If you are like me, you get offers of reports on trends in the wine business about every day. Several years ago I saw a synopsis of an extensive report that seemed pretty interesting. For the mere price of $2,500US I had a several hundred page report on my desk in about a week. Now this was when I still had an expense account so please don’t start emailing me more sucker offers.
Sadly, much of the report seemed like it was written by a fresh-out-of-college student, or at a minimum someone who never lived in the wine business. It was rehash of everything you already knew. To make matters worse, I was cited in several places for things I’d said. That instantly devalued the purchase. Why would I listen to me? I always lie.
Here’s a sample of the report that will give you a better feel. This is from the section titled “Telling Tales.”
We are all too aware human beings have always been enchanted by stories, and nothing beats having some original ones of our own. We don’t just want to have an experience – we want to tell people about that experience. The travel industry understands this better than most. We all know too well that when we go on holiday, we like to return enriched with stories: the cooking lesson we received at a Vietnamese restaurant; the samba class we attended in Rio; the dolphins we swam with in Cancun; or perhaps just the great bar we discovered while on a weekend break.
In a recent venture, American Express would arrange such anecdote-generating itineraries for you, even if you were not sure what you were looking for. Its “Nextpedition” holidays were essentially mystery tours, individually tailored for members based on their individual profile information. The only catch was that you did not know where you were going, or what you would be doing, until the big day arrived. But then that only made the story more interesting to tell both before, during and after trip.
Consumers don’t want marketers to do all the work. They too are in search of new discoveries – discoveries which will become stories. We hear from consumers during our research that they are increasingly seeking out unusual drinks, often from artisanal producers using local ingredients. Again, this isn’t just a taste experience. It’s a talking point.
Take that small piece and multiply by 50 plus pages, and you end up with a very interesting view of changing consumer preferences. What can you do with that information? Begin the brain-storming with your management team. It might be that you need a consultant like Intellima to sit with you and go through this to better define and come up with a segmentation strategy. But I think for many people, reading this report will get your mind going early in this year about how you want to define you brand going forward, which consumer types suit your own vision of what you and your brand find important, which skills you have internally in your organization to target some of these segments and better support your existing base …….. Essentially, I’d suggest using this piece as an idea generator from which some will springboard into new thoughts about attacking the evolving consumer market that is before us.
You can stop here and surf to the next interesting piece on the web and never do another thing with this, but do yourself a favor instead and bookmark this as a resource to reexamine your marketing approach and perhaps freshen it. Nothing ventured nothing gained. But then again, why listen to me. After all ……….I lie.