1. La Prova Case Study
Our long-term collaboration with La Prova began with an invitation to get involved at every level of the business. More than 18 months later, we’ve developed the company and the brand while also building a mutual trust.
Sam Scott makes wine in the Adelaide Hills under the La Prova label. With a focus on Italian varieties that can grow really well and sustainably in Australia’s changing climate, he creates wines that are savoury, textural and delicious.
Sam asked us to begin consulting for La Prova in 2019. Very quickly, we became deeply invested in the business’ future. These are the four key things we’ve worked on with Sam.
When we began working together, Sam asked us to take a high-level look at the business. We spent time talking and thinking about ideas, his ethos and ambitions, and how the brand was operating. Our broad-ranging previous experience was very useful at this stage – we were able to use insights about things like sales channels and market trends to help Sam ask himself new questions about the business and find helpful answers.
As a result of these conversations, we clearly identified La Prova’s purpose and market niche. The new clarity has helped focus La Prova’s business operations in many ways. It’s influenced what wines Sam decides to make, what elements of operation he invests in most heavily and how he tells his story.
As we found focus in the business, that helped us decide how and what to say to customers. We began working on communicating La Prova’s purpose effectively with the brand’s customers.
Updates to La Prova’s website - including its flow, copy and photography, changes to electronic direct mail (edm) communication, and changes in how certain wine products were packaged and marketed have resulted in more visitors at the cellar door and an uptick in direct-to-consumer sales.
Independent winemakers work in a crowded market. Direct competitors often have more of everything - including staff, budget and time. An essential part of our ongoing work with La Prova is consultation on what investments will result in the most return and advice on how to make sure money spent is used to its full potential.
From seemingly straightforward tasks like hiring the right photographer and providing them with a thorough brief, through to more complex decisions about processes like distribution, we have been working to maximise the efficiency and efficacy of the investments La Prova makes.
Our enthusiasm for La Prova’s future is born of a genuine belief in its excellence, but it also relates to our semi-obsessive passion for the wine industry more broadly. Our tracking of changes and trends in the market and industry has allowed us to make sure La Prova’s growth and development is always relevant. We’ve aligned the label’s communication calendar to fit in with recurrent cyclical changes and shape each message to industry and consumers around the current conversation.
2. The French Wine Centre Case Study
The French Wine Centre imports wines from France to Australia. Playing a part in that process was an exciting prospect for us.
The French Wine Centre (FWC) is operated by the irrepressible Jono Hersey and a number of investors. The business is a specialist importer. Jono’s understanding of wine and frequent trips to France give him direct access to some of what he calls the most “utterly delicious” wines from more than twenty producers across eight French regions.
They are exciting, unique wines that could be difficult to find, even for those who knew where to look. These are the most significant changes we made with the FWC to help Australian customers connect with the business and its products.
At the beginning of our working relationship, the French Wine Centre sold its imports direct to consumer and wholesale. While the major part of the business was always its direct to consumer sales, electronic direct mail (edm) was the only regular channel for these purchases.
We worked with Jono and the team to build a business case for transforming the FWC into a high performance online wine store. There is substantial investment involved in the set-up and ongoing operation of any online sales business, but using insights from our experience with similar sales channels, we were able to generate business wide buy-in to the idea.
To support the French Wine Centre’s evolution into an online wine store, broad-ranging changes needed to be made across the company. We were a key force in maintaining focus during this process – ensuring energy was expended on the changes that mattered most.
One of the most important transformations was the website, which needed to be overhauled. Counter Space spearheaded the website development as project manager. Working in collaboration with Frame, we oversaw the design and development of a site with much greater functionality that included attractive sales pathways. We also realised a new public persona for the business with a more contemporary aesthetic, which included a suite of photographs shot on location in France and a new style of copywriting.
These changes enabled us to develop a consistent voice for FWC, helping existing customers to embrace the business’ evolution while also building confidence and interest among new customers.
While supporting these significant changes at the French Wine Centre, we were exposed to the business’ systems for collaboration and communication. By suggesting a few simple upgrades, some as straightforward as the use of shared online documents or streamlined organisational charts, we helped build a better work flow.
In our ongoing work with the business, which covers tasks like editing all consumer-facing copy, developing pre-purchase offers and collaborating to produce videos, we can see how these system changes are having a positive every day effect.