Artisan Spirit: Winter 2018

Page 111


Cultivate repeat business in your tasting room WRITTEN BY GEORGE B. CATALLO


here is no doubt that your tasting room is a fantastic tool to get people to fall in love with your products for the first time, but what if you could use it to capture repeat business from your customers? There are many ways you can do this: trivia nights, live music, educational classes, fun runs, cornhole tournaments, the list goes on. One often underutilized and easy-to-track method is a loyalty program.

WHAT’S A LOYALTY PROGRAM? A loyalty program, simply put is a program that utilizes a membership system that rewards consumers for repeat business. There are many different types of programs. These include cumulative rewards points, tiered or flat discount rates, “get your 12th coffee free”-style punch cards, freebies, exclusive events, swag, and so on.

WATCH YOUR MARGINS The most important part of any loyalty program is to make it fair for everyone. Your customer needs to feel taken care of, while at the same time,you aren’t losing your shirt. The point is to bring more income in, so don’t overdo it. You don’t want any discounts that eat up too much of your profit margins, and any giveaways need to be relatively inexpensive. As with all things in life and business, there needs to be a balance.


BABY COME BACK! YOU CAN HAVE A DRINK ON ME Who doesn’t love a free drink? Yet when it comes to giving away actual alcohol, I would highly recommend consulting your lawyer about your local laws before moving forward. Fortunately, there are lots of options beyond free cocktails or bottles. Give away things that are branded with your logo that gain high visibility either in person or via social media. Think t-shirts, hats, hoodies, glassware, jackets, etc. Your loyalty members will become walking advertisements for you while being thrilled with their swag. It’s a win-win situation, and your win is a bit bigger. You can even have certain items be exclusive to your loyalty club and have social media photo contests. For example, you might have people post pictures in your loyalty exclusive hat while on vacation and tag your distillery. Contest winners can win more swag, invitations to exclusive events, or even be a “distiller for a day.” While there are many ways to determine a winner in a social media contest, keep in mind that there are also laws governing the rules of certain contests (such as “sweepstakes laws”). As before, consult those lawyers.

EXAMPLE PROGRAMS The program we use at the retail store where I work is simple and effective. We offer members of the loyalty club 10% off any non-