Because the wine industry needs a kick up the pants

 

So after a year or so of being quiet, Cork’d and its overarching concept have been given much recognition in the past 2 weeks. Gary Vaynerchuck has gone from strength to strength over the past two years, and we can only wait in anticipation to see what he does with Cork’d. Already Cork’d has been tipped as one of the top 10 best designed sites in the world, and as Gary V. is undoubtedly heading toward being one of the most successful players in the industry, the two will surely make a happy union. corkd.png

This year we’ve seen Wine X magazine fall by the wayside, and perhaps Cork’d'll now rise to fill the niche which Wine X was never quite able to: the community of young, experimental and down to earth wine consumers.

Grapethinking waits in anticipation for Wine 2.0 where much of the future will be delineated and many partnerships will be forged as a group of young world beaters step up to discuss how things are going to be once direct-shipping laws are loosened and distributors lose their stronghold.

Gary V. has begun to check the boxes needed to ensure his place in history by:

  1. Establishing a reputable, nationwide, tech-driven, with-the-times medium to promote and sell high-class hand-selected wines to the American public at large.
  2. Winning the hearts and minds of the Wall Street Journal, NPR, Eric Asimov, bloggers, Grape Radio and a wide spread of enthusiasts around the country who take his word as gospel.
  3. Purchasing the first community for wine, with cutting edge Web 2.0 design and strong community features.

However, having been at the London Wine Fair for the past three days, with all the power and might of the internet, I couldn’t help but notice a gaping void. With the veritable firestorm in online media that has caught motor vehicle , merchandising, PR and media, even despite the efforts of Gary V., it would seem as if the producers themselves are trying to ignore the internet as a whole.

stormhoek.pngYou just have to love what has to say about the wine and spirits fair, because it’s what I privately thought and never had the guts to say the whole time I was a sales manager, and despite the genius and insight driven Stormhoek marketing miracle who have the brilliant little tag on their site ‘Stormhoek: because the wine industry need a kick up the pants’, every other person at the fair had virtually no online strategy and seemed intent on spending their marketing budgets the same way everyone else does. One wonders why certain wineries even bother having marketing people, when it seems they all just end up doing things the way they were done before.

The place was littered with mass-produced brochures; wine makers flown out and housed at great expense (with giant carbon footprints) and expensive and flashy stands all trying to out do the next. There simply has to be a more cost effective, efficient and useful way to market wines than this, and there’s no doubt the ultimate solution will be the internet. It can’t be disputed, and any attempt to dispute it is denial. So how many more uber trade-fairs and brochures and necktags needs to be printed before people wake up to this fact? Stormhoek has done in two years what same major South African wineries have and perhaps never will be able to do, and on a fraction of the budget.

Gary V. has created the outlet and he has the community, and Stormhoek has proved the power of the internet through their own savvy. However, for those who may be stuck in the last decade, a huge space exists for a number of companies to come give them a helping hand into the future. If Michel Rolland is a millionaire for telling people time and again to micro-oxygenate, then there’s going to be a lot of money in going from vineyard to vineyard and letting people know that they may want to wake up to this little thing that’s called the internet.

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Posted in Events, Marketing, News, Travel, Wine | 8 Comments »

  • http://www.pinotage.org Peter F May

    and expensive and flashy stands all trying to out do the next

    Interesting to note that Stormhoek had not only one large stand inside the show, but also two ‘expensive and flashy stands’ outside. So Stormhoek obviously think that having a large footprint at LIWSF is worthwhile.

    Good to meet you there; best of luck at Wine 2.0

  • http://www.pinotage.org Peter F May

    and expensive and flashy stands all trying to out do the next

    Interesting to note that Stormhoek had not only one large stand inside the show, but also two ‘expensive and flashy stands’ outside. So Stormhoek obviously think that having a large footprint at LIWSF is worthwhile.

    Good to meet you there; best of luck at Wine 2.0

  • http://www.pinotage.org Peter F May

    Gary V. has created the outlet and he has the community

    We ought to have a dialogue about GV. How about the proposition that – for all his praise from the web literate – he is just another salesman and the only difference between winetv and a TV commercial or sales channel is the medium??

    And Vinappris does it live every day from 17:00 to 01:00 see http://www.vinappris.com/showsfeed/today/vinappris.htm

  • http://www.pinotage.org Peter F May

    Gary V. has created the outlet and he has the community

    We ought to have a dialogue about GV. How about the proposition that – for all his praise from the web literate – he is just another salesman and the only difference between winetv and a TV commercial or sales channel is the medium??

    And Vinappris does it live every day from 17:00 to 01:00 see http://www.vinappris.com/showsfeed/today/vinappris.htm

  • http://goodwineunder20.blogspot.com Dr. Debs

    Interesting post. I do think more wineries need to get on board with this internet thing, but we do see signs of that happening. And I think trade shows are here to stay, in large part because it’s still probably the most economical way for producers to let lots of folks TASTE lots of wine. Let’s face it, reading about drinking wine, or even seeing Gary drink it on TV, is just not the same thing as tasting it yourself–though we wine bloggers do try!

  • http://goodwineunder20.blogspot.com Dr. Debs

    Interesting post. I do think more wineries need to get on board with this internet thing, but we do see signs of that happening. And I think trade shows are here to stay, in large part because it’s still probably the most economical way for producers to let lots of folks TASTE lots of wine. Let’s face it, reading about drinking wine, or even seeing Gary drink it on TV, is just not the same thing as tasting it yourself–though we wine bloggers do try!

  • http://www.recipe4living.com Nancy

    Although reading about wine is not like actually tasting it, it has been my experience as a consumer that I’ve often had a great bottle of wine at a restaurant and then been unable to find it locally. I live in the Chicago area and you’d think I wouldn’t have that problem. This is especially true of French and Italian wines.

    Worse still, is I’m often unable to find it on the internet either. In either case it can be extremely frustrating. I agree that more wineries need to be user friendly and more present on the internet. Thanks for pointing out the obvious.

  • http://www.recipe4living.com Nancy

    Although reading about wine is not like actually tasting it, it has been my experience as a consumer that I’ve often had a great bottle of wine at a restaurant and then been unable to find it locally. I live in the Chicago area and you’d think I wouldn’t have that problem. This is especially true of French and Italian wines.

    Worse still, is I’m often unable to find it on the internet either. In either case it can be extremely frustrating. I agree that more wineries need to be user friendly and more present on the internet. Thanks for pointing out the obvious.

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