Have you committed a Cardinal Zin?

Cardzin This marketing truth stings.  Just because you care about it, doesn’t mean anyone else does.

Whether you are the creator/inventor, business owner, assembly line foreman, sales manager or marketing genius — what matters to you may very well not matter one iota to your consumers or potential consumers.

In other words, they don’t want to buy what you’re selling.

That doesn’t mean they don’t want to buy.  It means you need to get out of the way.  It means you need to be smart enough to learn what matters to or influences them.

Roberta Rosenberg over at Copywriting Maven talks about the need to understand your audience before you open your marketing mouth.

Scrape Let’s look at a concrete example.  90% of wine drinkers know or care very little about varietals (vine types), bouquet (aroma), depth (layers of taste) or any of the factors that wine makers and connoisseur think are most important.  If you owned a winery, because it matters to you, you’d assume it matters to the consumers.  You’d be 90% wrong.

For a very long time, wineries seemed to market their product based on either quality (which most of us didn’t understand or know how to evaluate) or price.   But, as Valeria Maltoni tell us over at Conversation Agent, product packaging is changing the way wine is evaluated.

Admit it, you’ve bought wine simply because of the name or label.  They make us laugh or we think they’re cool or they create an aura we want to be a part of.

Cats We can’t tell a heady bouquet from a cloudy composition.  But we can tell whether our friends would be amused  by  sharing some Cardinal Zin or Cat’s Pee on a Gooseberry Bush!

The wineries are starting to get it in a big way.  Are you?

Do you sell your product or service based on your level of knowledge or interest?  Are you using terminology that makes your consumers feel like an outsider or stupid?  (Anyone else ever feel the clutch of panic when the waiter pours the dribble of wine and then waits for you to evaluate it?)

Maybe it’s time to look at your sales materials, website, presentations and other marketing tools.  Are they written based on what matters to you or your customer?

UPDATE:  Seems like we are all talking about wine this weekend!  Check out what Lonely Marketer Patrick Schaber discovered on a recent wine bottle.



Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

9 comments on “Have you committed a Cardinal Zin?

  1. Wine is just one of those great industries where few people are willing to admit the Emperor (Parker) Wears No Clothes. It’s a WOM market, in the absense of which we all default to price (!). Incredible. Can you imagine buying a computer like this?? I live on the Central Coast of Ca and am dying to work with a vinyard just so I can run amok on naming conventions.

  2. Sherry Borzo says:

    As a wine consumer I know what you say here is true. We like pretty and interesting images and fun. But is it possible to “create” your audience through education? Perhaps it is harder this way but can those customers become more loyal? Anyway, when it comes to wine, the cover may get me to buy the idea but the taste will keep me coming back for more.

  3. Drew – interesting take on wine sales. Ironically, I had a post last night about a new peel-off label I found on the back of a bottle of wine we had last night. I thought it was a unique marketing effort. Maybe the wine industry is undergoing some changes?

  4. Thanks for the mention, Drew.

    About wine marketing/branding, ultimately it will come down to taste — although a cute/funny or even elegant label will catch my eye. But I generally like a semi-dry wine and will look further on the racks to find one at a price I consider reasonable.

    I might take a pass on “Cat Whizz”, though.

  5. Hey, I’m late to the party, but I’ve brought my own Brunello di Montalcino — and I promise you’ll like it, even with the complicated label and complex taste.

  6. Stephen,

    Agreed, there still seems to be some stigma to admitting ignorance when it comes to buying wine.

    I think in some ways, many people do buy computers the exact same way. Most computer users can’t even tell the difference between RAM and hard drive size. They buy on brand name and the floor salesperson’s comments.


  7. Sherry and Roberta — buying a wine and returning to it because we like the taste is very different from being a truly educated buyer who knows about grapes, growing seasons, vitner’s awards and bouquets.

    Of course, if the clever bottle contains swill, most people will not buy it. But, I think the as long as the wine is pretty good — we don’t know any better and are likely to buy it again.

    Sherry — to answer your question — sure, you can opt to be a vineyard who focuses on really educating the consumer. But you have to really figure out if you’re doing that because you think its that important or if your consumer is asking for it.

    I’d bet $20 that most often the consumer is content with stumbling upon a pretty good tasting wine and doesn’t need or want to understand how it got to be that way.


  8. Patrick,

    I think the wine industry has finally gotten off its high horse and realized that you do not have to have a trained nose to buy wine. And that if they pay attention to what matters to the buyer, rather than themselves, they will sell a whole lot more!


  9. Valeria,

    You’re not late…you’re just fashionable! Now does that bottle come with a screw off top?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *