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Wine 2.0 Minifesto

Wine 2.0 Minifesto

by Tim Elliott on November 24, 2006

Wine 2.0 Minifesto

  1. The most passionate and loyal wine customers are members of the tribe of the internet. Via wine forums, email newsletters, websites, blogs and podcasts they are consuming information and recommendations that carry almost as much weight with them as Parker scores.
  2. The new “wine experts” are anyone with a passion for the subject and the means to express themselves online. These manifest themselves as blogs, aggregators, wikis, mash-ups and podcasts.
  3. Millions will join this tribe in 2007 as RSS goes mainstream in Windows Vista, IE 7, Firefox 2 and Mac OS 10.5 “Leopard”.
  4. Customers are looking for great wines at the lowest price. They are using search engines to find them. Wineries need to be plugged into what these networked customers are saying and actively join the conversation.
  5. Bad news travels at the speed of light around the world. Wineries need to be a part of the online discussion or they will pay the price in lost sales and damaged reputations.
  6. Wineries need to treat all customers like an old friend whether they buy a single bottle in the tasting room or 10 cases in the wine club. You never know how your reputation spreads via word of mouth, but some will likely share their opinions online.
  7. eCommerce does not equal Wine 2.0. Online sales is a key channel of Wine 2.0, but the essence of this new online wine conversation are communities who share information. Online sales only comes after this interaction and the social promotion of recommendations.
  8. Wine 2.0 includes feedback that can be measured and quantified. It is based upon sound direct marketing practices and technology platforms.
  9. Customers are making their own choices and are not blindly following critics scores, traditionally marketed and distributed brands or the winery with the most impressive website or print ad.
  10. On the internet, there is unlimited shelf space and the means for customers to find your “porch“.
  11. Wineries can sell 100,000 cases a year without spending millions on marketing.
  12. However you join the conversation about your wines, do so with a pure heart, speaking with an honest voice. And never stop responding.

– Version 1.0, by Tim Elliott, November 24, 2006

This Minifesto was inspired by Hugh MacLeod’s call at gapingvoid.com that was inspired by John Dodds’ “J Train” Minifesto who seemed to have read The Cluetrain Manifesto and is familiar with ChangeThis.com 😉

This is a draft for discussion that I hope will be carried forward to version 1.1 after the Wine 2.0 event in Second Life next week. Comments, trackbacks, etc. welcome.

Rock on, Hugh!

  • How does #1 reconcile with #9? Either people care about scores or they don’t.

    At the risk of coming off all pissy, I’m thinking Wine whatever-you-wanna-call-it needs a manifesto like it needs more spoiled bottles. I’m guessing Wine [whatever] needs this stuff as a rallying cry…? I dunno, I’m too far outside of all of that stuff to really lose sleep over it.

    Not having read Hugh’s post, I’ll submit #13 anyway: People don’t necessarily buy wines purely on the label design alone.

    Carry on then…

  • #1a. Some of the best blog posts about us have been not only about the wine but about the whole visit to our winery. These are people simply visiting the area and part of their good time here is wine tasting. It would be foolish to value these people less than the serious wine geek.

    #3. I’ll be happy to believe it when I see it.

    #4. Customers are looking for -value-, which is not quite the same thing. Value can happen at $5 and at $50.

    #5. No, it travels faster 🙂

    #6. This has always been true. Any one bottle customer today can be a 10 case customer tomorrow.

    #7. Agreed. It’s not about selling the bottle, it is about selling the experience. Somewhere within the last week someone (wish I could remember who) made the general point that you are not selling a product, you are selling an idea. Even more so in our business.

    #10. Roger that!

    #11. Show me the money!

    #12. Exactly!

    Nice post. Just always remember that everything old is new again…

    thanks! – j

    ps: #13, people -will- buy wine based on the label – once. It better be good juice for ‘twice’ to happen… point being to attract them any way you can, but your product better be able to bring them back.

  • Tim

    Thanks for your comments and suggestions Ethan and El Jefe. Given that I’m 130 words short of the limit, I can make some additions to make things a bit more clear and add some thoughts.

    Ethan: What I’m trying to say in both points 1 and 9 are the same thing from slightly different angles. In point 1 I’m suggesting that Parker, Tanzer, Laube, et. al. are still important and useful points of view to be consulted but these are now supplemented by online sources that are not always from “professionals”. Point 9 is suggesting that customers are making more of their own decisions and not blindly following the critics scores. I think more people of all levels of wine knowledge are trusting their own palate these days. So I don’t think these are opposite points, but the same point with a slightly different spin. None the less I’ll add some words around each in the next version to make this more clear.

    El Jefe: Good point in #1 about wine tourism posts and not just us wine geek types. I agree with your point on value in point 4 and will expand to encompass this idea. I have quite a few values in my cellar that cost me $50. I’ll link to the blog post which documents Stormhoek’s success in point 11. I like your number 13, as well, and will either add it or graft it into one of the previous points.

    A great start on v1.1, guys; thanks again… looking forward to more viewpoints once this gets linked around the blogosphere. Pass the word 😉

  • “recommendations that carry almost as much weight with them as Parker scores”

    This is definitely true. I’ve recently been interviewing consumers and they constantly cite word-of-mouth as one the keys to discovering new wines. Wine 2.0 needs to enable this.


  • RSS – it might happen, but not next year. I know many bloggers who don’t use RSS or read RSS feeds. It is going to take a lot longer to presuade/educate people like my father.

    A good post though; glad you leaped in and did one.

  • what I want to know though is when are blogs going to be taken as seriously on this side of the pond, as much as they are over on your side.

  • Tim

    You know, Andy, I’m not sure if blogs are taken very seriously over here. Perhaps in highly technical circles they are, but certainly not in the mainstream.

    My comments about the various operating systems and web browsers adopting RSS and making it very easy to subscribe to blogs was a bit aspirational but I do think readers will come from outside the tech geek community in 2007. Mac OS does this today with Safari’s RSS reader; this will only get better with 10.5 “Leopard”. IE7 added RSS that works pretty well and Windows Vista will ship with this as the default browser. Firefox 2 has RSS built-in as well, so all the groundwork is in place for more people to discover our blogs.

    My guess is we will see more of the wine message board crowd subscribe than the average consumer, but even some of them will join us… at least I hope so.

    Thanks for the comments.

  • I like the inclusion of wineries into the manifesto. Web2.0 tends to focus on the consumer, but in our field, the wineries are just as important to the exchange of information.

    I suggest that the scope of #2 be broadened to include wineries as well. A great wine tasting experience is also something that our sites seek to highlight.

    I agree with El Jefe that consumers look for value, not just low price. Low prices are something any search engine can find (as you point out), but value can only be communicated based on experiences. That’s the beauty of what we’re doing.

    I think that a combination of #2 and #8 would be appropriate because a writer only gets a following if the community bands around him/her. We need technology to quantify who the community trusts in the same way that we need the technology to help us find the values (and the great wineries).

    I’m sorry I cannot attend the Virtual Wine2.0. I look forward to reading about it though.

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  • I think something is really missing in this minifesto – I agree that the consumer power is key but ALSO the ability to interact with the wineries is just as key. Remember, we need people who both produce the wine and people who enjoy the wine.

    Inertia – Powering the Wine Revolution

    —Paul Mabray – CEO

  • Tim

    I agree with you, Paul; my views have evolved significantly since we started the online meetups. As I said in my post today, I will be rewriting this minifesto over the holidays to reflect these views.

    Thanks for your comment.

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