For winemaking teams, the science may come easily – creating an expressive bottle of wine is what they know best. However, when it comes to telling their story and cultivating a dedicated following, wineries can often use help. This is arguably as important as crafting great wines, and this is where winery travel can be a useful tool. As wine market expert Rob McMillan of Silicon Valley Bank stated here,
“You have to develop a program of adapting and changing instead of seeking routine in the club. Your wine club members want variety and if you don’t give it to them, they will find it with another winery. ”Rob McMillan, Silicon Valley Bank
One simple and often-overlooked tool that winemakers can utilize to differentiate their brand and create loyalty is by offering travel for wine club members. By partnering with a travel provider like Experi, wineries can provide unforgettable experiences for club members and friends. This helps differentiate the brand and build loyalty, provide engaging experiences, and build relationships with customers.
Winery Travel to Differentiate and Build Loyalty
The West Coast wine industry is growing. There are more than 3,500 wineries in California, 900 wineries in Washington, and 700 wineries in Oregon. One of the key challenges wineries have in growing their following is differentiating themselves from the thousands of options consumers have. Once new members do join on, the challenge remains to retain members by keeping products and offerings fresh and engaging. One solution employed by a small but growing share of wineries has been to offer travel to club members.
While only a small share of wineries currently offer travel experiences to their club members and guests, those that do have been very successful. Traveling wineries have hosted hundreds of club members on river cruises and overland journeys to wine regions abroad. Anecdotally, some of Experi’s winery partners successfully fill multiple trips per year with members. Larger wineries that opt for cruising have filled more than 100 spots in a single departure with club members and friends – all at little to no cost to the winery itself.
Unique experiences like travel set wineries apart and keep club members engaged for subsequent years of membership.
The world of wines is changing. When people visit wine country or join a wine club, they seek unique experiences and unforgettable moments. As Rob McMillan stated, “client experience is necessary even if there isn’t a tasting room.”
This is another area in which winery travel can make an impact. Wineries can work with a travel partner to offer unique experiences abroad that also create brand evangelists out of guests.
Whether doing a wine cruise or an immersive overland journey abroad, travel enables customers to engage deeply with the brand. The pictures, stories, and memories that guests build abroad are then shared with friends and family through social media and word of mouth, thus building awareness around a brand and the unique travel experiences offered.
Building Relationships and Telling A Story with Winery Travel
When wineries travel with their guests, the winemaker or another representative travels with their group as the host. By spending time abroad with their club members, the hosts have an opportunity to create or strengthen relationships through the shared joy of traveling together.
By connecting over meals and wine, telling stories, and experiencing wine-centric activities together, guests and hosts create a lasting bond. This translates into lengthened wine club memberships and – even more importantly – real relationships with real patrons. Travel provides the perfect opportunity for wineries to build community with their members.
Winery travel creates unforgettable memories for both guests and their host wineries. By partnering with an expert travel provider like Experi, wineries can provide brand-enhancing travel experiences at little to no cost to themselves.
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