Who (and what) is Spinguistic
Springuistic was formed to solve a problem in the wine industry:
an audience that has a difficult time distinguishing between wines
The number of wineries in the U.S. today recently passed the 10,000 mark, with more than 4,500 of those being in California alone.1 By May this year, the TTB had reported already receiving more than 77,000 COLA applications2, and the number of tasting room visits in Sonoma and Napa per tasting room has been declining each year.3
Meanwhile, the marketing departments of each of California’s 4,500+ wineries continue to squeak out a chorus of being a family-owned winery with unique soils and climate, with wines that are an expression of those unique soils and climate …
…while their customers struggle to remember the name of the last winery they visited, or to tell one wine from another.
It hasn’t helped matters that the wine industry has sought to elevate itself by employing the rather extraordinary PR approach of making their customers feel ignorant by placing a hurdle between them and their enjoyment of the wine industry’s product that can only be crossed with a trained palette, extensive education, and proficiency in a new language.
Winery websites talk about soil and climate and how many generations of their family have been making wine, while site visitors who just want to know what’s being poured in the tasting room give up and click away in frustration.
We believe that as an industry filled with passionate people, we can do better.
Spinguistic’s founder, Brad Squires, a consultant to the wine industry, with over 20 years experience driving brand strategy for some of America’s largest (and smallest) brands, sees it as his personal mission to bring good wine to the people. With a small crew of wine industry insiders, each with a specialty in a particular marketing discipline, including web and email strategy, PR and copywriting, layout and design, user- and social-engagement, Spinguistic understands the challenges facing wineries in today’s environment, and that it takes more than just repeating the same marketing in order to stand out.
“I recently took a trip through Sonoma County’s Anderson Valley AVA which sits just to the side of Mendocino. I’d been meaning for quite some time to get acquainted with this area, as I was intrigued by it’s location and have been delighted by some of the wines being grown there. This trip was in June 2020, right in the middle of a lot of COVID-19 “we have no idea what’s going to happen”-ness, which meant that many wineries were closed, some were open by reservation only, and sadly it seemed some had gone out of business.
“Trying to decide where we would visit, and also to learn what was open, I went to the websites of each of the wineries I could find within the Anderson Valley AVA. My expectation was that if a winery was closed, they would have a pop-up alert on the homepage informing users of this. Instead, I had to search for contact information and then send an email, generally receiving a response two days later. (I will say, Husch was the exception — they got right back to me, we visited them, and we left with some bottles of their Rose and Reserve Cab, which, incidentally, is a truly wonderful expression of Cabernet Sauvignon. Also, their creative methods of keeping everyone safe deserve to be applauded!)
“I understand that small wineries are bootstrapping everything, sometimes borrowing their neighbor’s forklift, or lending someone a pump, meanwhile, the winemaker is making wine deliveries to restaurants … updating the website soon becomes a low priority. But the large wineries were just as bad!
“Also, I was surprised to find that the Anderson Valley Wine Growers website was of no use whatsoever. One would think that if they are trying to attract visitors to their member wineries, they would make it easy for people to discover who was open, and when, and whether reservations were required. An up-to-date COVID-19 winery map would be fairly easy to implement, and it would help people plan their trips to Anderson Valley.
“I believe that our wineries deserve to be better-represented, and I can help with that.”
³ State of the Wine Industry Report 2019 – Silicon Valley Bank, https://www.svb.com/wine-report