How can we create an emotional
connection with our consumer and
drive business to our retail partners?
How can we add value to our brand
so that the retailer or restaurateur is
compelled to carry our wine?
Marketing today is called “permission
marketing.” Consumers are very
wary of anything they perceive as
being shoved on them. Rather than
push, we must create demand/pull.
A brand tells a story, and packaging
should convey that story visually.
We are also telling our story via the
Internet, social media, our website, etc.
We are hopefully creating a dialogue
with consumers about our wines.
Marketing today is called
One thing that is difficult for marketers
in the new world order of marketing
is to give up control. How many
times have I heard a brand manager
say, “You can’t do XX, you will lose
control of your brand.” Control is an
illusion. You must let your story and
brand evolve organically.
Again I come back to authenticity. If
my story is authentic and I believe my
wines to be worthy of consumption,
then let’s put it out there. I believe
consumers will have far more positive
to say about our wines than negative.
We utilize Twitter, wine blogs,
Facebook, and our new smartphone
app so mobile phones can tell our
story. With aggregators you can scan
summaries of conversations regarding
your brand. The first thing my
Director of Marketing does each morning
is scan those sites through one
dashboard. He then joins into relevant
conversations or answers questions.
Like Robert Mondavi, I believe in
my wines. Bring it on! Let’s taste.
We will win more than we lose. We
do not have to “sell” in the traditional
sense. We put the story and the
product out there and let the product
speak for itself.
We participated in the first Twitter
Taste Live. Through our use and
affiliation with Twitter they learned
about our vineyards and wines.
When Twitter created Fledgling
Twitter wine), they chose
Pinot Noir grapes from our Doctor’s
Vineyard. Subsequently, they created
videos with our winemaker and
We are constantly pushing information
out, creating conversations, introducing
people to our wines and story;
and hopefully creating an emotional
connection through the use of videos
and other techniques.
We drive business to our retail base
in various ways:
The Hahn Family Wine app – Both
consumers and the trade can use this
smartphone app to access our website,
obtain winemaker notes, etc.
Tweet Ups – This is basically a
social hour with a twist, from 5 to
7 pm, generally at a retail account
location. We have had tremendous
response, although in one year it will
probably be old hat. Now, however, it
is much more effective than a typical
winemaker dinner, drawing anywhere
from 85 to 200 people to meet
the winemaker at much less cost,
requiring the consumer to only take
an hour on the way home or to dinner,
creating social community, and
driving business to an account either
on or off-premise.
We did one at Binny’s in Chicago
that drew 85 people, and we sold five
or six cases of wine at the event. Most
importantly, the account features our
product. We are adding value.
FourSquare – This is an intriguing
social media with a GPS function.
You can choose to check in at locations
and your friends can find you,
and you can leave tips for each other.
When you check in at your hotel,
you might receive a tip about Hahn
wines — or did St. Supery beat us to
the punch again? I love how it pings
a tip, like “great happy hour drinks at
Character’s (hotel bar).”
There will be many derivations of
this technology. I remember when we
first started this stuff several years
ago, the gentlemen we worked with
informed us the technology already
existed that someday when you
walked past a case stack of wine, it
could “ping” your phone with information
about that specific wine. That
day is close at hand.
QR Codes, Jag tags, etc. – We are
putting these on our POS material —
shelf-talkers, cases, etc. With a scanner
on your mobile phone; you can point
at the QR code and it will instantly
take you to a video of yours truly
describing the wine on the shelf. I
would rather have the winemaker, but
initially it is me in a 30-second video,
adding value, and creating an emotional
connection with our consumers,
one at a time.
Text Campaigns – We did our first
one with Young’s Market representatives,
but I hope to include consumers
and wine club members shortly.
Again, it is “opt-in” or permission
marketing. Text 91904 and put in
“HahnCA” to receive information on
discounts, current events, news stories,
Grappos – This is the “holy grail”
to me; my brother and I have talked
about this for 30+ years. How do you
tell people — at wine tastings, online,
and in winery tasting rooms — where
they can find your wine? Grappos
created a special smartphone function
for us. Tap our app, tap “find our
wines,” put the zip code and variety
in, and all the placements in your area
appear. It connects to TradePulse and
is updated about every 90 days; so
the odds that your wine is really there
With this tool, our sales rep can say
to Mr. Retailer, we are creating business
and driving it to retail accounts. If
our consumer clicks on a location and
you do not carry us, you miss a sale.
The consumer can be reading a wine
review or talking to a friend, search in
real time on the smartphone, and learn
where the wine is located.
All these technologies work internationally
as well. I have taped videos
for Waitrose in London and done
interviews with people like the Bubble
Brothers, our distributor in Ireland. I
hope to connect Grappos up with our
international distributors also. I am
creating a presence and an emotional
connection with consumers around
the world; one at a time. So there you
have it. It is easy to sell wine … but it
is very difficult to deliver.