CELEBRITY WINES? THE HOTTEST NEW TRENDS…
If you asked me a few years ago, or anyone else for that matter, where the growth was going to come from in wine in 2021, I would not have said the word ‘celebrity’! However, led by a few really good endorsements and collaborations, this area of the market is thriving.
When you stop to think about it, it makes a whole lot of sense: in shopping environments where consumers are stretched for time such as supermarkets, decisions have to be made quickly in every part of the shop. On top of that, we know the wine aisle is daunting for many consumers, who simply don’t know their Bourgogne from their Barossa (and why should they!?). So consumers naturally look for any help they can get, straining for clues about which wine might be ‘for them’.
There are some brands that are known entities now; I instantly think of products like Freixenet Prosecco, Campo Viejo and the Provence Rose shelf. ‘Brands’ like these (Provence is a brand) can be bought with confidence by the initiated and uninitiated alike. But outside of that, the wall of wine continues to overwhelm and so consumers must look for other clues. Graham Norton, Ian Botham, Philip Schofield; these are names that mean something, and can be trusted, by large sections of the public.
Simply put, if I know/like/follow/trust, the name of the person associated with this product, then I can trust the product too. It’s perhaps an indictment on the wine industry, or at least worthy of reflection by us, that it has taken celebs fulfilling their own aspirations to make their own wine brands, that we have not been able to help consumers more ourselves. I would argue strongly that more can and should be done to make wine (like beer and spirits have managed far better) fun, exciting and accessible to all.
The next step for those of us that are harnessing the power of celebrity (our brand Liquid Diamond is working with Amy Childs from TOWIE) is to maximise sales opportunities whilst not appearing to be pedalling a gimmick. This starts with the target consumer base and ensuring that the person you work with aligns to that: I don’t think it works nearly as well the other way around. Finding a celeb who wants to make their own wine, without considering who will want to buy products with this person’s name on it, is definitely a ploy to make a quick buck, rather than help the consumer. Ultimately, I believe, it will be short lived.
The trust of the consumer you are targeting can be gained, quickly and for a long time, by offering them a brand ambassador who means something to them. Take our example of Amy Childs: our target customer is 18-40, female, social media savvy and reality TV obsessed. This was laid out at the very beginning of the brand’s life, inspired its look and was informed by our market research. Amy, with a strong and engaged social media following, is literally ideal for Liquid Diamond. On top of that, the 2m+ viewers of the TOWIE show further enhance the exposure of the brand to our customers. In the 2 weeks since we announced the partnership, our social following has increased by 97%; this will translate into higher sales, more brand advocates and continued exposure. Amy is engaged, engaging, and will be a proactive partner for Liquid Diamond.
More and more celebrity endorsed brands are appearing, and I am sure this will accelerate over the next year or so. Certainly all the time that they continue to be great ways to get the trust from certain sections of the population to trial, and the loyalty to make repeat purchases. My take, for those that want to get involved, is that you stand the best chance of success if you find a target market who are not currently being served or spoken to, find an ambassador partner who is engaged and willing to be present and genuinely help, and ensure the products are available in the retail or On trade environments where your audience will be.
Alex Green- Co-founder of Beyond Wines & Liquid Diamond Wines