As reported by HispanicPRWire on June 2, 2004:
Palmera Vinos de Pasión is aiming to celebrate the passions, interests and faces of the Hispanic community. “Our wines have been specifically developed for the Latino consumer both in taste preference and branding,” says Will Arriaga, Community Relations Director for the US-based company. “Our goal is to be the first choice in wine for Latinos...”
This is a tough one... I truly hope to be very wrong about this. Why? Well I like wine and I most certainly like the Hispanic culture. Hey, the concept just makes sense doesn't it? I also believe that you can't be all things to all people and choosing a specific market niche, and aiming to own it is a sound business strategy. Still, my gut feeling tells me there is just a little too much stereotyping going on here. Will wine-appreciating Hispanics, choose their "vino" because of its marketing, its taste, its chicness, its prestige, and/or its exclusivity?
Then we move into research:
Based on research and taste tests among Hispanic consumers, Palmera Vinos de Pasión are the only wines created exclusively with Latino taste in mind.
Are you old enough to remember New Coke? "Before Coca-Cola launched 'New Coke' they had invested US$4,000,000 in market research and undertook 200,000 blind taste tests. In all these blind (unbranded) taste tests the New Coke outperformed both Pepsi and existing Coke.
These blind taste tests were the basis of the launch of 'New Coke' in 1985.
The launch created a public outcry, with Coke receiving over 40,000 letters of complaint and over 6,000 calls a day to the company's '0800' phone number. After only 87 days the company responded to the public's demands and re-introduced the original Coke formula." (Source: Buildingbrand.com)
The lesson to be learned from New Coke is that market research results are NOT written in stone. In this case, there were subjective, yet powerful forces in play that were going to prevent New Coke from acheiving any kind of success. Yes, people tried the new product and the majority said that they definitely preferred it over the Classic Coca-Cola. History showed us what really happened at the Points of Sale: It was unconceivable for people to part with the nostalgia and emotional ties that Classic Coke conveyed to them. That would have never showed up on the market research, and blind test tests. So we should trust what people actually do, not what they say they would do. This could be the unfortunate case with Palmera Vinos de Pasión.
Finally, we move into labeling and copy:
“The label imagery illustrates real Latinos living life! Images celebrate the rhythm, rites of passage, history and diversity within the Hispanic community. Palmera Vinos de Pasión speak of the eve of womanhood, the songs of our heritage, the passionate Latino beat and cruising with friends,” explains Arriaga. Label designs will frequently change and sport a local musician, a car show winner or even the girl next door. “Furthermore, Palmera wine labels are in Spanish and geared to consumers that maintain strong ties to their Hispanic origins. We want people to feel at home with our brand,” says Arriaga.
It is a bold move to have a changing label design and, for what the above image shows, they do transfer the feel of passion, rhythm, and emotions Mr. Arriaga mentions. It is also gutsy to include the diversity of images they are planning to. This definitely pushes the envelope, and I appreciate the fact that they are willing to do something risqué in this area.
The copy being in Spanish only could alienate those Hispanics that don't READ Spanish, even if the do speak it. Still, following the companie's train of thought, I can see where they are coming from with this and respect them for taking that risk.
The story closes by saying, “One thing is certain…our culture personifies a love for celebrating with family, friends and neighbors.” Arriaga adds, “Palmera Vinos de Pasión plans to be at the heart of those celebrations.” In my opinion, it is much more about Hispanics holding very near to their hearts "family, friends and neighbors", one thing that I can tell you first hand we most certainly do, but the phrase, "a love for celebrating with" turns it into a stereotype. Maybe it is just me...
Read the whole story at HispanicPRWire
The addition of Spanish on the label and on point-of-sale in retail outlets is indicative of Beringer's commitment to the growing Latino market in the United States.
"I'm proud to say that the Latino community has been an essential part of Beringer Vineyards' success story since our founding in the late 1800's," said Cristina de la Presa Owens, a key member of Beringer's sensory winemaking team. "It seems very fitting that Beringer Vineyards is now offering a Spanish language label on the country's top-selling bottled wine."
Even not such an audacious move by Beringer, I believe this effort combined with the fact that they ALREADY are good at what they do, will pay good dividends for them.