We’ve been in business for two year and are looking to take the next step forward after a very successful holiday season. We are two brothers-in-law, who got into this not for a love of profits, although that would be nice, but we both really love wine.
Mark – www.Uncorkedventures.com
Answer: Mark, you’ve done an excellent job expressing enthusiasm and passion in building your online business. Understand you are not selling wines you are selling a “lifestyle” so to build your business, expand the aura you’ve created through an integrated marketing strategy utilizing a variety of techniques and tools. In a world of high tech it’s easy to overlook techniques and tools that deliver impressive results so don’t think your only communication channel is online.
Consider encouraging existing customers to promote your site by utilizing the WIIFM Factor (What’s in it for me?) approach.
- Create the Uncorked Connoisseur’s Club in which members (existing customers) become Wine Ambassador’s promoting the enjoyment of their lifestyle. You supply them a monthly e- newsletter that they can send (with their name … Jane Doe, Uncorked Wine Ambassador) to their friends, family & associates. Thus creating for you an army of proponents at little cost.
The Ambassadors could also promote –
- Wines & Cuisine Tips: For when one entertains, encompassing food ideas and presentation tips. (Give local culinary experts the opportunity to provide those to you in exchange for increased exposure.) Create a sense of participation by giving your members the opportunity to offer suggestions of their own (send to Uncorked Central) for inclusion (and credit) in future issues.
- Provide wine suggestion lists for multichannel distribution
- Create contests built around wines; such as a poetry contest and have people vote on it, encouraging submitters to “stack the deck” by having their “fans” visit your site
- Write articles on the “Joys of Wine” and see if local publications in your market might pick it up. Perhaps a column.
- Look for joint ventures & alliances
- Create a wine connoisseurs’ gift guide w/ coupons
- Look at themed gifts such as weddings, anniversaries, births, etc.
- Develop corporate VIP or incentive program
- Develop a referral program
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