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Reclaiming the Brand Narrative

Astound points the way for international wine marketing



Wine producers, with few exceptions, haven’t traditionally developed strong direct-to-consumer (D2C) relationships besides regional wine clubs. Instead they rely on wholesalers and retailers to tell their stories, which results in very low brand loyalty. There has also been a shift in the factors that influence wine consumers, as the established authorities no longer exert great influence on purchase decisions—with younger GenX and Millennial wine drinkers preferring peers to steer them toward promising wines. Treasury Wine Estates is a global wine company specializing in New World wines with 3,500 winemakers, viticulturists, and distributors located in 16 countries. And though it produces some of the world’s most recognizable brands including Beringer, Penfolds, Beaulieu Vineyards, and Stag’s Leap, company leaders realized they had to find a better way of appealing to consumers and growing their business.


Treasury has been experiencing the tectonic shift that Forrester calls “The Age of the Consumer,” where digital ecosystems are powered by customers who demand a complex set of personal and experiential relationships with brands. For many wineries this ecosystem can look like a Darwinian jungle where thousands of brands compete ferociously for limited retailer and consumer attention. To thrive in the global wine ecosystem, Treasury partnered with Astound to triangulate the zero moment of truth. We developed a state-of-the-art B2B communications platform to continue to optimize Treasury’s trade marketing programs while simultaneously developing unique direct-to-consumer (D2C) marketing strategies for many of its world-class brands.


Specifically, Treasury needed to deliver great brand stories and marketing programs to nurture its customers while also communicating to and educating its extended wholesale and retail sales teams, as well as bartenders, waitstaff, and store management. This required a holistic approach and a network that could synchronize all communication throughout the organization through any device at any time on an international scale, delivering brand/sales training, compliance tracking, sales assets, tools, and rich wine-associated narratives to 2,000 employees, 10,000 US-based wholesalers, and the waitstaff and bartenders of 35,000 US off- and on-premises accounts.


Our digital engagement strategists combined two approaches to solve Treasury’s problem. First, we provided a D2C digital marketing program for key Treasury brands, increasing wine club memberships, tasting room visits, event participation, D2C sales, and retailer partnerships. Next, we implemented Wingman, our customizable digital sales SaaS tailored to the wine and spirits industry. Wingman powers Treasury’s new Treasury TRU channel, a tablet and smartphone-centric information stream that coordinates website, mobile, and app-based content, all customized for individual brands. Wingman provides compelling, lushly detailed storytelling about wine and winemakers, obviating the need for collateral print and point-of-sales materials.


In a category with enormous consumer confusion and endless options, connecting the right brands with the right consumers is a Herculean task. This is especially the case for large wine producers representing hundreds of brands and thousands of retailers and distributors across multiple countries. With our help, Treasury has taken the lead in this direction, creating a comprehensive marketing approach that is both B2B and D2C. It is a program that surrounds its consumers and nurtures that intimate relationship while also supporting and encouraging their sales teams, wholesalers, and retailers in a way that delivers business growth.

  • 95% approval rating
  • 100,000 viewed and passed training modules
  • 19.3% EBITA margin
  • More than 25,000 users
  • Reported 13.3% EBITS growth to US$218.7 million for the Americas
  • Successful embedding of route-to-market changes, including the expanded use of Treasury TRU
  • Increased demand for Treasury's premium brands, particularly in Canada and Latin America



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