Marketing – Napa Style


So, I went to Napa with some college sorority sisters this past weekend. And I had an amazing time. Sidebar: Life is short people, go spend some time with those you care about.

Our goal: Drink wine, celebrate turning 40 and catch up (oh, and laugh until we pee which I’m proud to say without naming names that at least one of us accomplished).

Before we begin, here’s what I know about wine:

1. I like red better than white

2. My favorite kind is Pinot Noir (although I’m pretty sure that’s only b/c the first time I had it, I was in Capetown, South Africa and it sounded cool)

3. I mainly drink to be social

Basically, I’m a disgrace to wine connessieurs everywhere and I’m perfectly ok with that.

In fact, our bed & breakfast guy called our group “a bunch of yahoos”.  When I asked him to describe what he meant he said “people that don’t really know anything about wine & will only buy a bottle or 2 per place”.

Well, excuse us!

I would be offended but he had a point. At one place we took turns trying to guess ingredients and one of my friends said “pine” as in the tree. I’ll let you all marinate on that statement for a minute.

Basically, we are the dead opposite of a master sommelier.

I admit this to you for one reason only. To prove that for me (and my group) it was not about the wine.

And I think that’s the #1 mistake marketers make, they only cater to their core audience.

Now, before anyone freaks out, I firmly believe you HAVE to cater to the core which is why Napa has wineries that only allow 8 people a day, have a wait list of over 2 years and charge $500+ bottle. And why we in sports, give our best perks to our Season Ticket Members.

But my point is, as a Marketer, what you need to do to “grow” your market is figure out why someone like me is coming to Napa and get me to buy/engage/etc.

Two wineries did this well and stood out above the rest.

Here’s why.

1. Failla Wines – this was NOT the best wine of the trip. But, it was good wine at a good price in a good atmosphere. AND,  it is the only place that every single person in my group bought 2 bottles of wine. Why? They waived the tasting fee when you bought 2 bottles of wine. Not a hard concept, yet no other winery we went to or that I saw did this. Simple, basic marketing principle of make it easy for people to try your product. And guess what? IT worked.

IMG_5965[1]2. Duck Horn Vineyards – You have probably heard of this wine. My friends were all raving about it. And when we went to check our party in the hostess said “if you check in on FaceBook, you’ll get 10% off any wine you purchaase”. So, we all checked in immediately and we were flooded with various friends around the country oohing and ahhing with jealousy over where we were at. Which resulted in me buying 4 bottles b/c i had friends validating the wine & I got a discount. Simple, basic marketing principle of believe in your product and let your fans talk for you. And guess what? IT worked.

So there it is.

2 different strategies of gaining audience share that should work for any buisness. And 2 different ways, people got sales from people not intending to buy.


So, I’ve been depressed and haven’t felt like writing. In fact, my last post was 3/31.

My grandpa died and it put me in a funk.

And I went through a fairly dramatic (at least in my own head) “everyone is getting old and dying and so am I phase” so writing was not the top of my priority.

I think about my grandpa everyday and not sure that will stop nor sure I ever want it too.

I cry more (specifically around family but in general as well)

I shifted priorities to things I think matter more.

I’m sad alot.

But, today I decided that what my grandpa would want more than anything is for me to keep on living.

To keep doing the things I love and spending time with those I love.

So, that is what I’m going to do.

And since writing is one of the things I enjoy, you can expect to see more blog posts soon.