David Choi of Magna Carta & Angel Falls: “You need to integrate the brand story into existing product marketing”

I feel like five things every branch should be doing is one, leveraging social by telling the stories of your product, company, and employees. Two, creating a lot of video content, showing the product through imagery that is consistent with what the customer will receive, and showing the customer how to use the product at […]

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I feel like five things every branch should be doing is one, leveraging social by telling the stories of your product, company, and employees. Two, creating a lot of video content, showing the product through imagery that is consistent with what the customer will receive, and showing the customer how to use the product at its highest level. Three, the company should be working within its own ranks to tell its brand story and make sure everybody believes and wants to hold up the values of the company. Four, you need to integrate the brand story into existing product marketing, like slogans and imagery. Lastly five, it’s important to tell your brand story in a short, concise, but powerful way. This story is the rock your brand is built on.


As part of our series about how to create a trusted, believable, and beloved brand, I had the pleasure to interview David Choi.

Born in Los Angeles but raised in Washington, DC, David Choi has been in the wine business for the last decade. He found his passion for wine as the owner of one of the nation’s largest and oldest wine stores, Pearson’s Wine & Spirits. He dove deeper into the wine industry as an importer and wholesaler.

As the most popular wine expert on TikTok sharing his vast wine knowledge, creative pairings, affordable recommendations, and much more to his over 200,000 followers, wine expert David Choi owns two Napa Valley wine companies and is shaping how millennials themselves consume and talk about wine. David’s #1 wine TikTok page is @winewithdavid.

As the proprietor of the two Napa Valley wine companies Angel Falls Wines and Magna Carta Cellars, David first found his passion for wine as the owner of the nation’s largest and oldest wine stores, Pearson’s Wine & Spirits in Washington, DC, which has been in business since 1933. Next, he dove deeper into the wine industry as an importer and wholesaler, learning all aspects of the industry. Today, David is one of only 60 living recipients of the Order of Agricultural Merit (l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole) in the United States and was inducted into Jurade of Saint Emilion, the oldest wine society in Bordeaux, in 2012.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

It was a chance opportunity to be a part of a wine store in Washington DC. I was figuring my fit in this world and wine found me. The store was Pearson’s Wine & Spirits that opened in 1933 and had a history of being one of the top wine stores in DC and one of the first to import Bordeaux and Burgundy wines in the US so being there it was like getting a master’s degree in wine.

Can you share a story about the funniest marketing mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Too many to tell all of them but one in particular was but it is all about really taking it as an experience and keep moving going and knowing it is part of the process.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
 Being an outsider and not part of the Napa Valley wine culture we started as most I knew were born into this or exited from a company looking for a new hobby or investment, but I found early on that this was a passion of mine and something that found me and that I was meant to be a part of.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

We just about to bottle the 2019 vintage of Magna Carta and we are releasing Angel Falls Sauvignon Blanc in August which we are very excited about as we will extend this to more people being at a $15–20 price point, without sacrificing any of the quality and artistry our fans are accustomed to.

Ok let’s now jump to the core part of our interview. In a nutshell, how would you define the difference between brand marketing (branding) and product marketing (advertising)? Can you explain?

Brand marketing is all about building trust, showing that you are a source that cares about customers, and at the highest level that you can always count on the brand. We used social as our main form of brand marketing, showing my face and what I stand for, and we believe we’ve gotten stronger reach for our brand marketing because of this. Product marketing is just getting your product out there, and why it’s better than the competitor. And at the end the day the product has to stand for itself once it reaches their door, and that’s the most important touchpoint.

Can you explain to our readers why it is important to invest resources and energy into building a brand, in addition to the general marketing and advertising efforts?

While a product can sell well, without a brand standing behind that product that has a rich history and a clear mission statement, it’s unlikely a consumer will ever buy more than one of your products if they are significantly different, which they usually are. Building a brand is all about creating trust with the customer, building customer longevity, and ultimately just being a brand that the customer wants to recommend.

Can you share 5 strategies that a company should be doing to build a trusted and believable brand? Please tell us a story or example for each.

I feel like five things every branch should be doing is one, leveraging social by telling the stories of your product, company, and employees. Two, creating a lot of video content, showing the product through imagery that is consistent with what the customer will receive, and showing the customer how to use the product at its highest level. Three, the company should be working within its own ranks to tell its brand story and make sure everybody believes and wants to hold up the values of the company. Four, you need to integrate the brand story into existing product marketing, like slogans and imagery. Lastly five, it’s important to tell your brand story in a short, concise, but powerful way. This story is the rock your brand is built on.

In your opinion, what is an example of a company that has done a fantastic job building a believable and beloved brand. What specifically impresses you? What can one do to replicate that?

In general CPG brands are forced to tell strong brands stories because consumer trust is so important in this industry. Brands like Poland Springs are doing a great job at this because they have to, water is a simple product, and the selling point is the brand story. Another new brand that’s doing a good job it’s called SIMULATE, the company behind in NUGGS. They’re generating hype through creating a lot of brand story on social. They have a strong brand story and ethos.

In advertising, one generally measures success by the number of sales. How does one measure the success of a brand building campaign? Is it similar, is it different?

I think it has to be different, one great way is just anecdotally talking to customers and employees. In truth, it’s hard to measure but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. It’s for long-term brand health, which will play into sales, but it’s not something that can be measured easily.

What role does social media play in your branding efforts?

It’s our main point of contact for brand building because we have been able to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of value through organic reach, so it’s our most valuable asset.

What advice would you give to other marketers or business leaders to thrive and avoid burnout?

It’s all about staying healthy, mentally and physically, and making sure that your brand is healthy too. Creating space for yourself to breath and grow.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I’d want to inspire a global appreciation for wine, the original alcohol, and the rich history behind it. I believe the biggest miss recently is that older wine brand haven’t communicated well to the next generation of wine drinks, and we’re trying to change that.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

There are a few quotes that I look at every morning for inspiration and this one touched me today. It’s how to persevere no matter how difficult or bleak things are today to look at it as part of the process and that you are one step closer to your ultimate goal.

“Many of life’s failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” — Thomas Edison

We are blessed that very prominent leaders in business and entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you would like to have a lunch or breakfast with? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Currently there are two Mark Cuban and Warren Buffet

How can our readers follow you on social media?
 They can catch us on IG @magnacartacellars and personally IG @winewithdavid and TikTok @winewithdavid

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

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