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  • Writer's pictureBrad Johnson

Why Entering Competitions is Worthwhile for Your Wine, Beer, or Spirits Brand

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

As a wine, beer, or spirits producer, you are no doubt constantly seeking ways to differentiate your product from the competition. One highly effective method of doing so is by entering your products into industry competitions. Not only does this provide an opportunity for you to receive recognition and validation for your hard work, but it also enables you to leverage the resulting awards and medals in your marketing program.

Here are three reasons why entering competitions is worthwhile for your wine, beer, or spirits brand:

  1. Recognition from industry experts: Industry competitions allow your products to be evaluated by experts. Winning a medal or award from a well-respected competition can provide significant validation for your product and recognition from those in the industry who have a deep understanding of what it takes to produce high-quality wines, beers, or spirits.

  2. Increased exposure: Winning a medal or award from a competition can lead to increased exposure for your brand. Many competitions actively promote their winners through various channels, including their website, social media, and newsletters. This can raise awareness of your brand among industry professionals and consumers. Social proof, a concept in social psychology, explains that when people are unsure how to act in a social setting, they rely on those around us to provide social cues on appropriate behavior. The competition medal can act as a “social proof” allowing potential customers to use a mental shortcut to help make their purchase decision.

  3. Credibility and authority: Winning a medal or award from a competition can lend credibility and authority to your brand. This can be particularly important for smaller or newer brands still establishing themselves in the market. By leveraging the award in your marketing program, you can demonstrate to consumers that industry experts have recognized your product as one of the best in its category. Social psychologists understand the power of authority, in persuasive communications, and know that authority figures possess compliance power well above those perceived with less authority. For example, we will be more likely to follow the wine purchasing advice of a sommelier over the opinions of someone without formal wine training.

Now that we've established why entering competitions is worthwhile, let's take a look at how you can best leverage any medals or awards you receive:

  1. Feature the medal prominently on your product packaging: Whether it's a sticker, ribbon, or seal, prominently displaying the medal on your product packaging is a great way to catch the eye of potential customers and communicate the quality and credibility of your product.

  2. Feature award on product displays: Showcasing your awards on in-house product displays or on retail shelves reminds customers of the quality of the product. Using shelf-talkers, small and informative signs at the point of sale, gives prospective customers added information and confidence to make their purchasing decision.

  3. Use the medal in your advertising: Including a picture of the award in your advertising, whether print or digital, can help catch the attention of potential customers and provide extra credibility to your brand.

  4. Leverage the award in your social media campaigns: Sharing the news of your win on your social media channels is a great way to generate buzz and excitement around your brand. Be sure to include a picture of the medal and any relevant hashtags to help spread the word.

  5. Mention the award in your email marketing: Including information about your medals in your email marketing campaigns is a great way to keep your customers informed about your brand's achievements and help reinforce your product's credibility.

  6. Mention the award in your tasting room: Tasting room attendants hold the key to your sales success. Ensure your staff has a thorough comprehension of your awarded product and use that as a selling point.

Entering competitions is a worthwhile investment for any wine, beer, or spirits brand. Winning a medal or award can provide significant validation, increase exposure, and lend credibility and authority to your brand. In addition, by leveraging the distinction in your marketing program, you can communicate the quality and credibility of your product to potential customers and help to differentiate your brand from the competition.

With nearly two decades in the wine industry, Brad Johnson is a Marketing Coach and Writer who specializes in helping small business owners do it themselves. Learn more by visiting


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