I’m not generally one who takes an avid interest in a discount voucher unless it’s for a shop or a brand that I use regularly.  I tend not to be swayed by the marketer’s ploy to hook me into giving their brand a first-time try.

But when one of those vouchers is offering me wine at a heavily discounted price, you’ve got me.  A Sauvignon Blanc, or perhaps a Malbec for a fraction of the usual price? Yes please.

And so, it was that I was introduced to Naked Wines.  I’m not sure I’d ever heard of them before, and I certainly didn’t have any intention of staying with them for the long haul.  Albeit with a level of guilt, I had every intention of signing up to take advantage of the initial case of wine for a fraction of its usual price before cancelling my monthly subscription. I’d be back to quaffing the local supermarket offerings.

And then I received my Naked Wines sign-up welcome pack.  Wow – I was impressed.  I had no idea that this was a company with such a great ethos.  The warmth of the brand shone through and continues to shine through several years later.

Wine bottle

The money that I (and hundreds of thousands of others – we’re all known as ‘Angels’) pop into our wine-piggybanks each month is used to fund the wine production from over 120 independent wine producers.  Wine producers who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity or funding available to work for themselves, producing quality wines.

The Naked Wines business model frees these wine producers from the shackles of the middleman.  They’re free to make the wines that they want to make, not the (compromised quality, cost effective) ones that supermarkets/ wholesalers require them to make.  These producers have the certainty and re-assurance of a guaranteed income, and in return we ‘Angels’ get to experience some great wines at reasonable prices.

Yes, in general I’m paying more for my wine that I would if I bought my stash from the local supermarket, but I get to try some wines that I wouldn’t otherwise have access to.  And by buying into and supporting the Naked Wines model, I feel that I’m making a difference.

I love the simplicity of the business model for the consumer (although I don’t doubt that a lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes at Naked Wines HQ!):

  • I get to choose how much I save into my wine account each month. And I wasn’t made to feel a cheapskate by opting to save below their ‘recommended’ amount
  • I buy wines when I’m ready to – however frequently or infrequently – and I’m not faced with the rigmarole of having to accept or cancel a case that I don’t want or am not ready for (as is the model with some other wine distributors)
  • their online site is easy and straightforward to use
  • I’ve rarely needed to speak with the helpdesk team, but when I have done, I’ve found them engaging and pleasant to deal with
  • delivery is quick and efficient
Naked Wines Vineyard

But what impressed and continues to impress me more, is the difference that Naked Wines’ support and funding has made to some of these producers. Particular highlights for me include:

  • the producer whose entire year’s wine production was destroyed by vandals. Naked Wines’ funding enabled her to start again
  • the already successful wine producer who couldn’t get the funding she needed from her bank to start her own business. Alongside making wines, this same producer – in conjunction with Naked Wines and their ‘Angels’ – has raised over half a million pounds to feed hungry school children living in the slums of her native country
  • the producer who’s making a wine to raise money for heart research

Quite simply, Naked Wines are making a difference. And it’s the reason why I don’t think twice about paying a little bit more for a bottle of wine, and why I never did bother cancelling my subscription/ monthly investment.

They’re not (always) perfect.  Eamon ‘the Wine Guy’ can be rather over-zealous with the frequency of his emails.  But these emails are full of warmth and humour and are well intentioned – he doesn’t want me to miss out on their latest wine offerings!

This is a brand that radiates sincerity and has managed to create – for me, and many others I’m sure – an emotional connection.  And by creating that connection they have achieved a level of brand loyalty.

 

 

Miranda Hawkins, Corporate Marketing Lead at Just Group plc, is a marketing expert with 25 years of experience gained primarily within the financial services space. She has worked for major names such as Reliance Mutual and Lloyds Banking Group, where she handled communications planning across the Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland brands.  Known for her tenacity and analytical thinking, Miranda’s expertise spans marketing strategy, planning and communications delivery.

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