“Wine Club Loyalty” has been the latest hot topic of our monthly Roundtable Calls with wineries, and creating a plan or program for club members is not a “one fits all”. There are a few questions to ask yourself, and things to consider before you implement a loyalty program at your winery.

Think about the brands you are loyal to…ones who have created a connection with you and continue to draw you back. How do they acknowledge you? Why are you loyal to some stores and not others? Do you continue to purchase repeatedly from online stores you have never visited before? Why?

I receive hundreds of online offers each week, yet I continue to purchase from just a few brands. One particular offer stands out in my mind. Nordstrom reached out via email with a “personal shopper”, and I took the bait. It felt like they knew what I needed before I did, and it seemed genuine, not “salesy”…they offered a unique service, and it worked. This could easily be done by wineries with an offer of a personal wine concierge (aka club manager) to their club members.

I feel loyal to several small businesses in my town because they ask me questions, notice what I buy, and make “personal” suggestions based on what they learn. I don’t know if they make notes in their POS, or just have an excellent memory, but it works. I continue to return to and purchase from the stores and restaurants where I feel heard…and I recommend them to friends! I know wineries are training their staff to create connections in the tasting room with guests, but what about with wine club members? How are you continuing the relationship after someone joins the club? Do they feel valued and in turn become a brand ambassador for your winery?

I think we get so wrapped up in the “what”…what can we offer, what can we discount, what benefits can we add to keep wine club members, that we forget the “why”. Hopefully, we built a brand and team that values connecting with others and building relationships!

We all know that the technology for wineries is not as robust as it is for most major online retailers so when considering an online reward platform, make sure it’s something that is user-friendly, and can be tracked easily. And, this may not be the route you want to take. One winery on our call is planning on creating a specific path for wine club members and implementing a “reach out” program in order to build loyalty. Remember, it’s not all about discounts…in fact, when we survey wine club members, the majority can’t even tell you what their discount is!

There was so much conversation about wine club loyalty on our call last week, that we are going to continue the discussion. We would love to have you join our Roundtable Group here!