Having visited Russia several times, and seeing how South African wines were becoming popular there, young entrepreneur Dean de Beer saw an opportunity. Not sure where to begin though, he Googled “How to start export wine business from South Africa to Russia ». This search led him to Poly Digital Marketing – a Russian marketing team with a presence in both Cape Town and Moscow. The rest, as they say, is history!
Wine industry in Russia:
- In 2015, EU sanctions against Russia forced wine importers to look at new markets. By 2016, exports of South African wines to Russia had skyrocketed by 76% to more than 3 million liters.
- While alcohol consumption on the whole is declining in Russia, wine is the exception, with the average household consuming 10 liters in a year.
- By 2020, research body Euromonitor predicts Russian wine consumption to reach 1 billion liters annually.
Russian Marketing for Vina Yuar – background:
Dean got in touch through our website, and within an hour we’d set up a Skype call to discuss the possibilities. We agreed that the best approach would be to start developing his brand and business model from scratch, specifically designed around the preferences, tastes and purchasing trends of the Russian market.
Russian Marketing for South African Wine Exporter:
Research of Wine Market in Russia
Poly Digital Marketing conducted extensive, in-depth marketing research to analyze the wine market in Russia:
1.1. Market Research – evaluation of:
- Market size and trends
- Statistics on e-commerce wine sales and retail wine sales
- Premium wine market size and trends
- Average margins
- Main market players and price analyses
1.2. Competitors’ Analysis (direct and indirect)
Poly Digital Marketing’s top skilled multilingual team used the latest tools for digital marketing research to size up the competition:
- Online presence and reputation
- Number of website visitors, bounce rate and conversion rate
- Traffic sources and marketing channels utilized
- Advertising spend
- Keyword and key phrase analysis
- Most successful strategies
1.3. Target Audience Research
At Poly Digital, we know from experience that understanding your target audience is crucial to the success of any marketing campaign, and getting the best possible ROI for our clients. To that end, we considered: Demographics (Age, Location, Gender, Income level, Education level, Marital or family status, Occupation, Ethnic background); Psychographics (Personality, Attitudes, Values, Interests and hobbies, Lifestyles, Behavior)
Armed with this information, Dean and our marketing team were now able to start selecting the perfect South African wines to suit Russian tastes and budgets. We brought together a panel of sommeliers from both countries to choose wines suitable for each price segment, from bulk/affordable to premium options. In addition, we also assisted with a SWOT analysis before moving on to our marketing strategy.
With all these aspects now in place, we began the exciting process of Brand Development based on our target audience, SEO and competitor research.
Russian branding and SEO:
We came up with a shortlist of 6 suitable Russian brand names for Dean to choose from based on our SEO research. In the end we selected « Вина ЮАР » – which simply means “Wines of South Africa”.
It’s important to note that with 55% of market share, Russia’s preferred search engine is Yandex – which makes SEO and keyword research a little different than for many other countries. The brand’s online home became the Cyrillic URL: www.винаюар.онлайн
Logo Development in Russian
Poly Digital Marketing made use of a team of South African and Russian designers to come up with an impressive logo for the new brand – one based on an elegant mosaic design to appeal to culture-orientated Russians, combined with the instantly recognizable colors of the South African flag:
Along with the Logo, we also created professional branding materials including a Corporate Identity guide, Multilingual Business cards (one side in Russian and the other in English), Letter Head, Email Signiture, Wine Catalogues, Banners and Promo Videos with Russian subtitles.
Launch of online shop in Russian
Finally, it was time to take our newly developed brand to the marketplace!
Poly Digital Marketing created a user friendly online shop www.винаюар.онлайн where Russian wine consumers and distributors can buy a variety of South African wines online. All content was created by wine journalists and Russian SEO specialists to ensure the site would rank high and be easily found through Russian search engine Yandex.
Brand Launch at Moscow World Food Show 2019
After fully developing the brand, website and marketing materials we launched the brand at the perfect location and moment at the Moscow World Food Show which took place at Moscow’s Crocus Center from 22 – 25 of September 2019.
In order to make an unforgettable first impression, Poly Digital developed all banners and brochures, as well as an outstanding promotional video for the South African Wine Exporter Stand – and it worked.
Our stand quickly became the most popular at the entire expo, thanks to our Russian-speaking staff who conducted wine tastings with the public, as well as the fact we had all our marketing materials already available in Russian. Our eye-catching logo and branding even had some attendees thinking we were the official South African pavilion.
Our location at the expo (right next to the registration stand) was also strategically chosen. This way we had plenty of traffic, and were able to draw huge interest from the biggest retailers and distributors in Russia.
It’s safe to say the launch was a tremendous success. We went through 6000 wine glasses over 4 days, and received several direct orders from distributors and retailers who had already fallen in love with the wines. From an ROI perspective, our marketing efforts paid for themselves and then some immediately following the expo.
Do you have an exciting brand you want to take the Russian market? If you’d like to have a success story like Dean’s, then contact Poly Digital Marketing today!