“Stories are powerful because they transport us into other people’s worlds” – Paul Zak
In the UK, our wine industry is anything but ancient. Perhaps that’s why it’s hard for us to get our heads around how wine can be as integral a part of a culture as Christmas rituals, or the way we greet friends at a bar.
But that’s how wine is in Georgia. It’s a fundamental part of their culture. So, when we were thinking of ways to further the (already impressive!) market share of Georgian wines in the UK, we knew we couldn’t turn to ordinary solutions. We needed to find a way to communicate the cultural relevance of these wines in their country of origin.
The answer? Storytelling.
Of course, in a market like the UK, simply making good wine is not enough. We’re a market of sophisticated consumers who demand access to reliable wine information – and story-led marketing. Stories have become much bandied about marketing ‘concept’. But their power has real neurological basis.
Georgia had the wines. It even had the stories. But it didn’t have them in an easily digestible, saleable format. So, we created Georgian Wine Connect.
Fundamentally, Georgian Wine Connect is an online platform to develop and share the details of wine and winery that have proven difficult for trade buyers to find. But we also worked with over 50 export-ready producers, surveying them (in Georgian where necessary) to identify their most promising wines for the UK, and to present their story and offer in the most accessible way.
Our hope is this story-led approach will become the norm, especially for emerging regions where wine is culturally embedded. Where wine is part of their story.
This month we also talked to the winners of the Indie Trade Alliance Fund. This fund offered small and medium independent UK retailers the opportunity to apply for a grant towards increased promotion of their Georgian wine listings.
We had some fantastic entries, but together with our client, Wines of Georgia, we whittled it down to the strongest proposals. We talked to the winners about the impact of pandemic restrictions on their marketing plans and how they’ll use Georgian Wine Connect.
Of course, we also spoke about how wine is at the heart of Georgian culture and how they communicate that to their customers.