Monday, August 10, 2015

the sherries that are just a bit more

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I promise to stop bitching about my job hunt.

As a friend said, in between handfuls of M&M's ... guys, it's not about the destination, it's about the journey. We'd all like to think that, wouldn't we. In any case, it's a good philosophy, easily applicable to many things. Including wine marketing. I was asked what I would do to boost slowing sales growth of traditional wine brands - the kind of brands that were once moving well, but are now boring and old-fashioned. We're constantly looking for the next best thing, so how do we keep old brands alive? The answer - one I should have expressed clearer when I was asked - is simply marketing fundamentals. Who are your customers? What are your targets/KPI's? Getting solid data will let you decide your marketing mix. Is digital/social the answer? In my opinion, no. Not for traditional brands. What is then? Today's wine drinkers are savvier than ever, and far more adventurous than mature consumers. But if we're not using digital to reach them, because let's be real, digital won't solve this problem, how do we find these consumers, engage them, and keep them coming back to these brands? We do two things, both with a mind to engage new and mature consumers, as well as to leverage the vast amount of data available. Firstly, it's all about going small. With the data we have now, we can create ever more customized, smaller marketing campaigns that are targeted to the specific niches being served by each brand. Secondly, these smaller campaigns allow for brands to be presented in the way they were meant to be - intimately, making them unforgettable.

Last year this week, I was happy. I was midway through my second internship, in Zaragoza, and taking advantage of their annual week-long summer vacation, I was back in Barcelona. Nothing but sun, long runs to the beach, dinner and drinks with friends. Never, not for a single minute, was I ungrateful for the summer I was having - the opportunity to do wine-related projects that I loved, meeting super cool people outside of the MBA. Having the time of my life, as they say. I drank this pair ... and what an incredible find. Equipo Navazos is a project that looks for rare and excellent soleras, bottling them in limited quantities. Story here. Very hard to find, and while not priced aggressively, they certainly aren't in-expensive either. Incredibly interesting, unique wines, that I feel fortunate to have tasted. The first, the 2010 La Bota de Florpower Nº 53 "Más Allá - a non-fortified palomino, essentially a vintage manzanilla, aged under flor but with no brandy added. As you can see, it's labelled MMX ... something about a regulatory issue preventing them from vintage labelling. Bright, pure, expressive with lots of dry extract and texture. A powerful example of what this varietal can do as a table wine. The second, the La Bota de Manzanilla (42) - shades of the same colour. Tensile and vivid minerality, with great concentration and focus on the palate. Almost hard to describe, the pair of them. I hope 'wow' suffices.

I have grandiose plans in wine. In wine marketing and brand management. I just need a chance now to prove it. Thinking about the summer I had in Barcelona and the steps I've taken since to get here ...

DF

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