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Having interviewed numerous people with regards to the mead industry in Asheville, our potential customer’s frustrations focused on two key areas: The lack of local meaderies and the limited selection of meads available in Asheville. Many of them didn’t know of any meaderies in the area, and some could only name one. Those people who have purchased mead said that the place where they bought it had a limited selection, and they were the same type of mead (for example: fruity and sweet). All of the people interviewed said they would purchase mead more regularly if there was someplace in Asheville (local) that had a variety of meads available – either by the glass or in bottles.

A wine glass tipped on its side with wine corks coming out of it.

I chose for the horizontal and vertical axis of my positioning grid to be the distance from Asheville in hours and minutes and the number of different meads each business offered. The goal was to see if there indeed was a local meadery in Asheville that had a large selection of meads.

Creating the Grid

Google Map Showing Meaderies in Western North Carolina

I did a Google map search for Meaderies near Asheville. A number of them showed up on the map, but many of these weren’t local to Western North Carolina. I zoomed in to focus on those meaderies in our area and two just over the line in South Carolina. I then checked the drive distance from each meadery to downtown Asheville. I ranked them by the distance from Asheville to their physical location. Then I visited each meaderies websites to get an idea of their selection. The results created placed each company into these areas of the grid:

Nordic Wolf Positioning Grid

The positioning grid shows that no meadery is local to Asheville that also has a large selection of meads. In fact, there are no meaderies within the Asheville city limits. The closest two companies were Fox Hill Meadery, which was a half hour from downtown Asheville and Black Mountain Ciderworks + Meadery, which was 19 minutes from downtown Asheville in Black Mountain. Fox Hill and Black Mountain only have five varieties of mead respectively. We decided that we should position Nordic Wolf Mead as a local meadery to Asheville that has a large selection of meads.

Our Positioning Statement

After finding our position that would make us unique from the other meaderies in the area. I created this Positioning Statement:

Nordic Wolf Mead is Asheville’s only local meadery with a large selection of varietal meads.

We realize we may not always be Asheville’s only local meadery but, for now, we believe we should use it while we can.

Marketing Touchpoints

Since our ideal customer and target market are Generation X and Millennials, we will focus most of our marketing efforts on social media and the web. After discussing our business with the social media marketing manager at Western Carolina University, She suggested picking four social networks in which to market to Millennials and GenXers. We decided on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit as our initial four – with Snapchat being added to our marketing plan once our doors are open.

Another point of contact with our target audience will be foot and road traffic from our proposed downtown location. Signage and a visible mead hall from the street will attract customers. Finally, we plan to have people on the neighboring downtown streets handing out coupons offering a 10% discount on their first bottle or glass and directions to our location. This last strategy will get us in front of tourists who do not yet know we exist.

Many of the materials, outside of the coupon handouts, will be digital in format. Our first step is to create sharable images and media that our target audience will want to post/share on their social accounts. Since mead is commonly associated with Vikings and Medieval periods in history and with the television show Game of Thrones, images with inspiring messages are already being shared across a variety of social networks. By adding our logo and our web address to the bottom of the picture, people who share these images will also be sharing our name and website. Finally, by utilizing hashtags in our posts, we will be able to put our business in front of people searching those hashtags.

Marcus Thompson

Author Marcus Thompson

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Merida says:

    Marcus,

    You did a very good job writing a concise and clear blog post this week. I liked your ideas to hand coupons out to potential clients and help the people in the area learn about you, and possibly entice them in to your meadery for a discounted drink. I almost am intrigued in your upcoming snapchat marketing endeavors. What about google, how do you add that into your marketing strategy? I learned so much from duct tape marketing on how to use Google so that when tourists use their phones to search “near me”, your business is in the list. Are you planning on pushing your positioning statement on social media? I think how you push it to your potential clients is very important and can really help or hinder your success. You positioning statement is very unique as you are the only one in the town as of now. That really has the power to draw in your ideal client and potential guests I think.
    Again great job.

    Merida

    • Marcus Thompson says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Merida. I use Google quite a bit since I’m a web developer. Once we have a location, I will make sure that we get our business into Google maps. Our domain name and email address are from Google domains, and we have a YouTube channel – which is owned by Google. We also have registered our site with all the major search engines. Once we’re in business and generating revenue, we’ll consider using Google Adsense to advertise the business. However, the advice I’ve received from some marketing experts say that Facebook ads are more cost-effective when you’re just starting out. Beyond that, we’ll make sure that all of our blog and vlog posts are SEO optimized to make sure we’re targeting the correct keywords.

  • Joy Poe says:

    Marcus,
    Great job positioning Nordic Wolfe Meadery. I live near Etowah, and I had no idea they had a Meadery. The only one I’ve ever tasted came out of Durham. It was delicious. Such a treat. I imagine the variety of sweet to savory (?) would be a great tasting experience. Asheville loves its homemade alcoholic beverages. So, being the first meadery in town will probably be a great position, especially if you have a lot of interesting flavors to your beverages. As far as marketing goes, I think you should consider getting booths at some local festivals such as The Big Crafty or Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF FESTIVAL) , which holds art and music festivals three times a year ( two in Black Mountain and one Downtown) and has a huge contingency of your ideal millennials and gen x-ers. They are big into buying handcrafted, local, and mindful products and services. Also, I think playing on the fantasy coattails of Game of Thrones is a FAN-tastic idea! Social Media will eat that up, and if you could present your mead at comic cons where you might present an option for meeting in GoT fantasy garb, you might have access to a particular kind of ideal client. Cosplay is really big along with gaming, so looking into social media hashtags that are popular there!

    JOY Poe

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