Formed in the UK by Rowan Gormley in 2008, Naked Wines now turns over £350 million, “nearly double the sales figure recorded in fiscal year 2019.” (Source: Statista)
The business has a clear and compelling mission: “To disrupt the wine industry for the benefit of customers, winemakers and our people.”
Its innovative D2C model is based on nurturing unique, long-lasting supplier relationships. Then connecting them to a clever branded consumer subscription service called ‘Angels.’
According to Naked, its 946,000 angels support independent winemakers by investing “£25 a month into their Naked Wines account, to spend whenever they want.”
In essence, the Norwich-based company cuts out the middleman and link smaller, independent winemakers to a large and vibrant customer base they would otherwise never reach.
As TechCrunch points out, “A winemaker pitches an idea for a wine at the company. If its in-house winemakers like the idea, they pay the winemakers a stipend, not dissimilar to an advance on a book deal.”
The winemaker then gets the time and support it needs to bring a new product to market. Naked help them make it a best-seller.
Naked say the angels are their D2C key: “Our subscribers generate a stream of cash and product data. The larger the Angel base, the more cash we receive from monthly subscription payments.”
And the more they can invest in helping their suppliers. A perfectly virtuous circle.
As CEO Nick Devlin recently told In Practise, “The type of people who work really well with Naked take passion in producing something of really high quality that can be enjoyed by lots of people. They love the idea that they would be able to directly interact with millions of people who have actually consumed their wine and hear what those real people think. They tend to have a real sense of pride in over-delivering. The idea that you can make something that tastes like a $40 bottle of wine and sell it for $20, really appeals.”
$40 wine for $20. That certainly sounds like heaven.