Love it or hate it, social media is an important factor in how people and brands connect with the world.
So for this week's Paper 4 topic discussion, let's dive into this 2019 question: Can social media drive brand loyalty in the wine category?
Important here is defining the terms, and note that the questions points to loyalty, not to immediate ROI via sales (e.g. click to buy campaigns), so the scope is a bit more on the marketing side.
Brand loyalty is defined as the positive association a consumer has with a brand, which will drive repeat purchase of a product or service. And brand loyalty is ultimately about building an image and/or community around a brand, so examples may also include real life vents that reverberated in the social media sphere.
Looking forward to seeing thoughts and examples!
Sabrina Lueck Kelli White
Completely anecdotally, from a retail perspective I've seen a lot of consumer interest around brands that focus on diet and health-related aspects of wine. Fit Vine is the most visible example, which is interesting when you consider that they've backed off on a lot of their claims that used to be front and center on their labels. I also experienced a flurry of questions about "dry farmed wines" this summer, which seemed odd for consumers to focus on this particular viticultural practice. A small amount of investigating revealed that it wasn't the viticultural practice, but a subscription service promoting wines that are supposedly organic, biodynamic, lower in sugar, [insert health correlated quality here]. People were wanting to find these wines without committing to the subscription service! That is about the extent that I've seen a noticeable social media influence on the non-industry consumer.
I've always wondered with questions like this, does "brand" have to exclusively refer to a producer? Or can brand be taken more broadly to mean a wine personality, retail outlet, or other entity in the industry? With things like social media, the biggest impacts I've observed are from non-winery accounts.
This is a good point. It would be good to establish the definition of "brand" in the introductory paragraph - hard brand of producer instead of soft brand of region or variety.
Understand your point here Bryce Wiatrak; a great example of what you’re talking about is Jasmine Hirsch, who I would argue is intrinsically tied to her winery brand. So I agree with Sabrina below — define it in your scope based on your examples and then stick to it in the essay!
So in this instance, could people even talk about certain people or outlets that review and rate wine (Dunnik, Parker, WS, WE, etc...)? Occasionally at the liqour store I work at we have people who follow one of those publishers pretty heavily.
It depends on how you define your scope and interpretation the question, but I would argue that this is about the wine brand side, which the media personalities can have an impact on... so you could argue that something like the new social media #larnerlist could have an impact on the sales of a wine brand, but is that really about the brand loyalty? I would consider that the brand-driven content is what this question is about and would define that in my scope.