You have a choice as a wine shop owner: recognize that a significant portion of your customers are at least a little insecure about choosing wine and give them the stamp of approval they crave, unconsciously or otherwise. Or [level-members]you can ignore that and let big-budget marketing and major food and wine publications direct them.
The former is a better path. Not only does it let you stock your shop with more interesting choices than you’d be able to if you went the big-marketing path, but it frees you from playing the commodity pricing game. Best of all, it makes you the expert, and allows you to build a “trusted advisor” relationship with your clients.
Look at the experts who have made very nice livings telling other people what to think. Siskel and Ebert and every other big-time movie critic. Restaurant reviewers. Robert Parker!
You don’t have to blaze an entirely new trail – there’s a lot to be said for the safety of sticking to a well-worn path. But don’t make the mistake of walking that path exactly the same way everyone before you has. Stock your shop with something other than the mass-market brands. Go beyond Chardonnay, Cabernet, and Merlot. Take a stand and help your customers make better choices – for themselves and for you. [/level-members]