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Five key ways to adjust wine marketing during and after Covid-19

Published:  16 April, 2020

In its latest series of market insights, Wine Intelligence has highlighted five focus areas for wine marketeers to consider as companies battle through the extreme challenges thrown up by the Covid-19 pandemic and the developing recession.

Based on “evidence of research studies in marketing theory and practice, from the present day back to the days of the Great Depression”, the first key piece of advice is to continue marketing spend.

The Wine Intelligence report highlights how, as many companies cut marketing spend, any money spent on marketing becomes more effective as others fall quiet, with historical examples also resulting in longer term gain of market share as and when recession eventually lifts.

Research also highlights that during times of stress and financial uncertainty, consumers revert to the familiar, buying into “safer” brands, meaning that marketing should focus on the core range.

Promotional discounts should also be avoided, as they have the negative effect of fixing lower price purchasing habits longer term, and wine anyway is better placed than many goods as consumers still look for “mini-treats” during hard times, with wine typically fitting that bill.

Another consumer trend that swings into place during times of stress is a tendency to focus on local produce and services, as people look to support and protect their local community.

This suggests that the marketing and sales focus should shift towards local wines, beers and spirits, along with emphasising local deliveries and tie-ins with other local businesses, which should again pay off by building customer loyalty even after lockdown restrictions are lifted and recession runs its course. 

Meanwhile, though the report highlights the sense of focusing on core brands, it also suggests that there is “opportunity for agile innovation and NPD”, so long the benefits are relevant to the new norms that consumers find themselves under.

Suggestions include new product development that focuses on helping consumers solve direct problems thrown up by the crisis, including using more convenient and economical larger packaging formats, online engagement activities and collaboration with competitors.