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area and showcase photographs of your vineyards,wines and familymembers and staff. Websites are like business cards—

everyone should have them. Davis has impressive credentialswith

socialmedia. He spearheaded the socialmedia

strategies for theNissan Cube and had a weekly radio talk showappearance called ‘Let’s Talk Social’ covering the latestmedial andmarketing strategies. But there is one technique that trumps

socialmedia, according toDavis, and that is personal contact sealedwith an old fashioned handshake. Talk to restaurant servers, sponsor

samplings at tradeshows, organize winery tours andmaximize effectiveness of your tasting roomare a fewofDavis’ suggestions. It is important tomake the tasting

roomas large and pleasant as possible and to staff itwith friendly, knowledgeable employees. “Don’t be afraid to fire staff.

Consumersmore often remember how theywere treated rather thanwhat the wine tasted like. Also taking care of customersmay include providing a place for their kids,”Davis said. He also recommends sponsoring

special events. It doesn’t have to be fancy, even simple things such as ‘a glass ofwine on the patio evening’ help to attract customers. Send out emails and newsletters that

keep people informed, but don’t pester them Davis recommends a tasting fee of

$15-$20,whichwould include a $5 discount on any bottle ofwine or itemin your shop. “Studies in theUnited States have shown that tasting fees help to build clientele. People expect to pay for quality products.” Developing consumer loyalty or ‘buy-

in’ is a crucial factor. Davis’ suggestions include having a

wine club so people feel part of a social tribe and organizing grape picking parties. Adopt-a-vine programsmake people

feel philanthropic and as if the grapes fromtheir vine are in the bottle ofwine they’re drinking. “Email themphotos of howtheir vine

is growing and the grapesmaturing,” Davis said. He also suggests a personal touch to

winemakingwith customers helping in customcrushes, bottling and packaging. In closing,Davis said, “If you build it

(a goodmarketing strategy), theywill drinkwine.”

12 British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Fall 2013

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