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Field Notes from a Wine Life, Marketing Edition

Rise of the Memento, Redux

A week or two back I wrote around the notion of mementos becoming an important part of our marketing.  In a world that is moving into pixels, physical, tangible items become increasingly important.  In essence, this post is a reinforcement of the same premise.

Is it me or has there been a recent explosion of 3D related items in our pop cultural consciousness?  The animated movie Monsters vs. Aliens has been produced in 3D and I saw multi-spread co-branded ads in Sports Illustrated and Entertainment weekly, complete with 3D viewing glasses.

Separately, I saw a TV commercial for a Crayola kids set that lets kids doodle with sidewalk chalk and then pop their 3D glasses on to see their artwork pop out in dimensions.  A company is releasing a 3D LCD panel that doesn’t require glasses.  Content that pops?  Literally.

Fad or trend?  I’m not sure, but it’s growing.  IMAX and 3D seem to be the direction the movie business is taking to offset the growth outside of the theatre in HD and home entertainment.

Personally, I always love something that is cool for coolness sake.  I don’t think I’m alone, either.  My wife calls me an Alpha-consumer because I totally get taken in by marketing. And, I don’t mind copping to it, especially if there is at least some tangible benefit for me.  I spend time with marketing and the correlating brand gets my mindshare.

This is the way marketing works – and the really good marketing leads me to purchase intent or loyalty to the brand. 

For wineries, this means they can increase and enhance their brand experience with consumer marketing, always a hot topic.

Yet, the marketing script doesn’t always have to follow the A-B process of back-story and wine sampling.

Yes, of course, brand building is important – how do you associate a story with your product in the minds of consumers, but frequently context-building can take place in ways that are different then the same old playbook.
I recently wrote about the need for wineries to think about mementos as a means to extend their brand experience (and often act as an entrée for people have haven’t tried the wines or been to the winery).

I am doggedly emphatic that wineries need to consider themselves like the rest of the consumer packaged goods world and get a lot savvier about sampling and promotions, save for actually trying the wine, allowing somebody to experience their winery property in all of its eagle flying, solar paneled, purple majesty is a good place to start.

Since there is such a movement online with wineries doing more organic, D.I.Y types of marketing projects, I’m still not sure why more people are painting by the proverbial numbers and following the herd in terms Facebook, Twitter, video and the other things that other people are doing.

How about something distinct?

Here’s my guarantee – the first winery that follows the Gillette razor model and creates an ancillary product line-up that they can sell online with a freebie tied-in is going to gain some mindshare and subsequently some fans.  Period.

Don’t get me wrong, I love t-shirts, the typical brand schwag du jour, who doesn’t?  But, last I checked I had dresser drawer overflowing with t-shirts and enough corkscrews to last me through a nuclear winter. 

Twisted Oak winery does a nice job with their rubber chicken, as an example.

What’s another example of what I am talking about?

If you’re taking pictures of your winery and posting them online, why not buy a 3D accessory for your digital camera and create view-master slides?  Give the viewer away for free and sell the pictures.  It’s branding, it’s a memento, and it’s cool.  Yes, coolness for cool’s sake.

Or, since outdoor season is coming up, why not give away an imprinted Lexan folding wine glass?  I still remember the hike I made years ago with an ex-girlfriend (apologies to Mrs. Lefevere for the reference) and the end-cap to our hike being a bottle of chardonnay (actual winery brand name withhold to protect the innocent, but it wasn’t Redwood Creek) amongst a babbling brook and the canopy of a state park.

I’m sure more likely going to take something unbreakable and convenient rather than breakable when I’m going to be in a wine drinking aperture out of house.

Or, take a page from beer companies and craft breweries and make a branded bar towel.  Ever clean up a red wine spill from the counter?  Yeah, me too.

This doesn’t have to be complex.  You can set-up an online store in a ½ day and sell this stuff for free and charge for shipping and handling.   

I feel so strongly about this, I’m going to start giving away some cool schwag on this site, including the bar towels.

My overall point is that wineries spend a lot of time on outbound marketing – a label with something memorable, brand building at the three-tier, experience at the winery, advertising, sampling for earned media, now social media and a host of other items.

These are all pull marketing techniques – you are trying to pull people into you via marketing. 

Oft neglected is push marketing, now fancily called inbound marketing in some quarters, where you create things that people want to share and talk about. 

This is what I am talking about. 

Sometimes, the easiest way to be effective is to be different.  The easiest way to be different, while mitigating risk, is to swim upstream, but to also catch a wave coming downstream.
Just like IMAX theatres and 3D, it seems like affinity products that are cool, inexpensive and brand-building in nature are the next wave.


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Vin de Napkin - Ripped from the Headlines Edition

More doodlings on the back of the napkin pointing out general foolishness ...

1) American Airlines hires and touts a new wine consultant. Meanwhile, customers ...  yup, still peeved about having to pay that per checked bag fee ...

2) The owner of Layer Cake is suing the owner of Cupcake.  My five year old niece wonders why there aren’t more bakeries named “Cabernet.”

3) That great wine you can’t remember?  Yeah, there’s a site for that, if you can remember ...

4) Merlot and Pinot Grigio on the rise ... ‘nuff said

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