Marketing to moms

We ran across some interesting information about the wine market that runs counter to conventional wisdom and demonstrates an important gender difference, one that location-based entertainment facilities (LBE) could profit from.

In her book, Wine for Women, A Guide to Buying, Pairing and Sharing Wine, author Leslie Sbrocco points out that 64% of all wine consumers are women, and they make 60% of all wine purchases, not men. She also found there is a large difference in how women and men view and purchase wine. Men tend to focus more on the technical qualities of wine, wine ratings, vintage charts and the acquisition process, whereas women are more interested in personal recommendations (there's that powerful word-of-woman) and who will be sharing the wine with her. She's looking for the perfect bottle to commemorate a milestone or compliment a special meal.

Bart O'Brien of O'Brien Family Vineyards explains it this way, "He is more likely looking for a label (and a price tag) to impress his guests. Women buy wine to be shared, to create an emotional moment. Men often buy wine to be hoarded. They take it back to their cave and save it until another collector comes along... It's about scores and history - it's a little game of one-upmanship."

In other words, for women, it's not just about the grapes. It's about the social aspects of wine. It's about the experience of sharing it with family and friends.

We see a lot of LBE advertising and Web sites that tend to focus on the technical aspects of the LBEs, such as the attractions themselves, the thrill of riding them, the speed and horsepower of the go-karts, how many prizes you can win, or the latest challenging game. Quite frankly, these are all pitches that appeal to men, who are interested in the technical aspects and the challenge/competition, but not to mom's, who, along with the kids, are the prime decision-makers. Rarely do we see marketing messages about the social aspects of visiting the LBE, of how a family will share quality time together, how children and parents can play together, or for a children's oriented facility, how mom can meet and socialize with her friends while her children are absorbed in play.

Wine can teach LBEs a lot about how to successfully market and attract moms.