HOW TO INNOVATE IN TRADITIONAL SECTORS

By João Pedro Montes, CEO Wine With Spirit

In an increasingly competitive market, companies need to understand their consumers needs better than the consumers themselves!

We based Wine with Spirit on this premise exactly; understanding and anticipating our customers’ needs. We approach wine differently from the traditional producers.

Our research has shown that more than 90% of consumers don’t base their buying decisions on the technical aspects of wine. Instead, they are driven to consume wine based on emotions or moments. But are wine producers considering this phenomenon when they approach the market?

We don’t believe they are – which is why we created Wine With Spirit. We’ve overcome many challenges but are now considered to be the world’s most innovative winery and the world’s first winetech company.

Here are some of our tips to be innovative and how they worked for us.

 

Hear your market.

First, stop. Listen. Look. Pay attention. Study your market. What do consumers need? What are they asking for? Are producers giving them the right answers? Find a gap in your market and you’ll be successful.

Raised in a family connected to growing vineyards and making wine, I soon realized that there was a business opportunity, a gap if you like, in the traditional marketing of wine. Producers insist on speaking about technical characteristics, using specific jargon, like tannins, terroirs or aging methods, whereas consumers speak of moments, emotions and events.

We knew consumers were looking for easily identifiable brands and high-quality wines to drink in their social occasions, so we decided to create “Bottled emotions”, the perfect liquid for each and every moment of life.

 

Fear nothing. Be innovative.

Don’t be afraid of taking risks. You won’t stand out from the crowd if you aren’t creative and do something differently. Analyze your market. Create your own strategy and stick to it. Dare to risk and trust your instinct.

In our case, it was clear a new communication strategy was needed in the market. We wanted to make the lives of consumers easier. We, therefore, worked on creating the perfect blends to drink in each moment of life: for a romantic dinner we have ‘Dine With Me Tonight’; a family weekend barbecue – ‘Meet&Meat’; having fun with friends and laughing at all bastards of life – it can only be ‘Bastardô!.

 

Create your own model.

We know it’s possible to be innovative and disruptive even in traditional markets. How do you intend your business to be innovative? Are you producing a new ice cream flavor? A new model of a bike? A digital platform to sell/distribute a product or service? A machine to produce medicines faster than ever?

At Wine With Spirit, for instance, we knew we had to be innovative in the wine production process. Unlike other wine producers, our wines should be created from the market to the vineyard, so we could first identify consumers’ needs in terms of consumption moments/emotions (romantic dinner, meeting with friends, celebration...) and create strong and easily identifiable brands, before our winemaker, Pedro Sereno, take that information to the vineyard and create a great wine that meets the initial briefing. That’s why many people say that we don’t produce wines, we produce bottled emotions.

 

The details are not the details.

No matter how innovative and disruptive your business plan is, it has no value until you write it down. Make sure it is reflected in every detail of your product. Remember that brand imagery and speech are as important as business plans themselves.

We have bet our future on disruptive and strong concepts, both in images and in speech. We’ve created irreverent and provocative labels that stand out from the shelves, attract the attention of consumers, can be read from far and are designed to trigger in the mind the emotion suited to the wine. Helping you chose the right wine for the right moment.

And before the finish, be sure that whatever you do is taking you closer to achieving your goal. Run away from your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid of challenging the status quo. Dream big and push yourself hard.

To be disruptive at traditional markets can be an arduous task, but the feeling of creating new paradigms and giving them to consumers makes it all worth it.