Positioning a fine wine is a complex marketing operation which tends to focus on product characteristics and tends to ignore the consumer–brand relationship. As for other luxury products, fine wine consumers are a heterogeneous group which can be broken down into clearly distinctive and often antithetical subgroups. This conceptual paper proposes a different approach to defining fine wine consumers and the brand–consumer interaction. The Aristotle-inspired semiotic square model and Kapferer’s brand identity prism were coupled to identify not only fine wine consumer groups but also with which brand characteristics they mainly interact. While the semiotic square model identifies 6 distinct groups of fine wine consumers—enthusiasts, experts, connoisseurs, drinker, novice, event goers—the brand identity prism recognizes 6 constructs—physique (material), personality, culture, relationship, reflection and self-image. Pairing the consumer’s semiotic square and the brand’s identity prism could help brands to bridge the gap between the actual consumer subgroups and the ideal target consumers to better understand their customer base, to correctly position their brand, and to create an inclusive marketing strategy. This article is the first to apply the semiotic square/brand identity prism model within the context of the fine wine industry, as most positioning literature tends to focus on involvement or on the label itself.
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