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What does branding mean? The example of Miss Vicky Wine

Anne-Victoire Monrozier has an interesting entrepreneurial story to tell. Despite having little experience in the wine industry, she built a new wine brand from scratch. How did she succeed and is it really a wine brand? This is what we discussed with her in Brussels in January.

Anne-Victoire, ala Miss Vicky, is well known for her blog “Miss Vicky Wine”. She is #26 in ranking of the most influential people in the wine industry. Not bad at all for this young lady who came to the Wine Business Innovation Summit (WBIS) to talk about her brand.

I talked to Anne-Victoire after her speech and quite provocatively told her she had no “wine brand”.


How Miss Vicky Wine was born

Anne-Victoire’s adventure began with wine tasting sessions she organized in bars in Paris. After becoming popular on internet thanks to her blog, Miss Vicky started to make a little bit of money with these parties where she gathered fans and readers. As an extension she also started selling tee-shirts, pins and other goodies around the wine experience she was selling. Eventually she decided to sell also wine and put her label on bottles produced by others. Although the wine sold well, can we say Miss Vicky is a “wine brand”. We think not.

We explained her that she could have very well sold socks or any other goods. What she did was to attract awareness on one product through an outstanding social media strategy. Such a strategy got also applied by Archiduchesse, a pure online player selling … socks. The “brand” also very much revolves around her own person which poses the question of scalability. Last but not least, we think that a 100% social media strategy is very risky to foster repeat business. Social media adds a dimension of volatility that entrepreneurs should try to avoid. Remember that profits are built on the foundation of loyalty.


Advice for your marketing strategy

The example of Miss Vicky shows that source of customers need to be diversified. Betting on one channel is risky.

Moreover the success of a social media strategy should not prevent you from being professional and reliable in all the other aspects of your business. Remember that social media just help to raise awareness. The toughest part is still to make your customer purchase from you and then to make him re-repurchase from you. If you don’t get the offline part of your business right, you’ll die.

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Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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