Thoughtful Targeting: As natural as breathing for us, but for others …
I had three bottles open for tasting, all from XYZin Winery (part of Sonoma County’s Geyser Peak portfolio of wines). Three Zinfandels, two from the 2007 vintage, one from the 2008 vintage.
XYZin promotes itself as “the last word in Zinfandel,” which is pretty clever. But the key to these three wines was that they were XYZin’s “Vine Age Series.” The least expensive was labeled as “10″ (sourced from vines that were at least ten years old when that vintage was made). The next higher in price was labeled as “50″ (sourced from vines that were at least 50 years old when that vintage was made). The most expensive was labeled as “100″ (you can guess what that means).
I thought this was interesting because some of the variables were being controlled (a single varietal, same winemaker, close to the same vintage), allowing a focus on vine age and its impact on wine. This was an interesting comparison for me, and everything about the XYZin positioning and “Vine Age Series” pitch made perfect sense to me. I hope that means I’m in their target audience. I did purchase the wines, after all.
My marketing-communications reminder came in watching how my friends responded to this brand positioning.
One, a university plant scientist, pretty much understood the game right away. He wasn’t so much thinking about the wine as he was the variables presented. He was used to sorting seemingly similar items this way, I think.
Two others, who have been listening to me blather on about old vines and Zinfandel for some months, tracked the positioning pretty closely, picking up nuances as we tasted and talked (the different vintage dates, and new information about the range in retail price ($16 to $45) were “ah-ha” moments).
For the final two, the brand developer and I might as well have been presenting strange native rites in a peculiar English-seeming (but not quite) language. Yes, they understood we were tasting Zinfandel, but why three of them? And what does “vine age” have to do with anything?
One of the great charms of wine, of course, is that even if you don’t understand the details, you can smell it and taste it and say whether or not you like it, what you like about it (or don’t like about it), and why you prefer it (or don’t) when comparing it to other wines in front of you.
That is what we did, and it was valuable and interesting to taste these wines with my friends. And I appreciated the reminder, which Paul Dolan once expressed to me as a caution, “This is as natural to you and me as breathing, but these other people, they feel like they’re under water, holding their breath.”Share on Facebook