Experiential Focus Helps Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants Differentiate and Earn Brand Loyalty

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants is a lifestyle brand focused on wine and creating memorable moments that enrich lives. Having loyal customers never hurts either and adds a layer of brand efficacy.
Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants has 30 locations in eight states: Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Matt Stewart, the company’s Director of Wine Club Marketing, told Loyalty360 that, throughout the years, company officials have learned that there is no substitute for member experience.
“Our members have built lasting relationships through their participation in the Wine Club, and we continue to offer members new, relevant benefits and experiences to grow those relationships,” Stewart explained.
Changing customers have forced Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants to adapt properly. 
“Member preference in a loyalty program has shifted from a heavy emphasis on points and discounts to a more value and experiential focus,” Stewart said. “Noting this shift, we’ve increased communication around the value each individual member is receiving for being a part of the Wine Club. We’ve also increased the opportunities members receive to access celebrity chefs and world-renowned winemakers, as well as book exclusive Wine Club travel excursions.”   
What’s more, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants takes great pride in its use of technology.
“Our members are looking for more tailored, personalized messaging,” Stewart said. “We’ve taken great strides in personalizing all direct communication with members and are focused on leveraging data to make membership in our Wine Club more engaging for each individual member. “
And making that personalized customer engagement come to life are the company’s team members. 
“Our most underrated, yet most important, element of customer engagement is our team members,” Stewart explained. “We can overlook the amount of responsibility we ask of our team each day. However, our team’s ability to share their passion for food, wine, and creating a community is how we differentiate our experience from others. We’ve become a focal point for building a community that engages both Wine Club members and team members alike. In an online, disconnected world, Cooper’s Hawk has created an authentic, offline connection point.”
Yet, Stewart said an ongoing challenge revolves around earning and maintaining brand loyalty.
“There are numerous loyalty programs competing for share of wallet in the restaurant space today,” he said. “Rather than having a single focus on points and discounts, positioning ourselves as an experience brand differentiates us from the competition. A tasting room, experiential retail, and upscale casual dining in a polished atmosphere make for a compelling proposition for guests.”  

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