Creative Ways to Use Your Logo
In a recent Northern Grapes Project survey, wine and winery branding was listed as the 1# concern by winery owners. Communicating to customers what makes a winery distinctive is becoming increasingly difficult as the number of wineries in the U.S. surpasses 8,300.
According to Jen Peterson Donaghy, owner of The Wyne Girl (www.thewynegirl.com), an Ohio based company that creates promotional items for wineries, “People who visit wineries are looking for a new, ‘must have’ item to add to their wine bar. So wineries need to offer merchandise that not only has a new twist or cool feature but differentiates their business from the winery down the road.”
Jen says her main goal is to educate winery owners on how to use their logo and brand image to tell their story. “Items that customers can buy or take for free should be things that they will use and may have not seen before. We’re all familiar with the ‘stock designs’ on everything from napkins to apparel. These types of items are now so common that they do nothing to set your winery apart.”
Many wineries have gone through the process of creating a logo or tagline that fits within an overall marketing program. Knowing how to use a logo on merchandise is important when it comes to selling that merchandise at the winery gift shop.
Jen helps her customers come up with items that reflect the personality of their winery or wine shop. For example, if Donaghy Cellars specializes in growing and making blackberry wine, having a tee-shirt that reads, “I Love Blackberry Wine at Donaghy Cellars” conveys a distinct message. “The main feature of any winery item should be the signature aspect of the winery. If you don’t know what sets your winery apart, we can help you to define your brand.”
Incorporating a logo is the biggest challenge for most winery owners. It’s important to remember that the logo does not have to be “in your face,” Jen says. “Being subtle with your logo works best for customers who feel a connection with a winery but don’t want to feel like a walking advertisement.”
For example, on apparel, the logo can go on the back, up near the collar on the inside or on the outside of the shirt. The logo can also be worked into the custom art on the front of the apparel. “We work with you to design an item that works for your brand,” Jen says. “We also try to keep our minimum orders in smaller quantities to allow for variety in the gift shop.”
An example of a creative way to promote winery events is a hand held fan that has the winery’s summer event schedule or line up of wines printed on it. “Our clients have a lot of summer events and it can get very warm outdoors, even during the evening. So we thought of the fan as a way for customers to keep themselves cool,” she relates. ‘The fan displays the winery’s logo in addition to anything they want to advertise!” Jen says that customers are less apt to throw out the fan than a brochure.
Winery items that are kept or that can be used as gifts also help build a winery’s brand. Jen says consumers are constantly on the lookout for distinctive gifts that relate to a memorable experience. For example, the ideal winery customer is one who says: “I went to this great winery while visiting my cousin in Minnesota, so I sent my cousin a cutting board with the winery’s logo for letting us stay at his house.”
Distinctive high quality items -like state shaped cutting boards with the winery logo tastefully laser engraved in the wood- are more than just “tchotchkes.” Instead, they are carefully crafted conversation pieces that help tell the winery’s story. “That’s what I do,” Jen says, “help educate wineries about how to creatively utilize their logo.”
Another way Jen says wineries can connect with more customers is via photographs that appear on social media. Look around a winery tasting room or event space these days and you’ll see customers taking cell phone photographs and video to post on social media like Facebook. “We can print a winery logo on ‘selfie sticks’ which come in a kit of eight for customers to use when they take selfies. When customers post their photographs on social media — the winery logo pops up!” (See homepage photo for an example.)
Unique promotional items work well not only in tasting rooms, but also in retail stores. Jen says “bottle neckers” – paper sleeves that fit over the neck of the wine bottle- are a perfect place to provide information about the wine and the winery. “We can even produce a pop-out map on a bottle necker to locate your winery, wine trail or even just to feature a picture of your winery and some of the wines you may be featuring,” Jen says.
Pricing for gift shop and promotional items varies with the winery’s clientele. An item suitable for a concert attendee is not appropriate for a valued customer like a wine club member. “For higher end customers, we now have personalized engraving on wine glasses for a very reasonable prices,” Jen says. “One of our winery clients has produced a customized set of winery glasses with each club member’s name and the winery logo. Each wine club shipment contains a new etched glass in a different style. ”
Jen takes time to get to know each winery individually and then applies her 30 years of marketing and promotional experience. “My passion is wine, but marketing and promotion is my profession. Combining the two together to help wineries is really the perfect pairing.”