Recently, a new way of conducting business within the wine industry is taking shape.
An American-based company called Traveling Vineyard has used a direct-selling platform involving in-home wine tastings at residences as a way to build up its business brand.
Based out of Ipswich, Mass., Traveling Vineyard has been around since its inception in 2001, but have gradually grown in its number of representatives. Richard Libby purchased the company in 2010 and has added new dimensions to the company’s marketing strategy. Often referred to as “Wine Guides”, there are now an estimated 5,000 independent reps associated with Traveling Vineyard.
Direct selling is a selling concept popularized by door-to-door cosmetic representatives, but Traveling Vineyard is using this technique to create wine tasting events at people’s homes instead of at the vineyards themselves. In the past, only people interested in wine would go to wine-tasting events. By selling directly to potential buyers at their residences, Traveling Vineyard is hoping to expand the pool of wine-tasters by finding them at homes. In this manner, some people who normally wouldn’t go out of their way to taste wine and have the wine-tasting experience brought to their own homes.
As a wine guide, a representative would make a connection to social hosts in order to set up free, in-house wine tastings. Often, the wine guides suggests that the host invite friends and relatives for a free opportunity to taste certain wines.
Representatives who join would get a kit that includes brochures, order forms, and marketing material on various of available wine options from Traveling Vineyard. Other material including wine-carrying bags, wine glasses, and decanters. The kit and the tasting sets must be purchased as a sort of initial investment. However, should orders come in, the investment money can easily be recouped.
There is potential for earning some side money as you can receive up to 15-35 percent of all purchases as a form of a commission. If there are more orders at a particular event, you can also gain credit for future tasting sets. There is also a form of multi-level marketing in which you can recruit others to become wine guides and then get a share of their of their future sales as another commission.
For representatives, being a direct seller offers a flexible work schedule instead of usual regular business hours. For those who work at home or have a more open schedule, Traveling Vineyard offers a chance to both enjoy a person’s love of wine as a chance to make extra cash through its direct marketing style.