SOURCE: b2 ideas

November 17, 2008 05:00 ET

Does Wine Have an Identity Crisis?

Wine Label Takes a Page From the Beer and Spirits Industry for Launch

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - November 17, 2008) - Guinness has St. Patrick's Day, Abita has Mardi Gras and Dom Pérignon gets to share in the most special occasions such as New Year's Eve, weddings and launching ships.

Budweiser gets top billing for July 4th, Corona is a no-brainer when there's sand and sun involved, Jack Daniel's and Jim Beam score when college football rolls around, while Absolut gets the celebrities.

"Does wine have an identity crisis?" asks Bob Bartels, a public relations consultant b2 ideas, a company that specializes in new product introductions. "If you ask the average consumer for a list of beer brands, you'd get dozens. Yet, if you ask the same person for a list of wine labels, you'd be lucky to get one or two."

Bartels notes that beer drinkers are much more brand-loyal, while wine drinkers will experiment with different labels -- a trait that is common among enthusiasts. "Word of mouth tends to drive the sales of wine labels, while beer and spirits invest heavily in promotions. Trying new wines is often based upon the recommendations of friends, restaurant staff or a wine professional at your local retailer."

b2 ideas took a page from the beer and spirits industry when it recently launched the Pink Ribbon Wines collection. The collection, benefiting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, built the label's launch around its 'Toast to the Cure,' a nationwide, grassroots event where people can gather to share a toast, celebrate the lives of survivors as well as people who we have lost to breast cancer, and support for finding a cure.

"We received tremendous response from our 'Toast to the Cure' event, and hope to build off of this promotion. Our ultimate goal is to establish Pink Ribbon Wines as an everyday wine. A great wine, at a great value, supporting a great cause," says Bartels.

Breaking through the clutter is a tactic that all beer brands attempt, Bartels says, noting that companies will continue to explore non-calendar-specific days for promotions.

The Pink Ribbon Wines collection is currently developing its distributor network, and the label can also be found online at www.pinkribbonwines.com.

b2 ideas (www.b2ideas.com) specializes in the design and implementation of integrated public/media relations campaigns for consumer goods, and works with companies regionally, nationally and internationally.

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