Friday, May 31, 2013

Why Sell Wine Based on Aroma and Taste?



Selling commodities is difficult because people buy on emotion, or instinct if you will. Want and desire are powerful emotions that can stimulate the release of endorphins. It's why some people are shop-a-holics. It feels good to buy. But it's not that easy to get emotionally worked up about borax, chlorine, and salt. As an economic good, a commodity has no real differentiation, so small price differences in competing products can make huge differences in total sales.

Think about how you won't buy gasoline at one gas station because it's four cents cheaper around the corner. That's a commodity. Ever buy a piece of art that way? Of course not because art's value is in the eye of the beholder, is easily differentiated, and consequently will have wide price ranges. When art is sold, it's sold on the artist's reputation or the emotion the piece evokes for someone. Marketers work overtime to take commodity-like goods and then pretend they aren't commodities by creating and building an emotional appeal around the brand.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Successful Tasting Room Metrics




 
In our second live video broadcast of the year, we focused on the Tasting Room, Wine Clubs and Direct Sales with a panel of industry experts. The entire broadcast was supported by an extensive survey, with over 500 respondents taking part from across the US. The complete results from the survey were returned to the participants. This broadcast included participants from several countries, but primarily North America. Hopefully you were able to tune into the session live from the Silicon Valley Bank studios and participated in the discussion. If you weren't able, above is the YouTube link to the broadcast.

Please log in and comment for the community at the end of the transcript with any of your perspectives and suggestions for the next live broadcast.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Is Your Tasting Room Successful?


It's your fault!
The other day I  stopped in at Wal-Mart to get some things. While checking out, a very large woman in very tight clothes came up from just outside the store and angrily told my cashier she lost her debit card after she paid. While I looked around the floor for the card the cashier said, "Yes, I remember you putting it back in an envelope" to which the woman replied, "Its not in there. I put it in the envelope but you rushed me to get out of line. You rushed me. I want to see your manager!"  ..... Are you kidding me? I had to work at holding my tongue.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

How Much Do Wineries Really Make?

Our most popular post from last year is brought current with the 2012 financial information. The question at hand is: "How much do wineries really make?
The answer of course is ......(drum roll please ....) Not enough. Finding the facts is almost as hard as chasing unicorns in this business because the wine business is private. Its a family owned industry with even the largest; Gallo a family owned company. But its really quite amazing from the perspective of what is shared between neighbors in the wine business. There isn't the sense that your neighbor is a rival or competitor. Its more of a club feel in many ways. If you need something, its quite normal to check in with your neighbor. Need a tractor because yours went kerput? No problemo. Need a little welding and custom fabrication on a pump? I'll be right over with a welding rig.
There is a competitive side that abounds in the business too of course. When it comes to sharing financial information and customer lists, good luck! Ask a winemaker neighbor how its going financially, and you'll get a mixture of liars dice, false bravado, partial truths and ..... well ..... the following video is the best explanation of how that game is played.......

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Dance of Grape Pricing

 



ABC. It's Easy As 1-2-3

 
The vines flowering this time of year remind me of seventh grade. Maybe its the Aqua-Net hairspray smell the flowers produce but that's when we had our first crack at dancing after school which made institutionally official, our life-long quest to read the minds of the opposite sex. Filing into the sour milk scented cafeteria one sweltering afternoon, the boys took up their station on one wall while the girls occupied the opposite wall. The girls giggled and pointed at us prepubescent pimply-faced males while we in turn stared blankly back across the barren dance floor. "ABC. It's easy as 1-2-3" from The Jackson 5 cranked at volume eleven in the background, so we started to move to the music right where we stood thus signaling in our Cro-Magnon genetic way that we could dance. Well, we could if we wanted to. We just didn't want to. The girls of course had been practicing their dance moves since 3rd grade in front of their full-length closet mirrors. Us boys? We were playing baseball, football, kick-the-can, capture the flag, and tiddlywinks, oblivious to girls - unless you count the observation of cooties.
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If you want to skip my meandering memories from 12 year olds first dance experience, you can skip down To The Point Now.
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