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Don't forget consumers: Angela Mount

Published:  18 January, 2007

Communicationthe most important and powerful tool we have at our disposal and we are not using it wisely enough, not just to consumers, but within our industry.

But our Industry is now becoming overcomplicated, despite all of our efforts to communicate this message , consumers are still confused, want simplicity and therefore look for reliability and safety.

In my time as a buyer, I saw myriads of producers, who had a product to take to market, without really understanding what this market was.

Give the consumer a reason to trade up, and they willwe work within a rarified, and specialist sector of the consumer industry, which is high value and aspirational, yet at the moment, despite all our talk of education and information, we have not succeeded in connecting sufficiently well with our wine drinkers.

As an ex-retail buyer, my plea to those producers aspiring to the mainstream wine consumer, is that you spend more time talking to consumers, gaining their feedback and understanding their needs.

You will never force the consumer, you can only encourage and lead, and in order to do this you need to understand. It's no longer about gut reaction regarding a wine which might sell, it's about producer and agent getting true insight into the needs and desires of the wine buying public, by talking to them engaging with them, and also by working closely with the gatekeepers to the consumer.

Only then can we create the aspirational brands that are going to move our Industry forward again.

Oh, and as gatekeepers to the consumer, producers and agents need to understand the needs of retailers far more but that's a different article!

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