Middle Sister wines has introduced a revolutionary new label and new look for its popular range of wines. Designed to disrupt, the package is based on a series of quirky "middle sister" characters who each claim their own varietal and personality. Middle Sister wines were launched on social media in 2008 and have a large following of passionate fans as well as national distribution at wine retailers across America.
"When I first came up with the idea of Middle Sister wines, everybody thought it was crazy to put a stick figure on a wine label. It ran counter to every wine marketing rule in the book," says Terry Wheatley, brand founder and executive vice president of sales and marketing for Vintage Wine Estates. "But everybody has a middle sister or knows one—in fact the wine was inspired by my friend's middle daughter. There's just something about a middle sister that draws you to her. She has an authentic appeal that I knew would resonate."
Wine lovers took to the idea immediately. They identified with the characters and their personalities, purchased wine for their own middle sisters, family and friends and started talking and sharing about the brand on social media.
"We launched and built this brand to over 200,000 cases with the help of social media. Now, we're starting another wine revolution by taking our most popular Middle Sister quotes and putting them right on the label. Middle Sister wines literally speak for themselves—on the retail shelf, on display, on your kitchen counter or family table," said Wheatley.
Dubbed "Drops of Wisdom" the Middle Sister characters and their respective varietals, such as Middle Sister Rebel Red blend and Middle Sister Drama Queen Pinot Grigio, hold up a glass and share a witty saying right on the front label of the wine. The quotes reflect the distinct personality of each wine and character and will change frequently, creating a "treasure hunt" experience for the consumer in the wine aisle. Each "Drops of Wisdom" quote is based on the most liked and shared posts on Middle Sister social channels.
In addition, the new package design was crowdsourced on social media. Middle Sister and Wine Sisterhood fans were asked to vote on several rounds of design and the final version selected for production was the fan favorite. Over 30,000 consumers participated in the voting process.
"We want to connect the dots across all consumer touch points," says Wheatley. "Our guests look forward to sharing the humorous posts and tweets, have fun voting for their favorite design and, ultimately, reach for Middle Sister when they see it on the shelves because they have developed a personal relationship with the brand. The mission is to continue to surprise and delight!"
An essential element of the Middle Sister makeover project was taking the quality of the wines to the next level. Winemaker Nancy Walker, known as a master blender and sourcing expert, and a middle sister herself, has put all her talents into play on the Middle Sister portfolio, garnering a number of gold medals and best of class accolades at international wine competitions. In total, Middle Sister wines have won 22 gold medals.
Middle Sister new package begins shipping in May. Wines include Middle Sister Rebel Red (blend), Drama Queen Pinot Grigio, Sweet & Sassy Moscato, Wild One Malbec, Goodie Two Shoes Pinot Noir, Mischief Maker Cabernet Sauvignon, Surfer Chick Sauvignon Blanc and Sweetie Pie Sweet Red. All are California appellation with the exception of Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina. The suggested national retail price is $12.00.