Though Vinomofo was launched in 2011, it really started life back in 2007 in the garage of brothers-in-law and fellow wine geeks Justin Dry and Andre Eikmeier, who just wanted to do something cool for wine lovers and producers.
Andre was excited by the “voice of the people”, the idea of real people rating and reviewing wines and sharing their recommendations, and Justin had discovered Facebook whilst travelling in South America and wanted to create a social network for wine nerds. Today Andre shares how the business developed it’s brand, client experience and love of all things human.
Today I have Andre Eikmeier of Vinomofo on to talk about the success of his company and pick his brain about some of the great things Vinomofo has done from a marketing point of view.
(01:20) – The Importance of Branding – People want to feel like they’re a part of something. If you’re going to be a successful organization or group, you have to create a world that people want to be a part of. They want to feel like they belong to a community. As much as your product or your service, that brand is what makes businesses like Vinomofo stand apart from the crowd.
(03:00) – Where Andre Got His Inspiration – When Vinomofo got started there were a few unique sources of inspiration that pointed the company towards success. Before there was a product, there was a community. Thought leaders in marketing–and particularly commision based marketing–like Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk were primary influencers for Andre and his co-founder and brother-in-law, Justin Dry, during the early stages of Vinomofo. Growing a tribe or a community is more important than selling a few cases of wine. Everything has to be about growing the tribe while keeping the members you already have.
(05:33) Facebook as a Platform for Business – Vinomofo puts the most significant portion of their marketing budget towards Facebook paid-advertising. It’s the targetability of the tool that makes Facebook such an incredible platform. For a small initial investment, you can design targeted ads with real-time feedback so you can see what works and what doesn’t before scaling your marketing plan. It’s a smart tool if you know how to use it.
(07:08) Attracting New Customers in a Competitive Environment – The online space is becoming more and more attractive to shoppers, not only in the wine industry but across most of retail. One of the biggest appeals to forgoing the idea of a brick-and-mortar establishment is how much less capital injection a business in the online space requires for growth. The global market provides a more immediate growth strategy than a store, but Andre isn’t ruling that possibility out for the future.
(08:30) How-to: Client Experience – For Vinomofo it was about differentiating themselves from the rest of the industry. In 2011 the space was occupied by conservative, elitist, intimidating players. For Andre and Justin, it was about cutting out the bullsh*t language that was creating the disconnect. Talk about wine in a way people can understand, like food. Everybody understands food. It was as much about changing people’s attitude toward wine as it was about selling the wine. The trick is making sure every decision you make works, not only for you but all of your clients and suppliers as well.
(13:00) The DNA of Vinomofo–How Important is Mindset? – It’s fundamental. Your values and culture are essential. With more and more choices for the average consumer, your core values and the culture around your product have become a selling point. People want to relate to the companies making and selling the products they buy.
(15:40) The Secret to Winning Employer Awards – Let people drink wine at work!
Can you imagine having a job where you have to try wine every day!? Andre is so lucky! It’s so refreshing and exciting to see brands, whether they’re in financial services or not, really peel back the onion and be straight shooters. Thanks so much to Andre for being a part of this episode of the Listen to the Experts Podcast!