The Merchant23 Blog

What Awesome Wine Branding Looks Like

Jul 22, 2019 5:16:19 PM / by Cyrus Azari

Owner Kevin Buckler created a 4 bottle wine package called The Racing Series, and it has been wildly successful. It tells the story of Kevin’s two passions (wine and racing) and how they came together to push the limits of traditional wine marketing. By using rare blends and incredibly sleek packaging, Kevin has created a recipe for success. 


His pivot capitalized on his racing team, called The Racers Group (TRG). TRG is a race team that specializes in Porsche race cars. Kevin Buckler has an incredible racing heritage, with wins at some of the most prestigious races in motor-sports, including The 24 Hours of Le Mans and 4 wins at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. 


Ever the entrepreneurial man, Kevin saw an opportunity.  He asked himself - what do I know? Who do I know? How could I focus on a segmented group of people in the broader market that I can relate to and understand with my product? He took the same approach he had with motor-sports - no fear of pushing the limits, and doing something different. 


He did this by telling the story of racing in a fun, inventive way and creating emotional bonds with his customer through his incredible packaging. The key factor? The brand, from its inception, was geared towards a specific group of people - racing enthusiasts. 


Racing enthusiasts are a very segmented group of people, and to win over their business he created a product that was simply irresistible to that group. He created a brand that would appeal directly towards this population of enthusiasts. 


Take a step back here and put yourself in the head of Mr. Buckler. Kevin had to ask himself - how many race enthusiasts are there in the world? What is the total addressable market of racing people globally? 


Well, to answer, did you know the 24 hours of Le Mans had a TV viewership of 802 million in 2017? Or that Formula 1 has a “global cumulative television 1.758 billion, of which 1.59 billion were in the top 20 markets — a rise of three percent compared to 2017 and the second consecutive year of growth.” Think about how big this market it is! And its a very specific market to appeal to. 


Appeal to that market Adobe Road Winery Racing Series did , and how it was done is very simple. Take a look at this picture below:

RacingSeries_PromoFullPgSpread_updated_large (1)

These 4 bottles of wine are targeted towards wealthy racing enthusiasts. The wine is presented in a four-bottle package with beautiful labels - labels catered towards racing enthusiasts. For example, the cork on Shift is modeled after a gear shift knob, The 24 has an embossed 24 karat gold emblem…not to mention that these 4 bottles come in an elaborate, extremely collectible one-of-a-kind box. (see below)


Now, let's flip the script. Ask yourself, who do you know, who does your brand resonate with? What hobbies, what markets, what industries have you worked in? ANYTHING that helps you define a market and a segment that helps you create a focused niche for your product will help you increase conversions. That's exactly what Kevin did here, and it has proven to be a proverbial GOLDMINE for his brand! 

Want a more in depth look at how to better brand your winery?

Check Our Ultimate Guide To Adult Beverage Branding Here

What if you were a contractor before, how would you emotionally appeal towards your old industry? What would blue-collar wine look like? Budweiser is a brand that has made a lot of success from emotionally resonating with blue-collar workers.  What do they want to pop the top off of? Is there a segment of the market for the blue-collar wine drinker? What would that look like, what is the emotional appeal?


Or what if you were an aerospace engineer, that used to work for NASA. How would a brand be made for someone from that background? Use these examples to help hone down what your brands emotional appeal is, and who you are appealing to.


Lets take a step back and take a look at Adobe Road Winery - what is Adobe Road? Its a street in Petaluma, and while on the ascent, Petaluma is not known for its wine. Why would someone want to drink wine from an unknown town on an unknown street that has no significance to their lives? What market segment do is good old Adobe Road appealing to on its own? ***


But with the Racing Series, Adobe Road hits the nail on the head. The racer demographic has all sorts of cool racing orientated products and memorabilia. The Racing Series appeals to that with its sleek packaging and fantastic wine. 


Remember - people buy your packaging and label first - juice is secondary. 


You’re a huge race nerd, go to your local wine store, and bam, you see Apex, Redline, Shift, and the 24 displayed. Apex? A reference to the “line” I need to take in turn? Redline? When I push my car to its limits? Do you see how its IRRESISTIBLE to a racing enthusiast? By visuals alone they will gravitate towards it. 


The days of 95+ Parker scores leading to sold-out wines and 5+ year waiting lists are over. YOU MUST BE ADAPTIVE. 


Kevin is focusing his efforts on a niche, yet very addressable market that he can expand on. A market that is playing to his brand’s strength -racing. His branding and packaging are all catered towards the global racing audience. 


He has created a niche and having done so his sales have soared. He understands his target buyer persona, and - I can’t say this enough - has emotionally appealed to them with his product. 


Buying his wine isn’t just buying the liquid in the bottle, its admission into the entire lifestyle of racing! - At least, emotionally. Its all about the emotional appeal, and the more you know your customer, the easier that becomes. 

This is how successful his brand has been:

ARW_Mornings With Maria_4.3.19_jpeg (1)Need I say more? Find your target audience, and cater your brand towards their lifestyle in an emotionally appealing way. The results will astound you. 


Want learn more about branding?

Check Our Ultimate Guide To Adult Beverage Branding Here


Topics: Branding Wine Branding Design Adobe Road Winery

Written by Cyrus Azari

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