As a luxury real estate marketing professional bent on gaining or sustaining market leadership, achieving top-of-mind status is the ultimate goal.  The first brand name that comes to mind commands the lion’s share of the business in a brand category within a given marketplace or niche therein.  But, dominating a brand category requires the consistent execution of brand strategy.

In the California Central Coast wine country (Santa Barbara to Monterey) one winery, Palmina, stands out as a category leader.  The category is Italian varietals.  Palmina applied the winning branding formula to achieve market leadership:  They selected an undeserved, potentially lucrative market niche about which that they are very passionate and knew that they could serve their target market better than anyone else.

Recently, we took off for an adventure to the Central Coast wine country to visit a town called Lompoc (45 minutes up the coast, north of Santa Barbara). You may know Lompoc as the home of Vanderberg Air Force Base where a space shuttle landed a few years back. 

In search of the best restaurant in town for lunch, we decided to stop by one of the local wineries, thinking that they would likely be “foodies” too and have a suggestion for us.  Driving along the “Wine Trail” we spotted Palmina, a brand we know and trust.  The choice was clear. We did not need to look further. And, we were right; they recommended Floriano’s, which had absolutely fabulous fresh Mexican food.

Delighted with our meal we returned to Palmina for their wine tasting which was excellent. The man who poured our wine was very passionate and knowledgeable about his wines and Italian varietals in general.  He told us the entire Palmina brand story, which is rich with local lore.

We left with three bottles of outstanding wines that we look forward to paring with the types of meals he recommended.  Now, we are “brand ambassadors” who are eager to share our experience of this fine winery. 

In a sea of wine brands, one name stands for the category of Central Coast Italian varietals, in our minds. Now that we have visited the winery, Palmina also stands for remarkable hospitality simply based on our personal experience at the winery itself. And, that is the power of achieving top-of-mind status.

Who are Your Brand Ambassadors?

Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-


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