No Wimpy Wines!

It’s hard to distinguish yourself as a winery. Apart from the wine elite who closely follow ratings and tastings and such, how you stand out among the masses who view a bewildering array of wine bottles on the shelf? How many people just give up and buy a red with an interesting label, because it was…a red with an interesting label?

Now, I buy a variety of different wines, and I do read ratings. If I had an unlimited budget, I fear how extravagant this habit could become (not that I would mind dealing with the temptation, don’t you know!). But I admit to a soft spot in my heart for Ravenswood Winery. Not only because they make some really nice reds (especially Zinfandels), but because they actually hit on a great branding approach.

Ravenswood’s tagline is No Wimpy Wines! Simple, memorable, and a bit sassy. While the elitist might consider this approach just a tad plebian, for the vast majority of wine buyers who are looking for a good quality, hearty wine, this is great branding. It makes Ravenswood stand out, and the phrases taps into something “aspirational” – after all, who wants ANYthing wimpy? Finally, it passes the T-shirt test (yes, I have one with the crossed-out Wimpy Wines on the back – it regularly accompanies me to the gym, silently promoting heart-healthy Ravenswood reds while I do my cardiovascular workout!)

Of course, it helps that the wine is good. And, since my brother-in-law lives not far from Ravenswood’s Sonoma vineyard, I had a chance to visit a while back, and their winery experience is memorable and enjoyable. By the way, they have one of the biggest, tastiest BBQ sauces you’ll ever want to try (Ragin’ Raven) – if you can manage to find it.

Does that mean that I ignore the lots of other wine choices available? Hardly. But it does mean that Ravenswood has accomplished what good marketing and branding is supposed to achieve – loyalty. Repeat business. Positive buzz. And a willingness to promote them, simply because they do it right.

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About Steve Woodruff
Steve Woodruff is a blogger, a Connection Agent, and a consultant in the pharma/healthcare industry. He specializes in helping people and companies make mutually beneficial connections.

9 Responses to No Wimpy Wines!

  1. I love Ravenswood, but I think the main reason we buy is due to the way our kids were treated (positively) at the winery. When we lived in Northern California, we used to go to Napa and Sonoma quite a bit. Usually, the kids were off to the side when they came with us, ignored by tasting room personnel at best or stared down by them at worst. Ravenswood was different. They took my kids to a back room, got them each a bottle of homemade rootbeer and a bouncy ball, and brought them back out. My kids were all smiles and felt very grown-up drinking their rootbeer at the picnic tables while we tasted! The personal touch, when it can be achieved, builds loyalty like nothing else.

    Great blog – keep it up!

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  5. Steve, thanks for stopping by my blog and bringing this post to my attention. Very interesting! I’m a fan of Ravenswood as well.

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