Mastering the Season: 6 Essential Considerations for Your OND Planning

OND – these three letters have a BIG impact for wine industry professionals. October, November, December – the three busiest months of the year. The pursuit of annual sales targets, orchestration of corporate gifting initiatives, and the crafting of captivating events and strategic marketing endeavors to harness the holiday sales upswing—all of this can feel like a whirlwind of demands.

If you find yourself yet to embark on OND preparations, feeling the pressure of catching up, or simply seeking a starting point, rest assured. Use this blog as your compass, we’re outlining 6 pivotal considerations for nailing a triumphant and fulfilling OND in 2023. 


Assess Your Inventory 

As we approach the last few months of the year, now is the perfect time to assess your inventory. Once you ask yourself the following questions, you can plan your marketing, wine club, customer appreciation, and corporate gifting initiatives accordingly. 

  • Which SKUs are you long on? Or slow moving? Wines and merchandise. 
  • Seasonal Selections: What do you have available that pairs well with holiday meals?
  • Do a quality check, do you have any…
    • Library wines? 
    • Older vintages?
    • Limited editions? 
    • Small formats? Large formats?


Craft Your Holiday Marketing Blueprint 

A strong holiday marketing plan is critical for OND success. According to a survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Morning Recovery, the average American consumer doubles their alcohol consumption between Thanksgiving and New Years. A good marketing plan will put your wines front & center in the consumer’s mind when considering holiday gifts and wines for holiday events. Use the following ideas to jumpstart your website, social media, and email marketing plans. 

  • Post a gift guide for consumers, and make sure your corporate gifting options are easy to find.
  • Offer holiday pairing suggestions, you could go a step further and offer recipes for holiday meals that pair perfectly with the wines you are trying to move.
  • Add in holiday imagery and video content to promote your brand.
  • Consider offering holiday bundles or gifts with purchase
  • Add interactive quizzes to your website that suggest wines for potential customers or their friends! 
Social Media:
  • Tap in on the love you get from your loyal fans and highlight some user-generated content on your accounts (best practice is to ask for permission to repost your fans’ content)
  • Post countdowns and reminders for holidays or time-sensitive promotions
  • Consider collaborating with influencers to promote your brand to their followers 
  • Plan email campaigns that focus specifically on gifting. Consider including gift guides, holiday bundle promotions, and corporate gifting information. 
  • Consider sending out a member-focused campaign, how wonderful would it be to receive a membership to your wine club as a gift this holiday season? 
  • Do you have abandoned cart emails set up for all of your holiday shoppers? 
  • We all procrastinate, send out last-minute gift ideas and express shipping options
  • For best practices for holiday marketing campaigns, check out “The Naughty and Nice of Last-Minute Holiday Marketing” by our friends over at Wineglass Marketing


Incorporate Holiday Events & Celebrations 

Holiday events and celebrations are a great way to generate positive word-of-mouth and exposure for your brand. What would make people want to return to your winery more than a magical event with wonderful wines at your beautiful venue. Events can build a sense of community, make loyal customers feel appreciated, and generate revenue. Consider collaborating with local restaurants or businesses to level-up your events. 

Some Event Ideas to Get You Started: 

  • Winter wine tastings 
  • Holiday crafting workshops 
  • Seasonal food and wine pairings 
  • Holiday wine release party 
  • Fireside wine chats 
  • Holiday charity events 
  • Ugly sweater wine social 
  • Winter vineyard walks/tours 
  • Gift-wrapping stations 
  • Virtual holiday wine party 
  • Customer appreciation night

You might also consider making your tasting room available after-hours for customers to rent for holiday parties. Need more inspiration? Check out our blog on Holiday Experiences


Tailored Delights for Your Wine Club Members

There are many reasons our fans join our wine clubs; discounts, ease of purchase, never running out of wine… the list goes on. One of the biggest appeals to a lot of club members is exclusivity. Hone in on this perk and make sure your club members feel extra special this holiday season. Can you offer exclusive holiday promotions? Early access to limited releases or special discounts? If they’re already a member of your club, chances are they love your brand and many will make an extra purchase this season – but you won’t know if you don’t offer! 

Another great way to make your wine club members feel appreciated is to host member-exclusive events. Invest in a magical experience for your club members and remind them that the benefits of your club go far beyond the shipments they receive each quarter. 

Appreciating your club members and offering them special deals will keep members enthusiastic about your brand, discourage churn, and encourage them to buy more wine, but the holiday season is a great time to encourage new members to join! Make sure you remind your loyal customers about the benefits of your wine club. *Hint Hint* Your wine club would make a great gift for the wine enthusiast in your customers’ lives! 


Design Impactful Customer Appreciation Initiatives

Showing your club members some extra love during the holidays is crucial to OND success. However, there are many reasons why a loyal fan may not join your wine club – and we want to make sure we are staying in touch and making them feel appreciated as well. 

Stay in the forefront of your customers’ minds and express your gratitude by:

  • Sending personalized messages or holiday cards (include a special offer for the holiday season!)
  • Offer gifts with purchase or exclusive samples
  • Random acts of savings
  • Shoutouts or features on social media 
  • Holiday gift guides or curated gift suggestions


Cultivating Standout Corporate Gifting Programs

We’ve targeted individuals who are buying more wine and giving gifts during the holiday season, but has your team considered ways to tap into the corporate gifting market? Companies and professionals give gifts to clients, referring entities, and employees each year. Make sure that your winery offers competitive and appealing options – you can offer premade bundles, custom packages, branded boxes, baskets, and bottles, and more. The sky’s the limit, get creative! 

Corporate gifting programs can be extremely profitable for wineries when planned, executed, and marketed intentionally. There are many considerations when trying to decide on corporate gifting offerings – our advice for a smooth corporate gifting season is to enroll in our last WISE #118 Corporate Gifting Professional course of the season on September 19 & 20! 

We wish all of our wineries a happy and bountiful OND – make sure you plan WISEly and make the most of this highly-profitable season. Need more help writing your plan? Check out our blog: “The Key to a Successful OND?” from 2020