Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Whole Package is Important

Let's say that you are a not-unknown blogger, who on a regular occasion received packages from wineries, distilleries, and a few other 'ies.' Let us further suppose that on a regular basis it is the items within the package are someones products that they would like for you to review. Many come in ugly packages, brown boxes, Styrofoam cases, and all other manner of ways that probably harm the environment. You are used to them all, but notice each one and it gives an immediate sense of how the sender thought about their products.

So, what do you think the person that sent me this box thinks about their product:

Today I received that in the mail. It is a used paper ream box, stuffed with brown paper, with each of the bottles of wine (yes, multiple) were surrounded by one sheet of bubble wrap and a rubber band. There was a perfectly neat and pretty press kit sitting on top of this mess.

People, the whole package matters. PR/Marketing to wine writers is all about judgments and the careful balance of impressions. This kind of packaging does NOT make a good impression. It immediately makes me think that the wines inside are "cheap," "unloved," "uncared for," "probably not worth my time to open and taste."

Sure, I understand, I am only a blogger. I do not write for a syndicated publication. No other blogger talks about me, I have never been highlighted by anyone else as being worth listening to. In fact, I am not sure why you are sending wines to me in the first place. However, you have no idea who reads my blog (besides my mother that is, you've probably figured out by now that she reads my blog and probably buys a good deal of wine). It is both the biggest problem and the greatest advantage to the Internet. You never know where the next news story will come from and if it is YOUR product that is going to ride the wave.

Give your product every opportunity. There are plenty of other people that are making their products look really good. There is no need to make your wine look worse.

For the record, I will taste these wines, far from this discarded box. I will taste them among other wines and judge them for what they are worth, rather than how the sending felt about them.

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