The Grapevine

Open Minds Make for Better Wine Shop Marketing

June 14th, 2017

Do you remember the band Kiss? Face paint. Fire. Gene Simmons and his tongue. My cousin made me blind-listen to Kiss to get my true opinion, since lots of “cool” kids thought they were stupid.

I won that battle – I though they sounded stupid, too – but I think of that experience often when talking about marketing because a lot of what we do as marketers is help people keep an open mind. [level-members]

You can do this a lot of different ways, though blind tastings come immediately to mind. (Hence the story above.)

To do this, set up tasting of, say, all New Jersey wines. Don’t tell people that they’re all wines from New Jersey. Just ask them if they can pick out the Jersey wine. Many will bow to their preconceived notions that wine doesn’t come from New Jersey and pick the “worst” wine as the one from “down the shore.” That gives you the opportunity to point out that all the wines they just tasted were Jersey wines.

(I’m not picking on New Jersey here. They do seem to be getting some attention for their wines.)

Your goal in this kind of tasting should definitely NOT be to embarrass people (though we all have those customers we’d love to embarrass …). Your aim should be to get them to open their minds, try new things, and embrace a welcoming attitude toward things outside their comfort zone.

You then become their comfort zone, a trusted advisor in the world of wine and person who can be trusted, even if you say wine from New Jersey is pretty good.