Vineyard & Winery Management

January - February 2012

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MANAGEMENT WINE WISE MARKETING Happy Disruptive have been happily reading "What the Dog Saw and Other Adven- tures" by Malcolm Gladwell (he also wrote "Tipping Point" and "Blink"). It's a compilation of Gladwell's essays from The New Yorker magazine and the first part is comprised of stories about what Gladwell calls "minor geniuses." The first essay features Ron PopeiI, an inventor and TV info- mercial salesman (Showt ime Rotisserie, Chop-O-Matic, Pocket Fisherman, etc.), and it discuss- es Popeil's innovations and what made him so successful. According to Gladwell, it was Popeil's ability to be disruptive, to make people stop and pay attention to his prod- ucts, which he sold to them in ways that made them want to buy. He showed his audiences the dif- ferences his products could make in their lives. I am not, for a second, suggest- ing that you hawk wine through infomercials broadcast at 3 a.m. on less than memorable TV stations, but I do believe we can all learn something from late-night sales- people such as Popeil: the skill of being disruptive, of making people stop and take notice of what we are selling and why they should buy it. My take on the word disruptive is in the context of changing what you would normally do. If you are trying to draw attention to your products, events, brand, etc., dis- ruption uses techniques that make your audience focus on the prod- uct. You want the recipients of your messages to Stop, Take Notice and Take Action. If we have success at WWW.VWM-ONLINE.COM ELIZABETH SLATER New Year Take steps to encourage tasting room visitors to stop, take notice and take action the first two actions, after awhile the third will follow. Travel ing throughout North America has made me realize that only a small part of the wine indus- try is actively disruptive, using dif- ferent methods to sell wine. The industry, for the most part, values tradition. To borrow a line from a friend about his chosen profession, a sentiment that is also true about a large part of the wine industry: "100 years of tradition, unimped- ed by progress." Wineries tend to present their products in the same ways, over and over, using an over- whelming number of facts about grapes, winemaking and wine, of which only a portion of the audi- ence is interested ... and never noticing when audience's eyes have glazed over. Elizabeth Slater is the owner of In Short Direct Marketing, a direct marketing com- pany that works with individual wineries and winery associations. SHORT COURSE Stand out from the crowd by being a little more disruptive. The point of being disruptive is to make people Stop, Take Notice and Take Action. Change your look and signage to capture visitors' interest. Individualize the way you and staff interact with visitors. If we are looking to successful- ly sell, especially in this economy, we have to combine the traditional ways of doing business with more innovative ways of catching peo- ple's attention. It's time to become a little dis- ruptive and more creative in how you interact with visitors in every way, and especially in the tasting room. Remember that the goal is to make your customers and potential customers Stop, Take Notice and Take Action. By Take Action, I mean purchase. IN THE TASTING ROOM Is it time for a different look in Presenting the same old information to an audience in the same old way can cause people to tune out. Photo: Think- stock your tasting room? I know some wineries that have not changed much about their retail space since the turn of the century. OK, that's only 12 years ago, but 12 years is a long time for things to stay the same. Time goes so fast it's hard to keep up, but ask yourself: When was the tasting room last painted? Have you added new furniture or JAN - FEB 2012 VINEYARD & WINERY MANAGEMENT 23

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