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by Anne Tonkin | May 01, 2014
This is a story of great stress and sadness at the beginning to triumph and cheers for the crew at Vinomofo through sheer determination and grit. Having heard the story of Vinomofo at Marketing Week, my thought process was to create a case study for a class learning how to conduct emarketing communications.  These guys certainly nailed this aspect of their business with flying colours.  After some reading I have copied, referenced and cut some quotes from here and there to give you their story and triumph. 

Vinomofo: This case study is in 3 parts to really understand the business journey
Part 1: How it started and didn’t do so well
Part 2: The birth of Vinomofo
Part 3: Their incredible success.

Part 1: How it first started – online forum
“This is a story of how and why it’s so damn important to build a brand and have the guts to stick to it through thick and thin. In 2006, Andre Eikmeier started an online forum called Qwoff, a place where the average Joe could discuss wine without all the fancy talk. Three years later, and not a cent richer, he (and his business partner) launched VinoMofo, an online, in your face wine retailer that (in their own words) “…offers a small selection of hand-picked wines and wine-like things … at very mofo prices.” VinoMofo is a classic example of a business that knows exactly what it stands for, exactly who their customers are and what they think and feel, and then goes about delivering a product / service that emotionally engages with them at every turn, every time. I’d call this classic brand building! Oh, and to prove this formula’s success, VinoMofo was bought by Catch Of The Day, Australia’s biggest group buying site last year. So, if the idea of taking your business from bland to brand appeals then listen up … Andre shares some absolute marketing gold.” (smallbusinessbigmarketing 2014)

“Eikmeier told Business Insider that Vinomofo turned over about $2.5 million a year when Catch bought in, quadrupled its revenue to $10 million in 2012-13, and had grown 30% month on month since buying out Catch on 30 June” (Business Insider 2014)

 “When Vinomofo split off from Catch, Eikmeier said the three founders set themselves a target of turning over $20 million this financial year. He said the business was “comfortably profitable”, but had big plans to expand to overseas markets and new product lines.” (Business Insider 2014)”  

Part 2: The birth of Vinomofo: The story of Vinomofo (Vinomofo 2014)
“So what is the 'Fo? You like good wine? You might like the ‘Fo. Every day, a small selection of handpicked wines and wine-like things are available to our members at very mofo prices. Are the deals any good? Hell yes. Why? We’re big wine geeks, but poor. We like good wine, and we like a good deal. Figure you might feel the same. And we like to have a bit of fun – it’s wine, after all, not banking. So that’s what you get at the ‘Fo – good wine, good deals, and a bit of fun. Welcome.

Who are we? Vinomofo is brought to you by The Qwoff Boys – the scruffy wine geeks behind Australia’s first and largest online wine community, and the tireless kombi adventurers from and creators of Andre and JD, to those of you unfamiliar with our work :) We teamed up with another friend to form Wine Cru posse (enter The Chief), and Vinomofo is our love child. Okay, that sounded weird...

What does Vinomofo mean? Ahem. Funny story that. We originally intended to call the site Vinomojo (as in, get your mojo on, etc.) But then three days out from our launch, we got threatened with an expensive and protracted legal battle over the name “mojo”, even though we had registered the trademark. We didn’t really have the time, the money nor the inclination to drag things through the courts – we had awesome deals ready to go, and thousands of members waiting to get their hands on them! So we decided to change the name. And what started as a joke round the office - “let’s call it Vinomofo, for the mo-fo’s at the big corporation trying to stop us launching…” Well, you get the idea. We actually laughed so hard, the name stuck ("... we can't, can we? Surely not..."), and so Vinomofo it is.

So our members are our Mofos, and our Mofettes, we work at Mofo HQ in Hindmarsh, Adelaide, and this site you're looking at is commonly referred to as the 'Fo. And now it's your 'Fo.” (Vinomofo 2014)  

Part 3: Their incredible success (Inside Retail 2014)
Vinomofo tops Fast 50 By Inside Retail on November 20, 2013 Online wine retail site, Vinomofo, has been named the winner of the 2013 Deloitte Technology Fast 50, following a record revenue growth of 1273 per cent over the last three years. The Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Program, now in its thirteenth year, ranks 50 of Australia’s fastest growing public and private technology companies, based on percentage revenue growth over three years (2011 to 2013). Joshua Tanchel, leader of Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 Program highlighted Vinomofo’s innovative customer relationship model and understanding of the power of social media to enhance consumer engagement.

“Vinomofo has disrupted and redefined the ultra-competitive online wine market since its launch three years ago,” Tanchel said. “They have pioneered a content driven approach that has been a real hit for consumers, helping to break down barriers and open up new channels to market by working directly with wine producers.” The sectors driving the growth in this year’s Fast 50 were online, software, and the infrastructure needed to support these. The convergence of disruptive, post-digital technologies is changing the ways businesses must respond to individuals’ needs and expectations.

“Vinomofo is a prime example of a business that has understood and embraced these changes and profited accordingly in less than five years. Particularly impressive across all of this year’s winning technology companies is the way they have capitalised on opportunities in an environment of rapid change and disruption.Although the majority of Top 50 winners came from NSW, for the first time the top four companies were all Victorian based. Led by overall winner Vinomofo the top four was rounded out by fellow Victorians Outware Mobile, Kogan, and Australian Renewable Fuels Total revenue for this year’s Fast 50 winners was estimated at around $1.7 billion.

CASE STUDY: Questions, well I haven't included them as these will be discussed in class.

If you would like to learn more about engaging your audience and understanding your marketing vision, brand awareness and social media strategies, come and join us at Tafe SA either as an online student or face to face. 

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