Marketing and Communication: Can Wine brands with small Advertising budget succeed in a big Market ?


(This post was written by Guillaume Jourdan. Reach him via LinkedIn)

Over the last 15 years, many wine producers came to us and asked the same question: what can we do with our small advertising budget ? Here are some advices that could help them 1) avoid mistakes and 2) build a successful wine brand.

Physical availability first.
Social Media, Word of Mouth….The real challenge for small brands is not that they can’t afford Reach. There are many ways – for free, even if it requires time and human resources – to spread the word about their wines. The real challenge is that their physical availability may be restricted. This means much of their advertising may reach buyers for whom the brand isn’t easy to buy. So my first advice is: Physical availability first. A key purpose of advertising is to build up mental availability, which nudges the buyer toward brand. If physical availability is poor, then even excellent, wide-reaching advertising will not generate sales. And buyers are distracted, so anything that is hard to find is likely to stay lost.

Frequency or Reach ?
When you define your advertising budget, one of the first questions you should ask is: Frequency or Reach ? Reach refers to the size of the audience exposed to your activity in a specific period. I noticed that wine brands with small budgets were often going for Frequency. Which is wrong ! Giving up on Reach is one of the big reasons that brands don’t grow. Not planning for Reach and instead ending up with a small group of buyers being hit two, three or more times is an inefficient use of the budget.

Who should you target ?
Marketing activities need Reach. Why? Because brand growth depends on the brand building its penetration and recruiting a greater proportion of light buyers. So prioritise the audience for brand growth, which is light and non-brand buyers.

Small budget = small media properties ?
Should you favor small media properties with a small budget ? Small media properties tend to attract heavy media users who are also viewing larger media properties. So assume any investment in small media properties is likely to produce more Frequency than Reach. Small budgets should go for brand growth, which is light and non-brand buyers. These buyers will largely be found in big-reach media. Not small media properties.

Those are just a few advices but it may help small budgets with continuous creative ideas to take their brands to a higher level.

(This post was written by Guillaume Jourdan. Reach him via or LinkedIn)