What’s in a Winery Name?
I met yesterday with potential clients who had an interesting dilemma.
They had just purchased a winery that had been around for about 10+ years. In recent years the brand wasn’t doing to well, a combination of factors had led it to reduce its production and have a good deal of older inventory on hand.
The dilemma: Do they stay with the same name for the winery or do they change the name.
What’s interesting about this question is that it is not so much a PR question as it is a personal question for the new owners. It’s true that certain marketing questions need to be brought into the equation: how much "brand equity" is there in the name? Is it a well known brand? How long will it take to sell the older inventory? To what extent is the existing wine club loyal to the former owners and the meaning behind the name?
All this is important, but a more important question is can the new owners embrace the old name, make it there own, and really get behind it? Or, should they start anew with their own brand, a name that reflects them and who they are and what they want to make at the winery and what they want to sell?
The answer to these questions made me recommend to the new owners that they change the name to something new. The most important reason has to do with the notion of embracing your passion.
Owners of any business must believe in their purpose and their reason for taking on a new enterprise. They need to embody the enterprise, particularly in a business such as wine, built as it is on personal relationships and the necessity of incorporating ego into the project. By starting over, as it were, the new owners are able to build something they know is all theirs. This translates into greater motivation and commitment and devotion to the project.