Kumala marketing manager Paul Sullivan said it had appointed Spirit Marketing Solutions to the six-figure account to improve its relationship with a broad range of newspapers and magazines.
Sullivan said that outside established wine writers, the information and products sent to journalists were not being tailored sufficiently to journalists and their titles. With Kumala’s wines ranging in price from £4.49 to £16, he said it was possible to find suitable wines for all titles.
Sullivan said comms would reflect the brand’s ‘fresh’ and ‘innovative’ positioning by attempting to break down the traditional and ‘stuffy’ approach some writers attach to the wine industry.
Kumala is the biggest South African wine brand in the UK and sold 25 million bottles in 2003, but according to Sullivan it has traditionally focused solely on trade PR.
‘We have never really focused on consumer media but it is surprising how much consistent wine input the glossies have,’ said Sullivan.
Kumala’s low brand awareness is common among wine products because of the fragmented nature of the market, said Sullivan, but added it also offered the potential for dramatic growth.
He said Kumala has enjoyed strong distribution at the point of purchase and it had picked up sales by default because it was the major South African wine brand in the UK.
However, Sullivan said there was room for growth because Kumala appears in only three million of the 15 million wine-drinking households in the UK.
According to ACNielsen figures, Kumala has a 2.4 per cent share of the UK wine market.