Joel Vincent

Technology. Wine. Family. (maybe not in that order)

‘Sonoma County’ is low hanging fruit

The Press Democrat’s Tim Tesconi is reporting that wine labelled ‘Sonoma County’ has higher brand recognition than those labelled with the sub-region like “Alexander Valley” or “Cry Creek Valley”. The study is saying that wine labelled with ‘Sonoma County’ is idenitified in the mass market with ‘Quality’.

I harp about marketing and branding, particularly how bad the french are at it, all the time. I am in the marketing field and I have worked to build some top name brands. There is always one piece of advice that I give corporations – DON’T MAKE UP NEW TERMS UNLESS YOU ARE A FORTUNE20 COMPANY (like Nike or Microsoft). Use the low hanging fruit of existing terms. For wines, this means without a HUGE marketing budget, just ride the halo affect of Napa and Sonoma – pioneers like Mondavi already did the work to make these regions synonymous with “premium quality” and associations like the AVA do everything possible to maintain that brand. USE IT FOR WHAT ITS WORTH!

Anyway, interesting article for marketing tools like me. Enjoy the Wine Life!

‘Sonoma County’ better known than grape regions Study finds most wine drinkers fail to recognize names of appellations

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


The Alexander and Russian River valleys may be well known in Northern California, but a market study finds wine drinkers across the country are more likely to associate quality wines with the name Sonoma County than one of its 13 appellations.

The Sonoma County Grape Growers Association commissioned the $20,000 study, which was done by a San Francisco marketing firm. The results of the study are now being released to wineries and appellation groups in an effort to get Sonoma County listed on more wine labels.

“The study confirmed our suspicions that there’s a lot of consumer confusion because of the trend to use appellations, like Dry Creek Valley or Alexander Valley, without also listing Sonoma County as the source of the grapes,” said Nick Frey, executive director of the grape growers association…

Read more….


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