Kath with the ChampersOn Friday evening, a small group of bloggers and podcasters met at Stormhoek's farm in Wellington for a special braai.... And besides having a really (really!) great time, I had some thoughts about Marketing (goodness gracious - does anyone else out there think about marketing while inebriated at 2am??)

Stormhoek wine has become a global marketing sensation, thanks in no small part to their blog strategy - which got them onto Ad Age's Marketing 50 for 2006 along with huge spenders like Toyota, Fanta and Xbox360. That type of prominence doesn't happen by mistake... We can learn alot from these guys.

My takeaway thoughts from the braai:

  • Sure they sell wine, but they're in the entertainment business (why do you think people drink wine?)

  • Extremely popular business phenomena are usually driven by a core group of enthusiasts at the heart of the brand

  • If the product experience is perceived as poor quality, then no amount of promotion is going to make up for that.. There's got to be authentic passion for the product itself.

  • Most importantly, as a Stormhoek enthusiast, I connect with their people - their personality shines through in what they do....

As Hugh Macleod, blogger in chief at Stormhoek points out: Growth will come, not from yet more efficiency (we're already very efficient), but by humanification (more). In other words, by forming more personal relationships and allowing a smarter, more personal conversation to happen between you and your customers and evangelists.

And lastly: "If you want to have a cool brand, you have to do cool stuff".
AuthorDave Duarte