Based on a talk by Clare Carver, Big Table Farm – From Oregon Wine Symposium February 2017
The Oregon Wine Symposium was again packed with useful content for wineries and suppliers alike. Technical information about wine making, soil, and marketing were all covered. Among the best sessions was about building your brand and telling your story in an authentic way. This was a panel discussion but the piece that resonated with me was presented by Clare Carver of Big Table Farm in Gaston, OR. Clare was very clear on her own story – she has been repeating it for years:
“we are a winemaker and an artist, we grow and produce what we love to eat and drink”
From that base, Clare provided real, tactical suggestions that all of us can use to build our own brands. She talked about how a BRAND, more than a company or a product, is a cumulative connection that is built over time. The brand story should, ‘feed what we are hungry for – connection and community’. A solid BRAND will resonate with the right people and make them feel like a part of something bigger than themselves.
Clare also touched on the very important need for all brands/wineries/businesses to have a current, mobile friendly website, preferable with an active blog and online store. The website should also be integrated and linked with all your social media properties to reinforce the story in all the different places your customers are hanging out. Finally, we were reminded that it is important for people to engage, comment, and reply to their ‘tribe’ on social media. Rather than broadcasting a message, we are starting and sustaining a conversation with people online.
To close her presentation, Clare left us with five amazing, tactical tips that we can all use as we grow our brand and connect our people with our purpose. These are Clare’s Tips:
Clare Tip #1 – Love the One You’re With
When you are at an event, don’t race to shake every hand in the room. Don’t try to talk to 20 people, strive to make a real connection with 2-3 people
Clare Tip #2 – Find Common Ground to Make Real Connections
Talk about what is real for you. Don’t try to be someone else or try to make connections based on things that don’t apply to you. Be authentic and tell your own story.
Clare Tip #3 – Say Yes! Just Show Up
Volunteer, give back, speak, pour wine. Go to auctions and industry events. All the events and activities you participate in are cumulative. Everything builds in layers as your story develops.
Clare Tip #4 – Do the Work – aka – Hustle!
Follow up, send story ideas to reporters, send photos. Stay with it and don’t give up. Media contacts and influencers are busy, but they are always looking for compelling content – make it easy for them to tell your story.
Clare Tip #5 – Collaborate and Cooperate
Be active in your local AVA association. Promote Brand Oregon. Collaborate with other wine makers and growers. Work together to build and grow the whole industry together.
I was thoroughly impressed with this presentation. I am fan and follower of Clare and Brian and I can’t wait to try their amazing wine. Learn more at www.bigtablefarm.com. From there you can connect with Clare on social media and follow what is happening with their brand.
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