One of the most distinctive elements of wine tourism in the United States, as we experienced during our International Wine Tour in June, is merchandising: diverse, original, high-quality, at times even outselling the wine itself.
During our International Wine Tour in the USA, we started by visiting the famous wine regions of Sonoma and Napa Valley, where merchandising is undoubtedly sophisticated, sought after, and sometimes prestigious. But even as we continued into the central states of the country, less known from a wine perspective, merchandising remained a consistent element in every winery.
To provide a gauge, out of the roughly seventy wineries visited in the initial days in June, perhaps only one or two did not have merchandising. In fact, even in smaller establishments, there is at least a corner with basic merchandise: t-shirts, magnets, corkscrews, keychains…
This observation makes us reflect, but above all, it makes us believe that a similar model should be replicated in Italian companies: merchandising should not be underestimated; on the contrary, it is a factor capable of adding value. Not only because it allows the company to be remembered by the visitor with something bearing its logo, but also because offering quality, useful, or simply original items becomes an effective business and brand-building element. And, as with everything, the company has the opportunity to add a unique touch to the offer with its own interpretation.
We are certain that Italian companies are much more advanced when it comes to hospitality: from building relationships to making the guest feel comfortable. Therefore, once the visitor is happy, why shouldn’t they make a purchase? They will certainly buy a bottle of wine, but once it’s opened, they won’t have anything left. Almost certainly, they will be willing to buy a gadget, an item that will remind them of us in the distant future.
The invitation is to think about it carefully and not superficially. What are the objects that you feel most connected to and that you would like to make available with your brand in the wine shop?