Top 5 Tips for Rewarding Wine Brand Loyalists this Holiday Season

Does your Winery DTC Team have a Plan in Place to Reward and Recognize Brand Loyalists during the Holidays?

Get the top 5 Tips for Rewarding Wine Brand Loyalists this Holiday Season!

We know the drill….DTC sales and marketing managers need to release Holiday Gifting Campaigns by October 15th to generate the most revenue during the busiest purchasing season of the year. Visitor center teams are trained to sell those bundles and gift cards. We read eNews campaigns about “maximizing sales” during OND (October November December). While it is a best practice to establish sales goals based on past performance and key trends, we don’t want to extend “transactional” messaging to brand loyalists this holiday season. Too often, we see a crossover from internal strategy messaging to consumer-facing messaging both in person and online. When this happens, loyalists get turned off.

“As 2018 comes to a close, we are now living in the Experience Era in which brand loyalists expect businesses to anticipate needs. Loyalists want meaningful interactions with the brands they most admire and don’t want to receive email campaigns with sales gimmicks”.

What do brand loyalists want this holiday season? MORE HEART! Your top club members and direct customers have supported your wine brand throughout the year and now they are making plans to enjoy the holidays with friends and family. How can your DTC team “Deliver the Unexpected” when brand loyalists reengage in person and online?

Top 5 Tips for Delivering the Unexpected this Holiday Season:

1. Personally invite your top members to a holiday event or private wine allocation offer. A phone call goes a long way as members receive an overwhelming amount of holiday emails. Begin with your long-term club members first when setting up your call list.
2. Offer to set up a special holiday tasting experience when brand loyalists reach out to make a reservation or inquire about a private appointment. Encourage members to ask your team about how they can help make holiday gatherings extra special.
3. Deliver the unexpected by including a little something extra at each place setting when members visit with a reservation. Stay on top of the weekly lineup of reservations and reference CRM details to personalize the experience. Offering top members private access to vertical collections or cellared wines from the family results in long-term loyalty.
4. Include surprises in shipments to loyalists. Run a report of all “Out of State Loyalists” by the length of the customer relationship. If sending October club shipments, include a special gift in orders to top members. If non-members meet a threshold, include a surprise in those shipments as well.
5. Gift the Gifter! Recognize the person placing corporate gift orders or sending gift packs to friends this holiday season. This unexpected gesture makes a lasting impression and becomes the talk of the town at holiday parties.

Yes, the above tips require extra effort and sometimes your DTC team will need to work with the fulfillment team to get the surprise gifts included in specific shipments, etc. No, you can’t give wine or free shipping as gifts to brand loyalists. And…not every wine brand has a bunch of extra space to provide a seated holiday tasting. We all know the limitations and hear about them in industry conferences and forums. I am encouraging your DTC team to make “Delivering the Unexpected” the top priority when building more effective holiday sales strategies. Make “Transactional Invitations and Offers” secondary as your team works to improve direct sales strategies. Your brand loyalists will buy more and provide more referrals when your DTC team shows MORE HEART in all interactions this holiday season. Define your measures of success and dig into key metrics at year end. Include brand loyalist retention and satisfaction measures in your year end summary report as consumer engagement will be your key brand differentiator in 2019 onward.


Sandra Hess, founder of DTC Wine Workshops


About Sandra Hess

Sandra Hess, founder of DTC Wine Workshops and the DTC Consultant Network is a public speaker on the subject of direct to consumer wine sales and customer retention in the US.