Saturday, November 21, 2009

Marketing and Me

Jeff over at Good Grape: A Wine Manifesto wrote a very interesting article on the influence of marketing groups on the trends of consumer wine buying. He uses Chile's marketing push with the group Wines of Chile as an example. I find it interesting, not only because of the subject matter, but also because he decided to interview me for it and included a small quote from yours truly.

The spotlights of fame are already highlighting my way. If you actually went and read the article, you'll notice that I don't say much. Maybe fame is not in my future after all.

But the idea that the next wine trend is in the hands of the marketers is still very interesting. It really means that whomever has enough money and is posed at the right moment in history can turn an unknown region into a superstar. And I cannot highlight the right moment in time enough. I would argue that right now is Chile's time. The US wine consumer is looking for wine under $20, and Chile delivers. So does Argentina, who is up an insane amount, as does New Zealand, who rounds out the only three countries that have shown an increase in volume coming into the US in 2009 through August.

Is that about marketing? I know that there is a LOT of French marketing going on right now. Australia has not let up. So obviously there has to be more than marketing behind a wine region. You need buy-in from the real influences of the wine industry, retail sales people and servers (note, not sommeliers, but servers, AKA waiters/waitresses. There are a lot more restaurants that have servers than there are restaurants that have sommeliers). And then you need buy-in from the people drinking the wine.

There are so many factors that it boggles the mind. But if you do it right, and keep at it for several years, eventually the money pays off. Like right now, with Chile.

Note: Within the last year I worked for the marketing organization Wines of Chile.
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