This morning I spoke to a crowd of about 40 participants at a wine marketing workshop hosted by Oregon Wine Board. The focus was on outlining the key elements of a business plan, drilling into the specifics of the marketing plan, and discussing best practices for getting started, implementation and creating a culture that seeks continuous improvement. I was impressed by the good comments from the crowd and thoughtful questions. If you would like a copy of the presentation, please email me.
Katherine Cole, wine writer for the Portland Oregonian, also posted a piece on marketing wine to women which quoted me. When asked about my thoughts on the subject, my mind immediately went back to a period in my marketing life where I was put in the unenviable position of promoting low-carb wine. (Not a good feeling considering that I knew it would be ridiculed by the press -- the worst is that one of these articles lives on to this day.) While this wasn't specifically aimed at only women, it is yet another example of trying to take advantage of a fad versus truly creating something meaningful for one's target audience.
It's important to keep in mind that my comments were directed toward the Oregon wine industry specifically. I do not have sales data on Bitch wines, so there is a possibility that the brand may be going gangbusters in its selected target market. In the end we're all in business so if Bitch is a creation women are buying and loving, more power to them. For Oregon, however, where the costs tend to be higher and the output lower, I do not see this as an effective way to reach women.
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