Think of your favorite brands — whether it’s a wine club you’ll never quit, some bomb-ass bluetooth headphones, or just the most amazeballs toilet paper you’ve ever experienced (don’t feel weird — this whole coronavirus thing has made us change some of our priorities too), and now think about this: do these brands stand out in their categories, or are they the same as all the others?
There are now more than 10,000 bonded wineries in the U.S., according to the TTB, and as of May 2020, the TTB had received roughly 70,000 new applications for label approvals (COLAs).
With the vast majority of U.S. consumers knowing very little about what they are drinking or even how to choose a wine they like, your challenge of differentiating your particular wines is not an easy one. As a winery, your ability to identify where your wines fit in within this crowded marketplace, and how to appeal to your target market, will become the most important contributor to your ongoing viability as a business. To say that differently, it’s not the terroir, it’s not the brix, or the TA or the mid-palate. Of course, what you put into the bottle is of enormous importance, but without a market that consistently selects your label from an entire aisle of competitors, you won’t long be around for anyone to enjoy what you put into the bottle. You need to have a plan.