A focused and well-composed brand architecture can be the building block that leads from first time brand engagement to long term brand loyalty. This panel will discuss brand architecture by exploring how strong wine brands are built for long term success. The conversation will explore the composition of wine brands and how the architecture itself can help build flexibility, navigate trends and take advantage of opportunities in the marketplace – in both wholesale and direct-to-consumer channels – as they arise. The discussion will include how brand architecture affects pricing, positioning and channel management for your winery.
Brian Sypher has worked with Skurnik Wines & Spirits in management for over 12 years, the first 10 of which were in New York. Today he oversees the business for the company statewide in California as general manager and vice president. In between his Skurnik Wines posts, Brian was the general manager for Soter Vineyards in Carlton, Oregon, and a partner in the North Valley Vineyards brand over a seven year span of time. He has been a staunch ambassador nationwide for great wines of the Willamette Valley. Earlier stints in both restaurant management and fine wine retail set the table for a dedicated career in the fine wine business, where wholesale distribution and brand building are Brian’s greatest industry passions.
Eugenia Keegan began her 40+ years in the wine industry with Joseph Swan Vineyards as a cellar/vineyard worker in 1976. Most significantly she took the position of business manager at Bouchaine Vineyards in Napa, California in 1982 and was later promoted to president and CEO. Eugenia’s travels took her to Oregon in 2003 where she became the founder and co-owner of Tsarina Wines, a small fine-wine-only distributor. Throughout her career, she has been an industry consultant and owner of her wine brand, Keegan Cellars, which operates in Roussillon, France.
Eugenia joined Jackson Family Wines in April 2013 as winemaking consultant for Gran Moraine and became winemaker and general manager in April 2014. She is now the Oregon general manager for Jackson Family Wines with oversight of the Oregon Estate Winemaking Programs.
Chris Cullina is a 17-year veteran of the Oregon wine industry. In 2018, Chris launched Transtulit, a strategic consulting business that works with a wide range of Willamette Valley wineries on long term strategic planning, portfolio development, brand marketing and improvements in the U.S. wholesale and direct-to-consumer channels. Prior to Transtulit, Chris headed up sales and marketing for Argyle Winery for 16 years, overseeing all of Argyle’s brand development, its commercial direction in the U.S. wholesale market and its direct-to-consumer business channels in Dundee, Oregon.
Chris has Washington, D.C. roots, graduating from Catholic University in 1990. He spent 12 years in the food and wine industry in Washington D.C. as proprietor of a restaurant and retail wine business before heading to the Pacific Northwest.
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