A radically straightforward approach to a complicated industry.

TL;DR We didn’t do what the client asked. They loved it.

Convince millennials to buy Wine X. Long story short, that was the brief we were handed by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates—one of the largest in the country, and owner of the Wine X brand. (No, it’s not really called that. But with a relaunch in progress, we can’t disclose this wine’s true identity just yet.)

Market Reality

We conducted extensive research to understand what millennials actually look for in a juice (their word, not ours). Our research took us around the country, conducting shop-alongs in Seattle, Austin, Princeton, and San Diego. Then we traveled to Portland, Dallas, and Miami to facilitate participant-hosted friendship groups. At these informal gatherings, friends ate cheese, drank wine, and gave us their unfiltered opinion of Wine X: they loved the taste, but not much else.

Market Opportunity

Our research revealed that the original brief took our audience for granted. We found that generational stereotypes have surprisingly little to do with a person’s wine preferences. Drinkers of all ages see wine appreciation as a personal journey. So instead of targeting consumers based on when they were born, we set about redefining our target audience based on their relationship to wine.

Invention Strategy

Wine X would appeal to drinkers looking to discover and expand their taste in wine. Not newbies. Not cork dorks. Just ordinary people looking for a wine with character, integrity, and a reasonable pricetag. From the texture of the label to a brand story that had never been told, we set about reinventing Wine X from the bottle up.



Honesty. Inside and out.

Finding a great wine shouldn't be complicated. For all those drinkers looking to broaden their palette but unsure of where to start, Wine X is our answer. Minimalist design does away with the typical wine bottle marketing fluff. Cans and tetra packs ditch the bottle entirely. What's left? A radically straightforward wine that's easy to appreciate—and even easier to drink.

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Jim Hardy Phone: 847.305.9459 Email: jhardy@madewithmerit.com


Adam Vasquez

What is Market Invention?

It's the new era of marketing.

Market Invention is the process of creating and maintaining market dominance by leveraging insight, purpose, position, and experience to establish, grow, and maintain customer and company value.

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