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Calling all Oenophile’s


No, it’s not what you think. The word ‘Oenophile’ is from the Greek word ‘oinos’ meaning 'wine' + ‘phile’ from Greek word ‘philos’ meaning 'loving' – a lover of wine, usually as a connoisseur, and after recently attending the maiden “Pinot Noir Festival” in the Hemel en Aarde area in the Western Cape, I can honestly say, I am now an Oenophile.

The “Hemel en Aarde” area is home to several of the most prestigious Burgundian-style wine brands in South Africa. Burgundy wines are always made from Pinot Noir (red) and Chardonnay (white) grapes and are traditionally from Burgundy in France. We visited numerous estates in the area all offering Pinot Noir and other wines they have in range but the one brand that stood out amongst the 15 odd wine estate brands was Hamilton Russell Vineyards. The 170-hectare estate is over 35 years old and produces world-class ‘European-style’ wines, which have won various international awards.


So how does this relate to brands and marketing?

Well to put it simply, I will be a loyal customer for life due to the flawless brand experience I had at HRV. They say marketing is about the kind of experiences you deliver to your customers with each and every touch-point. The more compelling the experience, the faster you will build brand loyalty. Well, I am hooked and it’s not just because of the wine. The owners and employees of HRV have done a good job building a wine brand and living their brand

As part of the festival, Anthony and Olive Hamilton Russell opened their home to friends and strangers alike, creating an unforgettable brand and customer experience. We were treated to a presentation of pinot noir through the ages, a vertical tasting of vintages from 1982 to 2012.

Yes, the Hamilton Russell wine label design is apealing and the wines were certainly delicious, but what was more interesting was the way in which Anthony conveyed the story about the wines - interesting yet technical, leaving quite an impression on everyone in the room. I learnt so much that day and all because of the personal experience, which helped to imbed the brand in my mind.

All the other estates put on a great show but HRV set the benchmark for the event. For an affluent crowd that ‘don’t go without’, this was something quite unique that moved “snobbery to humble” without losing class in its approach. This was certainly a different way of creating hype, and it in turn, generated a lasting word-of-mouth buzz.

Creating moments around a brand that people remember is quite difficult in this day and age. You need to find something that will cut-through the noise and engage. All clients are looking for that ‘big idea’ that will make them stand out and get them talked about.

You need to think about the tonality and the totality of the experience. The right combination will make the experience unique to your brand and motivating for your customers. Without a great brand experience, you're just another product on the downward arc.

What is Brand Activation?

Brand activation refers to preparing a re-imagined brand to meet the outside world; getting the collateral elements and brand launch programmes ready for print and production. A memorable brand launch with intriguing activation events is crucial to burning a brand’s fresh approach into the hearts and minds of consumers. This requires both extreme creativity and attention to detail, encompassing everything from creative concept to event branding.

Wrappa go one step further with brand activation. They offer brand engagement programmes to clients’ employees, immersing them in the new brand personality and ethos, producing a home-grown squad of brand ambassadors.

Ignition, thus, is the key to transforming bright ideas and careful planning into a living, breathing brand.
Contact WRAPPA Brand Consultancy today to activate your brand!