Build Community For Tasting Room Success

If you want to stand out from the competition and improve tasting room traffic and conversions you need to tap into the highly effective tactic of local marketing. And the best way to do that is by building community relationships with authenticity, intention, and purpose. Creating community interactions, ensuring locals know about you, and meeting them where it’s convenient for them. Consumers today want to feel connected to the “human” side of businesses they support.  The good news? As a small business you have the potential to tap into that desire for human connection authentically. 

As a small business owner you already know how important community is. Not only for your business success, but for your own happiness and health as well. But just because we know something is important doesn’t necessarily mean we’re good at doing it or there aren’t smarter, more effective ways to make the community relationships we have even stronger. 

Ready to Drive Traffic to Your Tasting Room?

Our Craft Alcohol Marketing Bootcamp covers everything you need to know to to help you market your craft alcohol business. It covers everything from social media strategy, to tasting room traffic, to paid advertising.

Plus, we have a course specifically created to help you utilize local marketing strategies to drive more traffic to your tasting room!

To help you build community relationships strategically to drive tasting room success, we’re sharing an article our founder, Suzanne, originally wrote for Distillers Magazine’s fall 2022 issue.


Strong Community Relationships, Strong Businesses: Tap Into Community to Drive Tasting Room Traffic

Originally published  in Distiller Magazine, October 2022.

People are out shopping and traveling again, and small businesses everywhere are rejoicing! Our consumers are finally back — which means our tasting rooms are thriving. At least, that’s what we all hope.

For many distilleries, tasting room traffic and sales are better than they were these past two years, but not nearly as good as they were pre-pandemic. So, how can we realign our efforts to reclaim this lost revenue and exposure? By leveraging your community strategically.

As a small business owner, you already know how important community is for enduring success. Not only for your business, but for your own happiness and health. So, I’m not going to spend time convincing you that community relationships are important, I trust you’re on board with that already. But just because we know the importance of it doesn’t mean we’re doing it well. Here are our top tips to leverage community in a way that will add real value for your brand and help drive traffic to your tasting room locally.

Community Events

Participate in community events as a brand. Keep an eye on the local events calendar and get to know event organizers. These events get your brand name out there and increase interest with the local community. It’s also a great way to meet people in a place they’re already planning to visit so they can try your product or receive an incentive to visit your tasting room later.

However, participation alone is not the end goal. You have to think about participation in community events strategically in order to drive real value for your brand. First, as with any good marketing initiative, events should be relevant to your target consumer and in line with your brand.

Second, make sure you have guidelines to help you consistently determine if each event is in line with your goals. Lastly, make sure you have clear success criteria and a way to measure them. These are business decisions, so even if participation has a feel-good element to it, there must be real value.

If participating in community events is a big part of your brand ethos, make sure to also think about ways to host community events at your tasting room. Encourage regular community events, like a softball league, to come by your tasting room after practice for a special incentive. Perhaps even sponsor the team. Also consider local meet-up groups, artist showcases, or  offering your space to support local fundraisers. Do the work to make every community event you participate in more tangible and valuable for your brand.

Developing Community Partnerships

This is where things get fun! Instead of simply inserting yourself into something that already exists, you have an opportunity to create community relationships and partnerships that excite you. Think of these partnerships as opportunities for reciprocal referrals.

While I know you may already feel like a lot of the local businesses know you and say they’ll send people your way, remember we’re being strategic here. This is about creating more structured partnerships with incentives on both ends and a clear way to measure success. There are three different types of community partnerships to consider: noncompetitive, competitive, and tourism related…

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