Q&A: Vinomofo’s Andre Eikmeier

By Julian Thumm | 07 Mar 2016

Ahead of his keynote address at the Melbourne Online Retailer conference, we caught up with Vinomofo co-founder Andre Eikmeier for a quick Q&A.

Over the past year, Vinomofo has really claimed its place in the Aussie retail landscape. The company took out the Top Brand Builder at the recent Power Retail All Star Bash; won three awards at the ORIAs, including Online Retailer of the Year; and announced its international expansion plans.

On top of all this, Vinomofo co-founders and joint CEOs, Andre Eikmeier and Justin Dry have established their place as industry thought leaders, making regular appearances at retail industry events.

Justin Dry (left) and Andre Eikmier (right).

Justin Dry (left) and Andre Eikmeier (right).

Ahead of his national keynote address at the Online Retailer conference in Melbourne, Power Retail got the chance to pitch a few questions at Eikmeier.

At the All Star Bash last week, Vinomofo took home the Top Brand Builder award. How has your brand building strategy evolved over the years?

“As we’ve grown, we’ve become clearer about our “why”. Why we do what we do. We’ve always known in our gut but never have we had such clarity for our team and Mofos. This means it’s become much easier to communicate and more powerful in effect.”

What channels have been most important for building your brand and how have you used them?

“Social channels have had a huge impact. We’ve built a great community of like-minded Mofos by welcoming them into our world. They have been the driving force behind our rapid growth. Referral is, and has always been, our largest source of new Mofos.

“Also, the opportunity to tell our story through the media has helped tremendously.”

Last we heard, you were preparing to test Vinomofo in various overseas markets. Any update on how that is going? Has the first event landed yet? If so, how did it go?

“The first overseas market will be New Zealand, which we plan to launch in April. Following shortly after this we’ll roll out a few markets in Asia including Singapore and Hong Kong.”

At the upcoming Online Retailer conference in Melbourne, you’ll be speaking about building a $100 million tribal wine retail experience. Without giving away too much of your upcoming presentation, can you talk about what you mean by a “tribal wine retail experience”.

Seth Godin started talking about “tribes” a few years ago — more than just a “database” or “customers”, they’re a group of people united by something they believe in. It’s how we think of our Mofos. Not only our customers, but the makers of the wines we share, and our team as well. We’re one tribe united by wine. The tribe is central to Vinomofo. Our strength lies in the Mofo tribe.”

As your company continues to scale, how do you ensure that you maintain a consistent company culture and customer experience?

“You have to make it the priority. It takes more and more effort as you scale, but it becomes more and more important. We have to live and breathe our values — step up, care more, keep it real, do some good and have fun — and stay true to our mission so that everyone is able to experience good wine.
It has to guide our decisions and our actions, and we have to be uncompromising about it.”

For more information about the upcoming Online Retailer conference in Melbourne, visit the website.