Trellis Wine Consulting Logo
American Association of Wine Economists
Tech. Time Saver: 
Join.Me Conferencing 

For those on the go and mobile teams, Join.Me offers free screen sharing for online meetings. 


This tool allows you to get everyone on same page, literally.  The host downloads a simple tool which provides him or her with screen sharing capability and a code for participants.  Those wishing to join the conference only need enter the code on the website. also has a paid version for about $150 per year. "Pro" allows hosts to pre-schedule web conferencing and use a conference call line.   


We have just switched from GotoMeeting to the pro version of and saved our company about $300.


News & Events 

Trellis signs several new clients: Ghost Hill Cellars, Kramer Vineyards, and Linde Vineyard Supply of Oregon; and Michigan's White Pine WInery.  


Abacela's 2005 Paramour is featured in Forbes.


AntoLin Cellars launched at Taste Washington and was highlighted in The Seattle Times featured McKinley Springs after Taste Washington.  


Wine & Spirits Magazine rates Stoller Vineyards' JV and SV Pinot Noirs 90 points.

Stay tuned... we are working on business plans for two brand launches for 2012 and 2013: Portland-based spirits company and Northern California winery, respectively.



Connect with
Trellis Wine Consulting
Wine Business  Links
Industry Spotlight:
Insure Your Future  

Does you company offer paycheck protection plans in the event that your or one of your employees sustains a debilitating injury? 


If not, Insure Your Future specializes in helping companies, families and individuals with Disability Income and Catastrophic Disability insurance. 


René Apack, Disability Income, Life & Long Term Care Insurance Advisor, says "Paycheck protection is the most important protection a person needs to have if a loss of income leads to loss of lifestyle and devastation to the family."


According to America's Health Insurance Plans, National Association of Insurance Commissioners, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1 in 3 individuals will face a challenge that will not allow them to do their job.


Having a plan to offer employees the opportunity to purchase paycheck protection for income continuation after an illness or accident demonstrates that you value your team.

Compliance Corner: Wes Paul, Infinite Vineyards  

The New Jersey Direct Shipping Law went into effect on May 1st.  


All shipments going into NJ will need to be shipped under the appropriate permit. 



Infinite Vineyards, LLC, is a full-spectrum wine industry consulting company specializing in compliance issues.  


Read more about Wes Paul here

Spring has sprung and with that comes bud break, rose and for me, the desire to be outside.

At Trellis Wine Consulting, we are very thankful for the clients that have helped our business blossom.  So far, 2012 is well underway and we are excited to be working with several new clients in Oregon and two returning clients located in Washington and Michigan.  Check out our "News and Events" sidebar for retails.

Dixie Huey In this issue of Strategic Guidance from the Ground Up, we explore the top five excuses for neglecting marketing, introduce you to a great (and free) online conferencing tool, and spotlight René Apack, a disability insurance specialist who has provided excellent service to me.  

Happy reading,


Dixie Huey's signature
Dixie L. Huey, Proprietor
Like us on Facebook   View our profile on LinkedIn  Follow us on Twitter

Trellis Top 5: Most Common "Reasons" for Neglecting Marketing

Marketing is not just about designing an attention-grabbing logo, placing ads or interacting with customers on social networks. These are examples of the tactical side of the equation; the strategic side is what many companies fail to engage. Operating without a strategic marketing plan -- which outlines goals, creates benchmark metrics, provides analysis and details the tactical side, is like piloting a plane without a flight plan. 

We often hear comments such as: "Our business thrives on sales. We cannot afford to take away from our sales efforts to improve our marketing side."  This demonstrates a lack of understanding of the purpose of the marketing function, which
creates the demand that drives profitable sales and market share increases.

Below is a list of our top five excuses for neglecting marketing in the wine and spirits industry:



This means that there has been little to no value placed on the marketing function. For the production side of a winery, this statement would be akin to "we don't have fruit".

The incredible amount of care and attention spent on crafting your product should be met with an appropriate level of marketing investment. Over time, lack of marketing investment can lead to rising inventories, discounting pressures and a stale image - all of which tend to start small and become much bigger (and more expensive) problems. While it may be tempting to ignore marketing all together, it is not a viable strategy unless you're absolutely sure your wine will be receiving 100 points annually from the top trade publications and that you'll never want to grow production.  (In our experience, the majority of producers who start off with a "we'll never make above X number of cases usually do.) 



In the personal training world, this is the top excuse for not exercising. For businesses, it's about appropriate allocation of our most valuable resource - time, to the very function that drives growth.  If you don't have time to market, you probably also don't have time to sell, which is a sure path to inventory bloat.
Ours is a complex industry, and the myriad of functions, tight schedules and other challenges means that marketing is often an after-thought.  The only way to solve this issue is to treat "time for marketing" as if it were a work out regimen. You simply have to schedule it -- put marketing time on your business calendar and stick to it. Many companies find that scheduled off-sites are helpful for this type of work if the daily operation makes it difficult. 

In our practice, we frequently serve as a "personal trainer" for marketing by creating a timeline, following up with encouragement and problem solving, and tracking progress. The good news is that positive results always make it easier to allocate time.


What is your operating standard and vision? Most of the businesses we serve are striving to make a top-notch product -- ours is an industry of passionate producers. A marketing plan empowering strong performance generates the sales dollars that can be invested people to support further growth and back into the product to elevate quality.

It is true that not every winery has a strategic marketing plan, but those who do often have a clearer understanding of the current state of the business, where it will be in the future and the necessary steps on how to get there while navigating the competitive marketplace.  This means they find it easier to make marketing decisions, turn down the opportunities that will not produce return on investment and focus on those that do.



What do you expect from marketing, and how did you go about it the last time you tried? Simply placing an ad in a publication and declaring it ineffective when your event has poor turn out does not qualify as demand creation marketing. In most cases when we hear this excuse, there has been a tactical level of marketing investment without a guiding strategy in place; this leads to mixed results at best.



This is a more rare excuse given the sheer number of wine and spirits companies competing for customers. Just like wine clubs have attrition, brands have customer loss. Unless you are building your base, your business is losing ground. Further, could marketing help enhance your already present customer loyalty?   



There is no magical metric for marketing investment. In our practice, we begin with a discussion around the business vision and goals, analyze gaps and either recommend an appropriate course of action, or start with the budget and decide how to best allocate marketing dollars for maximum return on investment.

Our plans can be
more limited in scope, designed to create focused impact in a shorter period of time; or more comprehensive in the case of a brand transformation.   The bottom line is that marketing dollars invested must pay the business back with greater sales revenue.  If you could invest a $1 to make $2, $10 or $100, would you do it? 


 - Dixie Huey and Janel Lubanski, Media Relations and Client Services 


Strategic Guidance from the Ground Up                                                       
Trellis Wine Consulting, LLC is a full-service strategy and marketing communications firm.  Our focus is on creating integrated strategic plans and our services include business planning, marketing communications and sales strategy, brand identity and packaging, public relations, website design and social media.

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. Twelve years of experience guiding over 60 brands ranging from small, family-owned wineries to 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.