From: "Danny de Nobrega"
To: Mike Ratcliffe
Subject: Response to Twitter question
Since gaining interest (for both professional and personal reasons) in the marketing of wines and particularly those in the luxury segment, I have learned that you have achieved great success in the marketing of your Warwick and Vilafonte wines. I have also noted that you are somewhat regarded as a pioneer in developing and implementing new media strategies to market wines in the top-end market segment.
I have thus been following your blogs and Twitter updates and pondered before how relevant and effective these new media tools are with regards to effectively reaching the top-end consumer.
After reading your Twitter update and accompanying blog post regarding this question I gave it some more thought… Here is my two cents:
Do Wine Blogs Impact Your Brand? Read this article then let me know your thoughts.
I now certainly believe that blogs have an impact on your brand, both in terms of brand awareness and brand equity.
Besides the inherent following a blog may have it seems a growing trend for credible bloggers to be aggregated into major online portals. Your brand may be viewed by the blog's direct followers - where that post gets fed into other portals, newsletters, etc the brand exposure gained becomes significantly more than the blogs followers. I believe this will become a growing trend as many of the top bloggers are experienced writers and journalists by profession and bring with them the credibility that will ensure their posts are aggregated and viewed by a larger audience.
That covers the positive impact bloggers could have on brand awareness.
Now for brand equity. The effects of a positive review or post on a brand is obvious with regards to the blog's direct community. Furthermore as brands in the past had sought out influencers and early adopters and appealed to their brand aspirations, so brands could benefit from bloggers, which in my opinion have become the influencers and early adopters in the new media and online arenas. Thus I believe a positive brand message spread by a credible blogger not only increases brand awareness beyond what is initially thought but also builds positive brand equity. They could steer a potential customer to their initial trial or purchases. It is here however where the offline brand touch-points come into play. All aspects of the brand identity and image should be consistent and live up to its brand mantra or message.
I believe the impact of blogs can be really positive if a brand adheres to the rules. As all new media related articles or posts would say; brands in the online arena should aim to start and build a conversation and not force itself upon online users. I don't believe "buying" a blogger would ever work or as your blog posts says; never get in an 'online flame war'. I believe that this "honest" review of one's brand ensures that bloggers maintain their credibility as influencers and early adopters – ultimately to the benefit to the brand.
In short, wine blogs impact your brand.
Danny de Nobrega
Tel: +27 21 702 3436
Fax: +27 21 702 3437
Suite 181, Private Bag X16, Constantia, 7848