Online wine retailers Get Wines Direct and Vinomofo have very similar product and sales channels but very different brands.
With such similar product offerings, can brand play a role in influencing sales?
Get Wines Direct and Vinomofo both focus on heavily discounted quality wine, often from lesser known or boutique wine makers. Their sales are driven primarily through online or phone orders. Get Wines Direct also has a retail outlet in Melbourne but most of their promotions focus on driving orders through online or via the phone.
Both companies encourage you to sign up to their newsletter. The emails are usually daily and very sales focussed with a strong call to action. It’s all about building compelling special offers and incentives to get you to buy as quickly as possible. Vinomofo often limits the offer to a matter of hours and features a countdown to reinforce the urgency.
However, when it comes to their branding, the two retailers are worlds apart. Vinomofo is cheeky, irreverent and entertaining, whereas Get Wines Direct is more a traditional salesperson who is shouting to get our attention.
Get Wines Direct is old school retail with a focus on price and product. The communication can be hard to navigate as it is very cluttered. The visual style is very corny with cliched and dated imagery and graphics. The emails and website are very text heavy and there is very little consideration or even consistency that helps build a distinctive brand identity. The personal link to ‘Tony Sells’ is perhaps their only differentiator but even this is not clear as to who Tony is and what credibility he adds to the brand.
Vinomofo is the new kid that is disrupting what has traditionally been a stuffy industry. The brand creates a bold and memorable impression from the first moment you make contact, right through until the vino hits your door. The brand identity is well considered and designed but also supported by a clear brand proposition and activated with a striking personality. The brand influences everything, from the witty copy writing to the powerful graphics. For example, their product naming “Black Market Deal” and messaging, “boom, the vino is yours!”.
Vinomofo clearly ‘get’ their audience and how to emotionally connect with them. They also perhaps know who is not their audience and I suspect they are actually pleased that some don’t like their ‘not so serious’ approach.But does the brand really matter?
Get Wines Direct has been around for 13 years and claims to be the number 1 online wine retailer. Vinomofo is only three years old but has already received numerous business awards. Judging from media reports, Get Wines is tracking around $50 million in annual revenue and Vinomofo is on track to hit $30 million this year. They both claim that they are taking a significant chunk of revenue from the traditional wine retailers.
On social, both brands have around 37,000 likes on Facebook. However, Vinomofo has a much stronger Twitter following with 15,000, compared to Get Wines Direct who only has 159 followers.
Above: A sample of promotional emails from both companies.
Personally, I receive emails and have ordered and enjoyed the wine from both brands. However, I’ve realised that when I receive the Get Wines email, I rarely read it. Get Wines Direct emails are extremely difficult to read (especially on my phone) and despite them having some great deals that I probably would buy, often I don’t. Whereas, I usually open Vinomofo’s email and struggle to resist placing an order (they make it so easy).
Vinomofo has also managed to sell me wine without revealing the brand name. This is pretty impressive. They’ve convinced me (and many others) to buy wine that I can’t taste first and they won’t tell me the brand. Clearly, Vinomofo have build a great deal of trust with their consumers.
While I would never suggest Get Wines Direct try to emulate Vinomofo, they can certainly learn a lot from the new challenger brand. Get Wines Direct may be the market leader but it doesn’t reflect this as a brand. There is certainly a great deal of opportunity to strengthen the Get Wines Direct brand.
What do you think? Are you are Get Wines Direct or Vinomofo fan? Do you think the brand plays a role in your purchasing?
Managing Partner, Strategy