Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bra-Burning Feminists Drive Wine Sales

The business world moves in cycles, and if you live long enough you start to see them repeat. Today the popular press is replete with articles hyping the Urban Millennial Myth.

Its the older tradition-loving Boomers who have become accustomed to Madison Avenue solving every need, want and desire - versus the edgy up-and-coming Next Generation. The Next-Gen is nothing like you've seen before and you need to get current with your marketing or you will end up on the losing end of the stick.... or so many would have you believe ... except its really a repeat of a cycle we've seen before and we can see the outcome.

Cycles & Susan B. Anthony


Boomers today drive wine sales and its the women Boomers who are the primary wine buyers according to many studies. Those were the the same bra-burning feminists that were labeled as radicals back in the 1960's and early 1970's when they were Millennials. They were nothing like we've ever seen before either .... well .... there was Susan B. Anthony in a prior cycle but that's another story.

If you decided to craft a label to attract Millennials today, what would that look like? The press tells us Millennials are adventuresome, irreverent and demand transparency, sustainability and authenticity. What about their desired product attributes in a wine purchase? What do they want?

An article that came out last week says Millennials are looking for non-pretentious products, non-traditional packaging, simple wines at an affordable price that speak to them; each are reported solutions for cracking the Millennial Code and developing a successful wine marketing program to that untapped pot of gold at the end of the cohort marketing rainbow.

Rima Fakih (Photo courtesy of Miss Michigan USA)
A restaurateur who targets Millennials, answers the question within the article noted above by talking about how he decided to create wine lists that ...
"...flout the bureaucratic rules that dictate how wine should be made. It’s an eclectic, slightly subversive list with a decidedly anti-authoritarian bent."
The description of Millennials and what they like sound eerily familiar ... non-traditional packaging, simple wines at an affordable price.... transparency, authenticity, adventure, irreverent behavior.....

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Highest Return on Your Time Invested


Each year I get to write a State of the Industry report that's pretty well received in the wine business. Its even used as part of the curriculum in several U.S. Colleges and Universities which my mom thinks is really cool. She thinks I should be given an honorary PhD by one of the Universities but I haven't been able to donate enough money to a place of higher learning so as to receive that kind of recognition. Der Weinerschnitzel is considering offering me a fellowship, but thats still in early discussions.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Millennials Aren't All That

Louis B Shrimperton III "LB3"


I have a large degree of respect for Tom Wark's dog Louis B. Shrimperton III. "LB3" as he likes to be called, serves as Tom's sounding board when Tom writes his daily blog and he's also a Millennial with a distinctive opinion. Having descended from the Flying Nun as you can clearly see by the above resemblance, he's able to give Tom a high-level perspective on things.

On rare occasions Tom writes an interesting blog and he did so this last week writing "Unsubstantiated: Millennials, Wine & the Meme." Tom addresses a pet peeve of mine when reporters and writers repeat equine excrement in what I've referred to as the Millennial Myths. That's the notion that Millennials are driving the wine business. Here's one quote from a newspaper article I cited in a recent blog I penned:
"the U.S. ranks third in total wine consumption, and is gaining rapidly on the leaders. Much of the (3.3% ~ 850,000 case) increase can be attributed to the Millennial generation"
The problem with this quote and an unending string of others ..... they just aren't real or helpful in describing wine business opportunity.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Experiment or Die




Stupid mistakes and do-overs. Come on. Admit it. You've made your share. I made a similar mistake to the lumberjack in the above video. Trying to save a couple hundred bucks by not hiring a professional, I cut a tree limb away from my sliding glass door. Cutting straight down with a chain saw the limb cracked and held together by the fibrous bark. Like a hinge it pivoted down, perfectly connecting with the glass door below shattering it to pieces. It cost me $1,200 to replace the door and I've never made the same mistake since.