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Tech. Time Saver
Need to find a restaurant address in a flash?  Forget the number to the retailer you're meeting?  But hate paying your cell phone provider's $1 plus for each 411 information call? 
Well, Google has done it again -- the company has created a solution in 1-800-GOOG-411 and best of all, it's a free call!
How much do you spend each month dialing information from your home or cell phone?
Wine Links
Business Links
Wine Picks
Oregon's annual July International Pinot Noir Celebration once again proved to be a fantastic event!  Below are some of the favorites from the Saturday evening and Sunday events:
Archery Summit Premier Bergstrom
Domaine Anne et Hervé Domaine Drouhin
Domaine Fourrier
Johan Vineyards
Ken Wright Cellars
Mt Difficulty
Torii Mor Winery 

If you're in the Seattle or Tri-Cities area, Suncadia resort's Wine in the Pines is a well done annual August affair.  Sommelier, David LeClaire created a unique and fun Saturday evening winemakers' dinner. He had each winemaker bring a selection of his own wines plus some favorites from other producers.  Guests were seated and then David introduced the winemakers, who chose a table -- a great element of surprise.  Winemaker, Jean-Claude Beck of Woodhouse Family Cellars  poured some excellent wines including a unique and delicious Chenin-Muscat blend. His delicious favorite was Domaine Corsin's Saint Vernan.
Client Corner

McKinley Springs
launches new website by Trellis Wine Consulting

Think Tank Wine Company's
first release named "impressive" by Wine Spectator

5 Points Cellars 
featured in Montgomery Advertiser

??? launches 
(coming September)

???? launches 
(coming November)

Dixie Huey
A client recently recommended a thrilling book, A Whole New Mind.  Author, Daniel Pink, describes how our left-brain thinking characteristic of the Information Age is challenged by three strong competitive forces -- Abundance, Asia, and Automation.  He argues that to survive in the new Conceptual Age, there are six critical right-brain aptitudes: design, story, symphony, empathy, play and meaning.
This issue of Strategic Guidance from the Ground Up is dedicated to Pink's concept of Story.  He writes that stories "...are easier to remember - because in many ways, stories are how we remember... Like design, it [a story] is becoming a key way for individuals and entrepreneurs to distinguish their goods and services in a crowded marketplace."
Does your brand have a consistent and compelling story?  Check out my article, Telling Your Brand's Story, then survey some key customers to find out if their version of your story matches yours.
If you haven't read A Whole New Mind, I urge you to buy it immediately. It is a thought-provoking work that will change the way you view the world. Pink is a fantastic writer, so much so that this reads more like a "beach" than a business book -- once you start, you won't want to put down!

For more information on guiding small- to medium-sized wine businesses, visit the Trellis Wine Consulting blog.

Lastly, for my friends in the Willamette Valley Wineries Association, I'll be hosting a series of marketing workshops, Driving Sales with Marketing Driven Strategies, on September 23 and 24 and I'll hope you'll join me!


Dixie Huey, Proprietor
Telling Your Story - Creating & Defining a Brand
In a recent article for Wines & Vines, "5 Mistakes New Wineries Make", I cited lack of branding as a common omission in the business planning process.  Brands are often confused with labels, logos and vineyards in the wine industry. I've even heard someone refer to his business card as a brand.

If it isn't a name or a label, what is a brand? A typical marketing definition is as follows: a collection of images and/or ideas representing an economic producer.  To me, a brand is a set of experiences with a winery -- experiences with the wines, people, and place.  (So it's a label, a logo and much, much more.) These experiences in turn create impressions, ideas, values, and even personality.  Dennis Hahn, President of ID Branding, and a speaker at the 2009 Oregon Wine Symposium likens a brand to a much broader concept of "a culture".  He is spot on.

A good brand starts with the introduction, continues through the experience and should create a lasting and positive impression.  Let's leave the wine industry for a few moments to examine two brand experiences with the below table images for Virgin America and Starbucks:
Virgin America's Experience

  Starbucks Brand Experience




Anyone who has flown on Virgin America and experienced its efficient, clean, and well-priced flights can certainly distinguish this brand from its competitors.  As for Starbucks, McDonalds recently started competing on coffee and espresso given the market the company essentially created.

A brand should lay the foundation for all of your winery communication -- i.e., your marketing and sales strategies, and even your operating plan.   It should also consistently communicate a distinct identity and a value proposition for the target consumer.  

Identity is composed of a defined look and clear messaging.  The look portion includes logo, label, printed material and website design.  The messaging -- i.e., the story, is comprised of name, label copy, printed material, website copy, etc.  Both brand look and messaging serve together to communicate a foundational brand platform.  This brand platform should highlight the brand's unique selling propositions that in turn create value for the targeted set of consumers. 

Since a brand is about experience, it's much broader than look and messaging and includes all contact with customers.  Your signage, greeting in the tasting room, website performance, behavior of your representatives at wine events, and communication with customers are all elements of your winery's brand experience.
A strong brand is consistent, efficient and effective.  In a sense, it is a story told over and over again; one that creates value for the customer, and by extension creates sales opportunities for you, the brand owner.  Building a strong brand boils down to building a relationship of trust.  A consumer's excellent experience with your brand and the trust that develops is what creates delighted and repeat customers. 
Strategic Guidance from the Ground Up                                                       
Trellis Wine Consulting, LLC is a full service branding, strategy and communications firm for wine businesses.  Our services include branding, public and media relations, website design and e-marketing, sales strategy and business planning. 
We deliver exceptional value to our clients by providing a unique blend of breadth of services and depth of expertise that supports efficient and effective growth and enhanced profitability. Ten years of experience guiding over 40 brands ranging from small, family owned wineries to large international corporations means that we know what works and well understand the need for return on marketing investment. For more information, call 360.210.5551 or visit our website.