A recent article about Toronto’s new private wine clubs in Toronto Life got me to thinking about all the ways we put ourselves in a box and miss the opportunities right around us. [level-members]
To be fair, sometimes the boxes we find ourselves in are not of our own making. State regulators have something to say about what we can and cannot do as wine shop owners.
But there’s still plenty of room for thinking a bit more broadly. (I’m going to do all I can to avoid talking about boxes and envelopes and the like. Can’t talk about pushing boundaries if you’re not even willing to do it with your writing …)
And thinking more broadly might mean doing more with your wine club than offering a monthly selection and member discount, or even member-only offerings.
You might consider partnering with a local restaurant to create a club night, a la the private wine clubs in Toronto. Depending on your audience, the evening can be exclusive or fun or educational or, ideally, a combination of all of the above.
Another possibility is pairing with one of the many personal chefs or food prep services to offer the ingredients and instructions for creating a great wine dinner – something adventurous and themed around a particular cuisine or star ingredient. And with, of course, fantastic pairing recommendations from your shop included in the package.
The sky’s the limit – regulations not withstanding – and you have a great opportunity to generate real excitement around your brand.
One last note: don’t blame your audience if they don’t warm up to these ideas immediately. You have to find the right ideas, certainly, but you also have to attract the right audience. That’s a bit of push-me, pull-you moment, but you’ve got to start walking the walk if you’re going to talk the talk. Offer the extras that will interest the audience you want to attract. They’ll find you.