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Yarra Valley shows oh-regionality!

Branding and regionality have become a focus for many centres throughout Australia and New Zealand, none more so than in the wine industry. However, when a region “brands itself” and encompasses everything it has to offer, then the changes can be dramatic. One such case is the Yarra Valley in Victoria. Its new-found marketing might is one of the success stories that resulted from careful, coordinated planning. After a little over a year of operation the Yarra Valley Brand continues to go from strength to strength. Yarra Valley Brand chief executive, Angela Ang said the Yarra Valley Brand was still very young and that the first year had been spent exploring various initiatives and ensuring value-adding to existing marketing and promotional efforts in the region. She said inroads had been made in the areas of export development and distribution, regional presence at significant trade and consumer shows, positioning advertising with the following highlights:- • signing 40 licence-holders including 17 founders • high profile retail promotions showcasing the region in the international market with leading retailer Cold Storage Singapore which led to export Sales for 11 regional businesses of $60–70,000 – many of which had not previously exported. • regional presence promoting food, wine, tourism and agribusiness at strategic trade and consumer shows including Food and Hotel Asia – Singapore Victorian Winemakers at Federation Square, Tesselaar’s Tulip Festival 2004 and Wine Australia • the launch of the Yarra Valley Brand’s first Winter Campaign – Celebrate the Cool Season “However, we are even more focused on our future activities, developing new promotional programs that showcase this region and its quality products and services to the all-important consumer. “There is still a lot of work to be done and we look forward to welcoming more licence-holders to the Yarra Valley Brand – as more businesses understand the role we play and how we can assist them in growing their business and the region. With more licence-holders, we will have more participants in our marketing initiatives, bigger programs and create more impact in the consumer market.” she said. Yarra Valley Wine Growers Association President Michael Matthews said the Yarra Valley Brand was a great initiative that deserved the support of all the businesses in the Yarra Valley. “We all share the brand, Yarra Valley and collaboratively we can build greater value in it. “Like anything new some wait to see the value but those with clearer vision give it support from the start. It stems from being able to think outside our own businesses and promote the Yarra Valley as the umbrella we all operate under,” said Matthews. Leanne De Bortoli, manager, De Bortoli Wines, is also a firm believer in the regional approach. “Branding is extremely important to the region particularly from a wine and tourism viewpoint. We have found working collaboratively with other wineries in the region to sell 'Yarra Valley' as a serious wine region on one hand and as a terrific tourism destination on the other has worked most effectively. “It is also about having pride in the region where many of us live and work and what we produce. “Yarra Valley on a label already does signify something of a quality mark to customers but there are a lot of other potential customers and visitors to the region that we are yet to reach. I do feel though that we are definitely on the right track with the direction of the Yarra Valley Brand to helping us achieve this,” she said. Plans for the Yarra Valley Brand include developing a ‘hero’ regional showcase event for food, wine, tourism and agribusiness (horticulture) in the region, as well as promotional campaigns for Farm-gate and “U-Pick” experiences for all types of agribusiness from fruit-growers to nurseries for Spring and Summer, attendance at the Fine Food Show in Sydney and continuing work with Austrade on export development. The Yarra Valley Brand is a licensing scheme that licenses the use of the Yarra Valley Brand logo to eligible businesses from the four key industries but is more than just a sign of regional origin – the Yarra Valley Brand embodies a unique set of values that the region is celebrated for namely – quality, natural beauty, personal passion and commitment and a pristine, natural environment. This promise will be delivered to consumers by the excellence of each license”-holder and recognised by the Yarra Valley Brand logo as a focal point and brandmark of distinction. “Displaying the Yarra Valley regional brand and benefiting from what it offers demands a commitment to efficient business, food safety, and overall product quality and environment management practices,” said Ang. A Code of Practice that stipulates minimum quality standards, bona fide regional origin and environmental sensitive operational processes governs eligibility into the Yarra Valley Brand.

Further information on the Yarra Valley Brand is available from Angela Ang — phone: (03) 5962 5343 or email



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