There can be no underestimating the impact that the global pandemic had on the Italian wine industry.
Of course, we’ve spoken about this at length before so we won’t go into specific impacts again. However, it’s important to note here that the pandemic has had a severe impact on the global economy. Countries all over the world have come in and out of lockdown periods, which has wreaked havoc on their economies.
Simply put, there are still many concerns about jobs and the personal losses that people will experience. And it will likely be several years before we see the global economy return to its previous state.
Why is this so important?
It means that consumers will likely be more careful with their money than they have been in the past. In fact, we’ve already seen evidence of this over the last few months. People are spending less than they did before and that’s a trend that’s likely to continue in the coming months and years.
That’s something that the Italian wine industry must pay attention to.
For all of the artistry that surrounds the making of wine, we cannot escape the fact that it is a consumer-centric industry. If people aren’t buying, producers can’t succeed in their business ventures.
Perhaps that sounds a little dramatic.
But the point we’re making here is that producers may need to start competing on a different level in order to stay in business. Consumers are now more discerning in their choices that they make, which means that the wines that will experience the most success during the coming financial crisis are those that have a deep-rooted sense of identity.
That’s the question we aim to answer in this article. Here are some of the reasons why we believe that identity will play a bigger role than ever before as we enter into a new era.
Reason #1 – A Deeper Connection
Think of all of the major brands in the world and try to come up with some reasons for their success.
Do these brands create better products than their competitors?
In many cases they do, though they often face stiff competition.
Do these brands offer their products at low prices?
Again, some do. But when you look at the likes of Apple, you see luxury products that sell in the millions, so price isn’t the determining factor for success.
In our opinion, it’s the sense of brand identity that these major companies cultivate that is the key to their success. The simple fact is that people buy from the brands that they feel like they have a connection with. They buy from brands that have their own identities.
And they’ll do the same with Italian wine.
Identity will become so important in the coming months because it’s this that causes people to connect with a product. Wines that have little or no identity may find that they fall by the wayside as consumers begin ignoring them. Instead, it’s the wines that offer people something that they connect to that will rise to the top.
The source of this identity will differ from producer to producer.
For some, the region that their wines come from will do a lot of the heavy lifting for them. So too will the types of wines that they sell. For example, Chianti has an identity all of its own, even before you start thinking about producers. In such cases, the producer’s task is to set themselves apart from others who produce the same wines.
For other producers, a sense of identity may lie in the history of the company or the beliefs that inform their winemaking processes. Perhaps identity can be found in the land itself and the unique characteristics that it lends to the wine.
The point is that producers need to offer more than just a bottle of wine to their consumers. They need to give them something to believe in and grab hold of. They need to think about what engages people to their products and hone in on it.
It’s this sense of connection that will see some wines succeed. And it’s the lack of connection that will see others struggle.
Reason #2 – Memorability
Think about the last table wine that you bought off the shelf without giving it too much thought.
What was the name of that wine?
You probably can’t remember, which tells you that the wine didn’t have much of an identity. And that means that you’re unlikely to buy it again.
Now, think about the wines that made you sit back and appreciate their brilliance. These are the wines that you love to drink because they offer something unique.
These are wines that have an identity and they’re the ones that live in your memory long acter you’ve consumed them.
Why is this important?
As people, we love to go back to the familiar in times when we need comfort. Those times are now and buyers will carefully consider the Italian wines that they buy. They’re likely to choose the ones that they already love. And that love often comes from the unique identity that the wine had.
Consumers Are More Discerning Than Ever
Before the pandemic, producers could get away with creating standard wines that don’t offer anything unique to the consumer. Making wines in bulk and shipping them off to supermarkets was a viable tactic.
And we’re not saying that this approach can’t still work in the post-pandemic world.
Just know that consumers will be more discerning in their approaches when selecting an Italian wine. That means they’re less likely to just go to a store, pick something random from the shelves, and call it a day.
They’re going to opt for the wines that they already connect with.
And when they do try something new, they’ll put time into research to discover what they need to know about the wine.
Identity will be more important in Italian wine than it’s ever been before. And it’s the producers that manage to highlight their identity that we believe will be the big winners as we enter a global financial crisis.