travesty. Countless people often find great enjoyment, sensation, and even relief from wine. Its creation, consumption, history, and even the conversations surrounding it are testaments to that fact.
So if you’re a business person, and keeping those above facts in mind, how can wine help you? How can wine do anything for a business that does not deal in liquor? How can wine, something so universally agreeable, be used as a business tactic for some overall strategy? Two words are all that are needed here… Wine Tasting! To keep it in perspective, answer those same questions posed above for other activities such as golf or chess.
Wine tastings, golf, and chess are (most of the time) not the end itself, but a means to it. A tool if you will. Surely wine tastings don’t sound very bombastic. But should they be? Some things are quite perfect as they are, and wine tastings, when discussing the fulfillment of certain business goals, can be one of them. Just as golf and chess both can play similar roles in business dealings.
So how can a wine tasting help your business? To answer that question I’ve devised a little list to explain some of the countless ways a tasting can be utilized to achieve various business goals. This list will be divided amongst those goals, with a brief example of how it can be put into place.
Before we begin, it should be mentioned that if your business is selling wine or any type of liquor for that matter, you should well know why wine/alcohol tastings are useful to offer. This list is targeting business people who do not deal in alcohol and want to use a wine tasting to promote their business in other ways. Also, we are not going to mention how to provide and create the best wine tasting itself, as there are countless articles out there on that topic as well and exceed the scope of this article. So without further ado, let’s get into the meat of it.
Increase New Customer Base
Many times wine tastings can be used to attract new customers to your business, or to whatever it is you are trying to sell. Art districts in cities and towns often have “Art Walks” where various wine is offered (for free) so that the greatest number of eyes can gaze at the art being offered and shown. Open houses for homes for sale often provide free wine to help “loosen” up potential buyers.
Generally, when wine is used to attract new customers, it’s not with the sense to get people in there that want to drink. Drunks are generally not the greatest potential customers. Nor is it in mind to charge for the wine, and if so, not to charge much. The idea is to ease any tension and loosen the mood, making the customers feel more comfortable. The idea is not to make them drunk and swindle them, though that tactic is probably used more often.
Improve Customer Loyalty
People love freebies! Nothing is better than feeling as though you’ve won or have been given something without trying, or better yet, without even knowing. Offering a wine tasting as a prize or promotional offering is perfect for increasing the loyalty of current customers. Business card prize drop bowls, frequent visits/purchases, lotteries, and so on can all be used to create the means for customers to show interest, or better yet, keep interest in your business.
No doubt the prizes are different, but imagine the McDonalds Monopoly game or the Pepsi points prizes. People would specifically use those products because they wanted to win, or have a chance at winning. Having your own “lottery” is illegal where you pay for a chance to win. However, buying something with a chance to win is entirely legal, and different in the eyes of the law. So be sure to tap into the inherent gambler in all of us, give us a chance to win a ticket to that wine tasting event.
Increase Brand Recognition
For newer businesses, and especially ones that feel they have gone unnoticed, you may simply want to make a bigger splash in the pool you’re playing in. This of course is more geared toward smaller businesses, but offering a free weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly wine tasting will give you the opportunity to get people in the door. At which point you can tout your business, services, or products offered.
Either way, you’ll have a crowd, and even if they are not really interested in what you sell, they’re still an ear for listening. And an ear for listening eventually can become a mouth for speaking, hopefully positive words to friends and family.
Increase Employee Moral
Study after study after study has shown that in the end, people obviously want to make money at their job, but a very important and often time overlooked aspect of employee moral sits outside the realm of a mere paycheck. Recognition for work completed, happiness while at work, employee social relationships, and countless other factors come into play which determines an employee’s overall moral.
Can your company spend a few hundred dollars a month to throw a company wine tasting event? The answer is probably. Will managers/owners recognize the importance of how keeping employees happy keeps customers happy? Sadly, time and sheer numbers has shown that will not happen. Companies feel the once to twice a year party is sufficient. But is it? Wouldn’t you rather your employees feel like a team rather than slave partners.
There are 365 days in a year, remember that when you decide 2 company parties are enough to keep spirits high. Many people hate their jobs, and it’s often times not because of the work they do. Some people love their jobs, and the work itself is wretched. Why or how could that be true? If it appears your employees don’t care or seem listless, ask yourself why they should feel otherwise?
Improve Customer Relations
Wine tastings give you the opportunity to make an excellent impression upon current and potential customers. It gives you the valuable face time required to have their undivided attention and focus and get your point across. Add to that, if the customer/customers feel as though they’ve won or earned something, they will be especially attentive. Simply put, a wine tasting under the right circumstance gives you a perfect moment to speak and open up conversation, something that is often missed in most everyday dealings.
Achieving an increase in sales definitely includes a multitude of factors to keep in mind. Though, it is often times the most important part to improving or making a business successful overall, and as such, receives a lion’s share of the concern and focus. Every point prior to this may not exactly directly increase your sales, but they all can indirectly increase them. Which is why when it comes to using wine tastings for the purpose of achieving various business goals, you should never forget the many purposes it can employ.
Fund Raising Tool
Finally, for fund raising purposes, you can offer wine tastings as a means to receive donations for some charity. You may feel these have to be big events, but they don’t. You can host local fund raisers for youth sports, homeless, and underprivileged youths. Really anything will work, and a wine tasting has the additional benefit of loosening the donors grip on their cash. People don’t always need it, but incentive is surely appreciated.
License: Royalty Free or iStock
The author of this article is Damien S. Wilhelmi. If you enjoyed this piece you can follow me on Twitter @JakabokBotch. When I’m not writing about wine tastings, I’m generally attempting to find the best cheap wine online I can because you never know where a great deal lies.