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Sept. 28, 2022

Investing in Experiences w/ Aly Wente, Wente Vineyards

Investing in Experiences w/ Aly Wente, Wente Vineyards

Aly Wente, VP of Marketing & Customer Experiences, shares how Wente thinks about managing the portfolio of experiences and how they embed wine and the Wente brand into everything they do.


From weddings to concerts to a golf course, Wente Vineyards has a whole portfolio of experiences to share the Wente brand with consumers. Aly Wente, VP of Marketing & Customer Experiences, shares how Wente thinks about managing the portfolio of experiences and how they embed wine and the Wente brand into everything they do. From becoming more of a data company to refactoring their tasting rooms and driving people to the wine club, driving deeper connections with their customers is core to the ROI of experiences at Wente. 


Detailed Show Notes: 

Wente Experiences overview

  • Championship golf course designed by Greg Norman
  • Tasting room with food & wine experiences
  • Concerts, including a tribute band series
  • Rent space for weddings and corporate events

Experiences are viewed as a connected portfolio

  • Everything should feel cohesive and true to the brand
  • Hospitality team overseas golf grill, tasting room, and booking events
  • Embody wine in every experience - concerts -> wine & music events; 5-star restaurant -> tasting lounge
  • Look at ROI across experiences to see which to invest more in with limited resources
  • Refactored tasting rooms, had two with different feels (one older, traditional, one more modern and food driven where the wine was more lost), into a single “tasting lounge” focused on wine with wine & food experiences

Recently upgraded tech to become more of a data company

  • Use CRM to take notes on customers
  • Track demographics and target some events to specific groups

Key metrics used for ROI

  • Customer surveys
  • Event ticket sales and difficulty in selling tickets
  • Social media engagement
  • Contextual ROI when at events
  • Wine sales at events - Wente makes money on wine, not ticket sales

Better understanding customer journeys and how they impact: 

  • New vs. existing customers
  • Repeat visitation 
  • Club membership
  • LTV of customers
  • The primary goal of the tasting room and events is to engage customers and create relationships vs. being the most significant profit driver for the brand

The team needs to be resourced to dig into the data and track it

Weddings 

  • Get a rental fee for property (high margin)
  • Require min # of cases of wine purchased, and most people buy more
  • Pre-2020 - did >60 weddings/year, full-service incl wedding planning and catering - was not the most profitable business
  • Today - leaner experience - rent out the property with resources for planning

Primary priority - Flow into the wine club

  • The “pinnacle” of ROI for experiences
  • Club members often spend more than club shipments
  • Food & wine experiences convert the highest to the club - the more attention people get, the more likely they will join the club
  • ~6-8% of visitors become club members
  • Provide incentives for staff for club signups (~$30-50/signup + club prizes for top performers)
  • Now have a “club booth” at experiences with customer incentives (e.g., 30% off 1st shipment if they sign up at the event)

Secondary priority - Getting everyone’s emails that attend events

Believes digital experiences will always be around now

  • During the pandemic, Wente was 1st to have Amazon Alexa and Google Home virtual wine tastings, buying wine at the grocery store



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