July 6, 2009

smarter wine, cont'd...


A couple of years ago while working on Stormhoek, I came up with the "Smarter Wine" idea.

2. Everyone’s definition of “smarter” will be different. I’m OK with that. To me, it means continually engaging the customer at a higher level, continually raising the bar.

3. The brilliant thinker, Russell Davies identified four keywords that will govern the future of the advertising business. About as succinct a list as I've ever seen:
Blurry. Useful. Interesting. Always In Beta.
"Always In Beta” is a popular term in Silicon Valley. In an ideal world, it would be equally popular in the wine trade as well. It's unfortunate that this is not the case.
The problem with most wine marketing, as I see it, most of it is product-driven, not principle driven.

Most wine makers make what they make, as best they can, then try to find a buyer, somewhere. Anywhere!

Stormhoek wasn't conceived as an act of love for the Western South African Cape. Stormhoek was conceived as a very simple idea: That if you took New Zealand wine tech, and used it with South African grapes, you could make a wine JUST as good as the New Zealanders, for about two thirds the price.

Idea-driven. Not product-driven. Not geography-driven. That's what "Smarter Wine" is all about.

Once we had this "Principle" nailed down, it became a LOT easier to market it. Because not only did we get "Smarter" about how we made it, we got "smarter" about how we talked to people about it, how we related to the existing market and the customers about it. Which explains the cartoon below.


It's REALLY hard to market something, if there's no higher purpose-idea behind it. Products are not just about price and quality. As I'm fond of saying, every product is some sort of idea amplifier.


Every product, whether we're talking German cars, cans of beans, laptop computers or bottles of wine, is an expression of human potential.

At least, it is, if you want it to be successful.

I don't think any of this rocket science, but it sure got our competition scratching their heads. Plus ca change...

[N.B. This post was written as something to keep in mind, while I plan my "Texas Road Trip", which starts at the end of this month...]

[UPDATE: Just added this blog post to "EVIL PLANS".]

[Backstory: About Hugh. Twitter. Newsletter. Book. Interview One. Interview Two. Limited Edition Prints. Private Commissions. Cube Grenades."EVIL PLANS".]

Posted by hugh macleod at July 6, 2009 8:20 PM | TrackBack


I found this quote, and thought it relevant to Stormhoek:

"Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy." ~ Benjamin Franklin


Posted by: J.R. Holland at July 7, 2009 9:35 AM