Nomacorc’s first-ever wine marketing symposium drew a crowd of close to 400 on Wednesday, April 6, at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, Calif. Attended by marketing professionals, industry leaders, media representatives and students, the symposium provided a forum for attendees to discuss the growing segment of millennial wine drinkers and how to use new and authentic approaches to capture and keep the attention of consumers of all ages.
Keynote speaker Gary Vaynerchuk, author of current New York Times best seller The Thank You Economy and host of Wine Library TV, wowed attendees with candid criticism, genuine encouragement and practical advice on leveraging the culture of social media. He challenged listeners to view social media as more than just a tactic and emphasized that the idea of using social networks for a “campaign” is comparable to a one-night stand.
“It is time for every single person in this room, no matter what your brand is, to take full control of your brand and engage directly with the consumer,” said Vaynerchuk, adding that wine brands have become lazy. “You must create a relationship with the people who buy your juice.”
Another highlight of the symposium was the live taping of Vaynerchuk’s 1,001st episode of Wine Library TV. All attendees were invited to bring a bottle of their wine brand to the event, from which a few would be chosen at random and tasted during the taping. Along with Dr. Stéphane Vidal, global director of enology for Nomacorc, Vaynerchuk selected and tasted a 2010 sauvignon blanc from Titus Vineyards and a 2007 Rocca cabernet sauvignon, selected because Vaynerchuk had engaged with someone from each of the two wineries and felt that he had a personal connection with the wine.
Vaynerchuk and Vidal also discussed how oxygen management can affect winemaking and why Nomacorc has an enologist on staff.
“My whole role at Nomacorc is to detail oxygen’s effect on wine and to support winemakers in making wine as they intend,” said Vidal, who was instrumental in developing Nomacorc’s newest closure innovation, the Select Series. Added Vaynerchuk, “This [co-extruded] closure is almost indistinguishable from natural cork.”
The symposium also featured recent consumer insight research presented by Marlous Kuiper from Euromonitor and Liem Le from The Nielsen Company. Both presenters reinforced the growth of wine globally, particularly in China and the United States.
A roundtable discussion, moderated by Brad Todd, principal at branding agency The Richards Group, explored how to seize the attention of millennial drinkers and how to channel that into brand loyalty. Adam Strum, editor and publisher of Wine Enthusiast magazine; Francesca Schuler, chief marketing officer of Treasury Wine Estates; Joe Roberts, wine consultant and blogger (1WineDude.com); and Collin Williams, corporate winebuyer for retailer Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods spoke at length about how to identify effective stories and define and differentiate brands.
“We received a lot of questions about why a closure company was hosting an event about wine marketing,” said Jeff Slater, global director of marketing for Nomacorc. “Nomacorc supports innovation and education across all facets of the wine industry. Whenever we can better understand the challenges our customers face, the better equipped we are to innovate and perform as a true industry partner.”
Remarks from conference attendees can be viewed by searching Twitter hashtag #NomWineConf. Slides from the research presentations are available at http://www.nomacorc.com and videos will be posted in the coming weeks.
Nomacorc is a worldwide leader in wine closures and the No. 1 closure brand for still wines in many countries including France, Germany and the United States. Dedicated to technological innovation, Nomacorc manufactures its portfolio of products using a patented co-extrusion process. As a result, Nomacorc closures provide consistent, predictable oxygen management and protect against off-flavors due to oxidation, reduction or cork taint. Nomacorc’s 100 percent recyclable products are available through a vast network of distributors and sales agents on six continents. With 500 employees worldwide and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in the United States, Belgium, Austria and China, Nomacorc produces more than 2 billion closures annually. Working with renowned wine research institutes worldwide, the company leads the wine closure industry in fundamental and applied research into oxygen management in wine. For more information, visit nomacorc.com or follow Nomacorc on Twitter (@Nomacorc) and Facebook (Nomacorc).