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Marketing Wine to Young People May 18, 2007

Posted by Brad in Business.
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I used to write a wine blog but my ideas on wine marketing and young people lean more towards conceptual ideas than they do to daily posts so I have started writing a marketing installment series on the great wine blog www.GrapeThinking.com. The following is an excerpt from the first post that went up today:

To the Wine Community at Large:

I write to you as a firmly established member of what is typically called “Generation Y” and I have a bone to pick. Mainly it is a result of a recent phenomenon in the community, one I like to refer to as the “dumbing down of wine.” It seems to be an increasingly popular opinion that in order to bring wine to younger and newer audiences, wine needs to be brought down to “our level”. Unfortunately for the marketers it is almost instinctive by now that we will reject most things that people attempt to target to us. We like to adopt things ourselves. Look at the successes and failures in mainstream viral marketing. Most things that succeed do so because young people want to have them, not because they were told they need to have them.

Wine doesn’t need to change the way it is, but it does need to change the way young people are told about it. Some believe that wine has to be trendy or cool or fun or marketed like beer and hard alcohol to become popular with young people. They point to trends in marketing in music and magazines and tech gadgets and tailor their wine approach to these same tactics. The problem is that they are missing the ways in which wine has a competitive advantage.When it comes to young people, wine will never win a competition with beer or hard alcohol on trendiness or shock value or sex appeal. It’s like marketing a horse by telling people its a cow because you think cows are what people want…Finish reading at Grapethinking.com

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Why Google and YouTube Will Prevail May 6, 2007

Posted by Brad in Business.
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BusinessWeek published an article today regarding the video site that Newscorp-NBC is planning. The article debates the possible effects this will have on YouTube and Google. The gist of the article is that NBC and others can use their already established media rights and catalogs to make inroads into Google’s giant market share in the online video arena. The problem, and one I think the author of the article has missed, is the power of the Google brand and the reason Google has become so popular.

Media conglomerates have typically missed the boat when it comes to creating effective online media. The reason being that the Internet is a far different animal from the areas that big media is used to playing in. Take one look at a website like MSNBC.com and you’ll see what I mean. It’s cluttered and overtly commercial and when compared to a site like GoogleNews it is relatively inconvenient to navigate. Big Media companies are taking a miss-guided approach when they haphazardly outsource their web presence development. They lack the technological culture of Google and from this once-removed position they come up with web products and services that, while functional, typically miss the mark.

Google has the pre-established market share and the “net cred” both underground and mainstream that will make it tough for others to compete. With younger users, especially those who have grown up since the new media wave ushered in by Napster, Big Media has made another mistake. They’re taking taking a similar route to the one taken by the music industry; bringing large copyright lawsuits (We’ve seen how well that’s working out for the music industry…). If recent history is any indicator, this will inevitably lead to backlash. It seems we’ve reached a point where the edge in public favor goes to that of the “disrupter” or the innovator and not to the big, old-fashioned and possibly outdated traditional company. Google wins because it is a tech company at heart, has a huge network and a lot of capital, and its focus is on features and usability.

Have we reached a point on the the Internet where anyone who attempts to tighten copyrights or revert back to old ways will be on the losing end of their battle? I for one am torn on the issue of intellectual property but definitely fall on the side of the disrupters when it comes to progress. What do you think?