Three Tech-Forward Approaches to Customer Engagement

Earlier this week, Vintner Magazine shared tips from winery owners whose tasting rooms serve as a tool for customer engagement.

Virtual engagement is another strategy that is gaining popularity. With evolving technology, more and more wineries are seemingly looking to augmented reality as an additional tool for virtually interacting with customers.

Here are three ways wineries are using evolving technology to virtually engage with their customers.

Video Games

Chronic Cellars in Paso Robles, California is the latest wine producer to employ this tactic, picking its Purple Paradise red blend for a new feature that allows consumers to use their phone to play an augmented reality game with one of the characters.

Each wine in Chronic Cellars’ portfolio features a different skeletal character, and on this bottle, the character Purple comes to life and interacts with the customer after the customer scans a QR code with their phone from the Chronic Cellars’ website or the bottle, and then scans the label to play a dice game with the skeleton.

The gimmick accomplishes a couple of general marketing goals: it generates website clicks and it potentially encourages customer engagement.

“Our characters and labels are so beloved by consumers, we thought this would be a win/win to engage with them,” said Patrick Cramb, Director of Marketing for Chronic Cellars, WX Brands. “We hope that all wine lovers learn a bit more about our wines and characters through this experience.”

The company hired Rock Paper Reality to help with the activation.

“Purple’s illustrated design begged to jump out of the bottle and into the real world — so that’s what we did,” said Patrick Johnson, CEO of Rock Paper Reality, “The playful tongue-in-cheek nature of the Chronic Cellars brand provided the foundation of Purple’s performance, mannerisms, voice, and the over-under dice game challenge, and allowed Purple Paradise to be as engaging of a character as the wine he represents.”

Fictional storytelling

Along the same vein, Tooth & Nail Wine Company in Paso Robles, California recently incorporated augmented reality into the label of its latest release in its Squad line.

The 2020 Squad “Tinsel” Cabernet Sauvignon features  the character “Tinsel”, one of several “Squad” members; a fictional line of characters inspired by real life people and how they’ve confronted the challenges of the modern world.

“The Squad line of wines represents what I feel is a genuine connection we have with our customers,” Tooth & Nail owner Rob Murray said. “The pandemic was a difficult time for everyone, and we witnessed firsthand the grit and loyalty of our customer base in face of such a challenging time. These characters are a tribute to them and their resiliency.”

TACTIC, the design firm responsible for bringing Tinsel to life, makes experiential content of all types focused on immersive digital platforms and installations.

A Conversation Piece

Böen Wines used an April Fools’ Day joke to launch of a straightforward, informative feature that employs artificial intelligence.

The St. Helena, California wine producer introduced the Ask Joe Virtual Wine Assistant in April. The virtual wine assistant is an interactive platform accessed by scanning a QR code on the side of all Böen 2020 Vintage Bottles.

The user can then have a two-way conversation with an AI-powered virtual Joe Wagner who can answer questions or lead them on a one-on-one wine tasting.

Boen representatives said the new feature was in line with consumers becoming more comfortable with interacting with artificial intelligence, citing a study by in 2020 tha said 61.2% of smartphone owners use the voice assistant feature.

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