The Role of Mobile in the Transmedia Wine Brand Narrative


The essence of any coveted label is the story it tells.  Its heritage conveys mystery, passion, and intrigue and creates in consumers an insatiable desire to be among a select few bit players in the theatricality of the brand experience. These narratives are communicated through a variety of channels.  Artful photography displayed in print tells a tale.  The vineyard provides the dramatic stage.  The store is the epicenter of the encounter.  Digital media voices a story and the shared experience platform enabled by social media allows the consumer to contribute to the brand dialogue.

Successful brands tell stories and deliver experiences through each medium uniquely, artfully orchestrating events that leverage the inherent strengths of each in an ornamental array of disconnected, yet consistent, transmedia vignettes. The question remaining to be effectively addressed, however, is how best to weave these disconnected encounters together in a more unified fashion – how best to allow consumers the ability to carry the narrative with them, irrespective of time or space.  That is, until now.

The mobile medium is inherently transitive in nature, providing the vehicle for consumers to navigate an ever-evolving ecosystem of digital screens. Aware of location, sensitive to time, and ever connected, the mobile medium delivers contextual relevance to brand communications and allows marketers to truly engage consumers in the moment.  Unlike other more stationary channels for consumer interaction, successful strategies for mobile marketing require precision aim at moving targets.

Given that the targets are in motion, intelligent planning requires a fundamental shift in approach.  Conventional wisdom advocates a right audience + right message + right time methodology designed to entice a stationary audience.  In mobile, the same principles don’t necessarily apply.  Rather than marketing at the target with brand-centric storytelling wherever and however they may encounter you, allow the tale to travel along with them as they go. Communicate the narrative with an episodic structure and allow the medium to reveal ensuing chapters in a continuum of branded engagements that create a journey with the brand.  In this strategy, consumers live the brand story as if they were on the page.  The narrative is not unidirectionally told to the consumer but, rather, allowed to unfold before their eyes, as they become actors in the theatre of the experience.

The mobile medium is unique in its ability to transport the brand’s narrative in transmedia storytelling models.  Given that the device is ever connected, contextually relevant, and always within arms’ reach, the opportunities for brand marketers to engage consumers with consistency, relevance, and personalization are tremendous.  By effectively leveraging digital engagement triggers such as QR codes, image recognition, SMS, or with the advent of NFC, marketers can breathe digital life into traditional unidirectional communications via smartphone devices.  Transporting the brand story from television and print by digitizing and connecting the offline experience via a portable medium allows the consumer to carry the brand’s tale across channels to deliver upon the promise of compelling transmedia storytelling models.