Recently I had the pleasure of hearing Converse’s CMO Geoff Cottrill speak at a Boston Ad Club event. His approach to marketing is exactly where brands should be as content marketing evolves and we move into the social era. Converse does some traditional advertising, but it is not central to their brand promise or customer engagement strategy. Their approach dovetails nicely with this HBR blog post explaining how in the social age, media pipes are less important, and people are the channel. This was the foundation of Geoff’s talk – as he opened with the comment that “people are media”. Here are some highlights I took away from Converse’s marketing approach:
• “People as media” means turning your customers into brand advocates by starting conversations and bringing like-minded people together. Helping instead of selling and understanding your customer’s persona and the essence of the brand connection.
• Converse strives for authenticity and knows exactly who they are and who is the core customer. The days of being a performance sneaker are long in the past and they focus on the musicians, skateboarders and fashion conscious people who make the brand part of their lifestyle.
• In a sense, they create a platform for creativity and self-expression – both through the shoes (a blank canvas that can be customized) and their Rubber Tracks music studio where they help aspiring musicians record original music. Below is an example of music created as part of a series "Three Artists, One Song" - "Warrior" is a song by New Zealand singer Kimbra, featuring Mark Foster of the American indie pop band Foster the People and Canadian electro house DJ A-Trak.
• Converse wants to own their media, not rent it. There is little interest in slapping their name on an event they don’t own. With their worldwide social presence (including 36 million Facebook fans) and web site, they have aggregated an audience of nearly 120 million – those are Super Bowl numbers. In contrast to the Super Bowl, they own their media channel and have an existing permission based relationship with the community.
• Converse knows what business it is really in – sure they sell sneakers and apparel – but it is bigger than the products. They are a lifestyle brand that stands for originality, creativity and a rebellious sprit. The products help enable and enhance the lifestyle for their loyal community. They know it is all about the customer, not the brand.
The sellout crowd of over 300 left with much to think about and a $50 Converse gift card – new converts to Converse Nation.
While social media and mobile marketing often get the buzz three new studies have pointed to content marketing being the top priority for marketers in 2013. There is now widespread and growing acceptance of the practice of brands creating original content to engage and inspire prospects and customers. In the B2B space, the use of content to bring insight to customers while positioning company as a thought leader has topped enabling sales and generating demand according to one study.
A study from Econsultancy and Adobe shows that content marketing has leapfrogged social media into the top spot – an increase of 10 points over 2012.
A new offering from CopyPress shows over a third of marketers consider content marketing to be their leading focus, up from 19% last year and ahead of social media. The study also shows that among custom content tactics, articles, video and white papers deliver the best bang for the buck for ROI, though videos are still considered expensive to produce.
ITSMA’s latest version of their Services Marketing Budget Allocations and Trends, 2008-2013 states that the top priority for B2B marketer is “Developing thought leadership content that drives business”. A steady climb up the ranks since placing 7th among priorities as recently as 2009. The tracking study also shows that budget is being moved into content marketing and demand generation via digital channels and custom events and away from traditional advertising, sponsorships and trade shows.
These studies show the culmination of a movement that has been happening for several years and now reaching critical mass. Marketers are also realizing after the excitement of social media has worn away those social channels are not very effective without meaningful content to engage. Social gimmicks and other flash in the pans don’t create long lasting customer relationships or loyal advocates. In world where consumers are in control and the buyer’s journey has changed, content has become the preeminent marketing tactic.
To get some added insight on how to create content for your brand, please download our free ebook "The Right Content and the Right Time"
Guest post from Michael Blumfield a member of the King Fish content team. You can find his site here.
I stand before you today to present the case against LinkedIn for acts of deception, manipulation, and general ickiness that undermine its status in the vanguard of the marketing revolution.
As you are well aware from countless stories in forward-looking publications such as Fast Company, Wired and Disney Kids Magazine, we are in the midst of a fundamental reordering of our communications structure. No longer are we, the people, subject to the will of unseen powers. We are now the agents of power. We have access to virtually unlimited information. We have channels of sharing our views to as wide an audience as we choose (as long as that audience shares our appreciation for Justin Bieber and Katy Perry).
A new order has emerged. Transparency is the law. Content is king. Unfounded claims will be torn asunder by an army of commentators, some of whom can actually spell.
At the dawn of our revolution, LinkedIn was there, standing proud, eager and willing to help make connections among the people. It launched before Facebook, before Twitter, before the iPhone, even —in the dim and distant time known as 2003.
Comrades, you remember those early, heady days – days when you felt anything was possible. Days when you thought if you could get your second-cousin’s third-level connection to accept your invitation, you were just a few clicks away from setting up a lunch with the CEO of a company you were targeting.
Such visions, and other less grandiose notions of how LinkedIn could serve as a tool of business, are under threat – by LinkedIn itself! Allow me to present just two recent examples from personal experience:
The Elite 10% Club Falsity – Just this morning I awoke to learn I had achieved a special status. I was, according to LinkedIn, among the top 10% of all LinkedIn users whose profiles had been scanned by others. In other words, without my awareness, it turns out I am very popular. VERY popular. With 200 million users worldwide, I am more popular than 180 million other users.
After a 20-minute personal rendition of “We Are the Champions” that echoed throughout my neighborhood as I walked my dog (who seemed particularly eager to return home, for some reason), it dawned on me that perhaps I was not so special after all. I mean, I did have close to 9 people look at my profile in the past week, but is that really so extraordinary? I did some checking. Apparently, people who literally have HUNDREDS of people looking at their profile every day did NOT get an invitation from LinkedIn to put a Top 10% Gold Star on their site! In other words, I had been manipulated in a fashion no different than the people who publish the Who’s Who series of books – a shameless play to my vanity! This is not just old-school marketing. This is from a time when the school was in a cave and the “blackboard” was festooned with drawings of wooly mammoths and mastodons!
The You’re-Great-At-Email Skill Skewer – A few months ago, I received a notice that a connection of mine had praised my ability at email marketing. Which was strange, given that 1) I don’t particularly think of email marketing as an extraordinary talent of mine and 2) the endorser has never worked with me or even met me. Then I got more and more people saying I was good at email marketing – not the 14 other things I listed as among my skills. Just emailing.
Shortly thereafter, I saw how this had come to be. LinkedIn – bloody counterrevolutionary organization that it is – had “suggested” to these folks that I was Mr. Email Marketing, didn’t they agree? I was invited to endorse similar skills of folks I knew --- all of whom were ending up with as lopsided a set of endorsements as mine. So now when I have lunch with that CEO, all he’s going to want to talk about is how come everybody assumes the only thing I’m any good at is emailing?
But alas, comrades, I cannot allow the only defendant in this case to be a faceless corporation that is driven by profit and a desire to please shareholders. No, comrades, I must point the finger at you and me.
The I’ll-Sleep-With-Anybody-Who-Asks Factor – In those early days, I valiantly turned away people who sought a connection if I didn’t know them. I naively believed in the premise of LinkedIn – that I could share my group of connections with others who had a separate group of connections. I might have had only 43 people in my listings, but dammit, those were 43 people I knew well! If you wanted an introduction to any of them, I’d be happy to help.
Pretty soon, I began to look a bit pathetic with my 43 connections. Friends of mine were showing 250, 300, 400, even 500+ connections. Wow, I thought, they’re really special folks to know so many people! One time, an actual connection of mine – a guy with 500+ connections – listed on LinkedIn the name of a person very high up at a company that I wanted to do some work with. I called up my friend and asked what the guy was like. “Oh, hmm, let me see,” he said. “I think I met him at a party once. I can’t tell you much more than that.”
I should have stopped right there and sworn I would never follow my friend along this path to the Land of Make-Believe Connections. But I didn’t. I accepted invitations from people I kinda sorta remembered just to bump up that total number of connections. I accepted invitations from folks who would tell the world how great I was at email marketing, even though we had never met.
Once the wheel of karma rolled over me and squished out most of my self-worth, I decided to put an end to it. For a couple of weeks now, I’ve not responded to invitations to connect from people I don’t know. I’ve ignored suggestions to connect with others I barely know. I’ve even deleted a few people whom I couldn’t say anything more about than my friend with the 500+ connections who thought maybe he met that guy at a party.
And so, comrades, I turn over the next phase of this trial to you. Will you continue my line of prosecution of LinkedIn? Will you rise to its defense?
First of a two part post on why Subaru is finding sales success in the U.S. Part one is by King Fish Content Strategy Team member Anna Goldsmith of the Hired Pens. Part two next week by King Fish CMO Gordon Plutsky on their customer retention strategy. They are both happy Subaru owners.
"You Don't Have to Be Everything to Everyone. You Have to Be Something to Someone."
By Anna Goldsmith
Further dispatches from the world of smart branding: On my way home from dropping my son off at school, I was flipping around the radio and stopped on an interview on NPR Business News with Jake Fisher, director of auto testing at Consumer Reports.
They were talking about how Subaru had been able to increase sales by nearly a third in recent years while other car companies were just trying to keep their heads (or turbo-charged V6 engines) above water.
So what is Subaru doing right? Actually it's what we try to convince our clients to do every day: Find your audience and speak to them, just them. Trying to appeal to everyone, well, sounds appealing. When you crunch the numbers, though, it doesn't work.
Successful companies like Subaru boldly define who they are and go after THAT audience, not EVERY audience. It's as simple as picking a story that works and finding some reliable copywriters to tell that story right.
Subaru will never be a giant car company — and it shouldn't be. As Jake Fisher explains, Subaru can serve as an example for other carmakers looking to grow:
"They've kind of taken this slow, systematic approach and just really concentrated on what they needed to do to be competitive in the market. … I don't think they have to be a Toyota; they don't have to be everyone else. They don't have to be everything to everyone; they have to be something to someone."
So is who is Subaru targeting exactly? Well, I drive a Subaru and so do all my friends. Who are we? The sketch comedy "Portlandia" dedicated a whole sketch to us liberal-leaning 30-40 somethings.
The way I like to sum it up is this: We think spending a ton of money on a car is a waste; in fact, we wish we didn't have to drive one at all. But since we do, we'll take one that is safe and at least vaguely stylish, can handle well in the snow and has enough room for hauling around our kids/skis/dogs. And, oh yeah, we wouldn't be caught dead in a minivan. Even the Cadillac of minivans.
BTW: You can find the whole article or listen to the live show here — including the "Portlandia" clip.
All ads referenced can be seen here on Ad Age.com
1. Storytelling Works – Long form ads from Jeep (with Oprah) and Dodge Ram (with Paul Harvey) really created an emotional connection by reaching deep into our collective consciousness highlighting veterans and farmers. Similar long form stories also worked for Tide, Taco Bell and Mercedes-Benz. Best Buy had the best celebrity tie in with a very funny Amy Poehler.
2. Earned Media should be a goal for ROI– The previews and buzz around the ads create a huge amount of earned media that can represent a positive ROI payback. Details in this WSJ article - the extended legs with bloggers and media helps justify the expense.
3. Social Media Connections: A Mixed Bag - Twitter was mentioned in 50 percent of the spots that aired during CBS’ game coverage. Facebook was mentioned in only four ads and Google+, not at all. YouTube and Instagram were even mentioned once each, by Hyundai and Oreo, respectively. This is shockingly low considering how many of the target audiences were on social media during the game, and will watch the ads today online. A huge missed opportunity. This should be concerning for Facebook as they try to generate more revenue for social commerce and marketers. As an aside, my own Facebook news feed was very quiet during the game.
4. Marketing in Real Time – The action on Twitter was hot and heavy and the blackout afforded nimble marketers such as Oreo and Audi to act quickly. While everyone is all excited about Oreo “winning” the night, the real test will be to look at their sales over the next few weeks. Audi’s gentle slap at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome was funny. "RT @Audi: Sending some LEDs to the @MBUSA Superdome right now..."
Also, Major League Baseball jumped to remind everyone spring training was on the way. All well done and a lesson on how to be relevant in real time. Watching the Super Bowl has become a communal two-screen experience for millions. The action on Twitter is fun and makes the game and the commercials even better. Marketers need to do a better job leveraging this phenomenon.
5. Time to Move On – The Go Daddy.com gross-fest is pretty much at the limit and the E-Trade Baby is completely out of gas. Personally, I am sick of the Doritos consumer generated ads. Cute idea several years ago, now just amateurish frat humor.
God Made a Farmer image from Ram's Super Bowl Ad
Super Bowl Sunday is not only the day we crown the NFL champion, but the biggest day in marketing too. CBS has sold out its inventory that fetched roughly $3.8 million for 30 seconds of airtime. An expensive proposition even before you factor in production cost for the creative. Is it worth it? How can companies get the most bang for their huge investment?
Digiday.com (http://www.digiday.com/brands/what-a-4-mil-superbowl-ad-could-buy-in-digital/) put together a great list of what else you can buy for $4 million including 100 million impressions on Hulu, Twitter’s promoted trending topic every day for a month or a portal roadblock every day for a week. These would get attention and drive measurable ROI for your brand.
When looking at the recent past of Super Bowl commercials I am reminded of this quote from Sun Tzu’s Art of War – “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”
Over the years we have seen a variety of tactics aimed more at generating buzz and awards than really advancing brands – in other words noise. For many brands, their Super Bowl efforts have become as predictable as the Patriots coming up short in the playoffs. The commercials are usually some combination of kids/dogs/celebrities/pretty women and dopey men in an attempt to be funny, provocative or cute. Everyone loves the E-Trade baby, but does he really still move the brand forward. And, the Go Daddy/Danica Patrick partnership is stale and tired – and what does it tell me about the value of their service? Both of these campaigns are scheduled to run again this year.
To be successful on Super Sunday marketers need to view the venue as part of a larger campaign not a one-off opportunity to be amusing. A recent survey by advertiser Century 21 confirms what we’d all expect – “36% say they'll use a second screen to supplement the game-viewing experience. They'll be checking sports news apps on their phone or tablet for breaking, behind-the-scene commentary. And 52% say they'll use social media during the game. They'll be talking about the game and — what else — the commercials.” (Mashable). (http://mashable.com/2013/01/28/super-bowl-survey-second-screen-big-game/)
The fact that fully half of viewers will be on social media leads to the conclusion that your Super Bowl Ad must be part of a larger, long term digital campaign to truly drive ROI for your brand.
Here are some other ways to get value for your $4 million:
Break some news; tell the audience something new about your company. Mercedes-Benz is announcing the new CLA class – likely to be a lower price point entry-level car. (http://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/benz/innovation/future/model-2014_CLA)
Have a strong call to action back to a social platform or your web site. Give viewers something to do with all those smartphones, tablets and laptops that will be at the ready. A Paramount Pictures ad for a new Star Trek movie will be tied into a mobile app.
Wonderful Pistachios is driving viewers to a Facebook contest app where they can upload a picture of how they “Get Crackin’ Gangnam Style” to win a one year lease to a Merecedes SLK250, the car featured in the Gangnam Style video. (https://www.facebook.com/wonderfulpistachios/app_446442892072121)
Think in terms of sharable content; make the ads and extensions easily accessible and shareable through Facebook and Twitter. Both will see huge spikes in traffic on Sunday and your brand should be part of the conversation.
The ad and integrated digital campaign should do more then just entertain; they should demonstrate value to the customer and help move them down the decision making process. This could be accomplished by sending them to a site with content and information that takes them deeper into your brand. The idea that “helping is selling” can be extended to your Super Bowl campaign as marketers should be striving to make a long term emotional connection with customers rather than just a fleeting laugh.
1. Present a Unique Point of View - Are you providing insight and opinions that bring something new to the topic? Being remarkable can sometimes mean being controversial or taking a contrary stand, or at least having a strong opinion. There is plenty of bland content out there, so be thought provoking. Bringing real insight is a way to generate comments, stimulate conversation and encourage sharing. You want to drive an action, and being different is a good way to start.
2. Make it Sharable – One question to ask before publishing content: Would my target audience share it or recommend it? Think of it like the NetPromoter score. An endorsement from an advocate has more meaning than almost any other method of distributing your content. People rely on the opinions of peers, so create something your audience will want to share.
3. Prove your Point with Data – It is easy to have an opinion, but you will be more remarkable if you build a case with data, research and sourced facts. If you want your audience to rely on and share your content, you need to make a solid, defendable case.
4. Invest in Design - Present your content in an engaging manner for an audience that is likely overwhelmed with constant information. Smart use of design, graphics, photos, video and other elements add to accessibility and understanding. Your final format should be easy to read with clear entry points throughout, guiding the reader through your remarkable copy. Social media and mobile platforms have helped create shorter attention spans, so you need to grab your audience’s interest quickly.
5. Tell a Story – No one wants to go back to his or her school days of reading dry textbooks. Storytelling is an ancient tradition and how we are wired to learn. When content is put into the context of a compelling story, you inspire your audience to connect and communicate with your brand. Also, tell a clean and simple story with good clear writing, as no one has time to decipher a puzzle.
6. Be an Expert – Nothing is more important to creating remarkable content than having it written by a subject matter expert who is well versed in your industry. Your audience will not engage with content that is written at a superficial or amateurish level. The quality of writing is critical, as it must be at the level of today’s major media newspapers, magazine and websites. It goes without saying that spelling and grammar need to be impeccable, so hire a copy editor if you must.
7. Be a Platform - Make your site/blog the hub of your digital marketing universe; in fact think of it as a platform. From this platform engage and surround your customer with a variety of media types through social and mobile channels. You need to be everywhere your customers are consuming information.
8. Become a Lifestyle Brand vs. a Product - Understand who your customer is, what drives them and what you mean in their lives. Determine what business you are really in today. For example, Sephora is in the beauty empowerment business rather than just selling make-up. For Whole Foods, it is health and wellness, not groceries. Apple is a lifestyle while Samsung is a product, the difference is subtle but means everything for the long term.
Every year I put together content marketing/digital marketing predictions for the coming year. I have been trying to come up with something fresh and then it hit me that we may be past talking about how these tactics and platforms are the hot new thing. They have arrived. Digital platforms, including social and mobile have become the major force and channel for marketers. Content marketing and storytelling have become the primary engine for a company’s customer engagement strategies. The “new new thing” has become the thing.
There is still an important place in the marketing mix for traditional advertising across several platforms, but the method of interrupting people while they are consuming content and entertainment is on the wane. Readership of newspapers and magazines continue to decrease as does viewership of network television. Advertising is sort of like the personal computer, they both have a huge installed base and not going anywhere soon, but you get a sense their best days are behind them.
Marketers across a spectrum of companies know they need a content strategy if they are going to efficiently attract new customers and retain the ones they currently have. It is clear that to have a successful social media strategy, you need something to say and that is where your content strategy comes in to play.
Companies are also realizing that generating leads in the digital age is not all that hard, but converting them to customers is harder than ever. Content is a critical component of a nurture campaign to bring customers through the sales funnel to become a customer.
Another popular use of content is to build an emotional relationship with customers that supersede the need to sell on price and features. This article highlights a few companies doing it well, Coke, Red Bull, GE, Kraft and Nike. For some companies content can help transform a transactional sale into a lifestyle brand – this is what Coca-Cola and Red Bull have in mind by turning themselves into media brands.
This good piece from the Harvard Business School names the “Content Economy” the top trend to watch for 2013. Could not agree more, the time is now.
Here are a few other predictions for 2013. Let me know if you agree or have your own in the comments section.
The San Francisco 49ers will beat Peyton Manning’s Broncos in the Super Bowl. This will give SF a second championship to pair with the Giants’ World Series win.
Whatever deal the President and Congress come up with to avert the fiscal cliff with solve not a single long term problem. The economy will lag with 2% growth and 7.5%+ unemployment throughout 2013. Americans really want big government, but want the other guy to pay for it. Not a recipe for success.
The revamped American Idol will falter significantly in the ratings but still be on top due to an overall decline in network TV viewership.
Reality TV will steam ahead led by shows such the Real Housewife franchise and rural themed shows like Duck Dynasty. People prefer real life storytelling to redundant plots from scripted TV.
More newspapers will erect pay walls for online content as the banner ad business falls under price pressure and less people subscribe to print. Newsroom staffs will need to be drastically scaled back over time. More magazines will follow Newsweek and The Sporting News to an online only model.
Apple’s stumble on Maps was a giant mistake; it opens the door for Samsung and Google. The aura of an infallible company was burst in an instant, a lesson for everyone.
The Microsoft Surface and phones based on Windows 8 will not catch fire. RIM will sell itself to someone, perhaps Google. Tablets of all kinds will continue to sell furiously which means marketers need to think about mobile as a primary consumption platform vs. the web. Nearly half of all emails will be read on a mobile device.
I don’t think Apple has anything big up their sleeve when it comes to TV for release in 2013, but they are working on it for 2014.
Facebook stock will hover in the high 20’s as they throw everything at the wall to find revenue. Their long-term success is based on getting more money from companies to promote and sell their products via FB. Look for a big push for social commerce with Pinterest to follow. There is a limit to how much these platforms can make with ads alone.
Companies will try harder to monetize Twitter (now at 200 million active users) and drive sales with deals and retail tie ins. Twitter will need to find a better source of revenue than promoted tweets and trends. Look for them to foster more partnerships with television networks and Nielsen. Their future may be as a complimentary platform to broadcast and cable TV. Twitter is becoming the go to place for breaking news and quick reaction. And, over-reaction and feigned outrage, case in point this week’s change in terms of service for Instagram. You would think the world was ending.
Social Media experts and consultants will try and make you feel like you are missing out on the next hot thing and you are falling behind. They want you to believe they have figured it all out. Don’t stress, the famous line about Hollywood also applies to social media – “No one knows anything.” We are roughly 5 minutes into the social media era – now is the time to experiment and see what works for your company and brand. Keep trying new things and have some fun with it.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
Much buzz today about Apple’s decision to bring some Mac manufacturing and assembly back to the US from Asia. A smart move from a company that likes to take the lead, but one that is likely rooted in PR and marketing more than manufacturing. Details here from the WSJ. This will be a small test with little financial risk from an enormously wealthy company. However, it could be the beginning of a positive trend with multiple payoffs. Apple didn’t become the most valuable company on earth by being dumb or a follower. And, CEO Tim Cook’s expertise is in manufacturing/supply chain management and he appears to be leading the move.
There is clear evidence that labor costs in China are rising very quickly (17% a year, see chart below) while they remain flat in the US.
The significantly lower cost of labor was the driver to move jobs to China as the other factors such as shipping expense; language barriers, quality control and the fact you are dealing with a communist government make it less than optimal. Additionally, there is considerable political backlash and overall bad feelings about off shoring jobs while the US is in the midst of a four-year economic stagnation of low GDP, income and job growth.
The marketing and PR upside of “on-shoring” can be significant. We are a recession weary country that just came through a divisive and negative campaign. News that jobs are coming home will be seen as a breath of fresh air to US consumers. More companies should be exploring the option to bring some manufacturing back to the US for a few good reasons:
- “Made in the USA” can be differentiator against your competitors
- Bringing jobs back to the U.S. is a great PR hook for earn media placements.
- Provides a feel good story to build a content marketing/social media campaign around.
- The concept Henry Ford made famous – by creating good jobs you create a market of customers for your products.
If you are currently manufacturing in the US, your marketing should be integrating this fact into your messaging across all communications. While it may seem mundane to you, the fact may resonate with customers and prospects.
The time is right to study such a move. Ask Samsung and Google, no one ever went broke copying Apple.
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Once upon a time, long long ago, there were only six-packs and kegs. Life was good, and choices were simple: bottles, cans or occasionally funnels. Not long afterward, the cocktail was introduced, ushering new tastes and interesting complexities to the tried-and-true beers of our youth. Back then, there was only moderate consideration given to brand loyalty, and certainly none to the story behind the brand.
I don’t remember when it happened, but somewhere along the way, I started to enjoy wine. It began predictably enough with the Beaujolais and Cabs of CA and admittedly was driven by a mystique for something new, and something that would take some work to get right. Like many people, I like to learn about the things that interest me, so I read, and sampled, and listened to those purportedly most educated in the back stories of the wine process. I have several local shop owners to thank for that knowledge, gleaned over hours of conversations on rainy Saturdays.
Recently, I’ve noticed that the pairing process, one of the Holy Grails of selecting the “right” wine for a meal, has also changed. It’s no longer about trying to recall the direction of sommeliers and columnists; it’s about what my friends and I feel like drinking. The people I see most often are typically talkers – storytellers - and I’m a complete sucker for authentic enthusiasm. I don’t much care what the topic is. When the holder of the conch has energy, I’m hooked. Whether their story includes a new fishing technique, better snow shovel, tequila, way of cooking ribs and yes, wine – draw me in by appealing to my sense of story and I’ll give it a shot.
Lettie Teague writes a solid column in the Wall Street Journal on Saturdays. In a recent piece
she tips her hat to the growing reality of wine pairings today. While earlier in the article she treats us to the language that makes a wine columns fun to read: “the 2010 Julien Sunier Regnie, a cru Beaujolais was particularly good – substantial yet lithe,”
she later goes on to recall a conversation she had with a wine director at a well reviewed NYC restaurant who focused on pairing wines with the diner, not the food. His conclusion: “More often than not, they cared less about choosing the right match with their food than choosing a wine that came with a good story attached.”
And that is how we roll my friends. Time and again, in virtually any circumstance, pairing authenticity with a good back story is the secret to good customer service. Don’t outwit yourself – be real and good things will happen for you and your brand.