Over the past several days, I have been posting reasons for wineries to use blogs as another tool to increase their online exposure and ultimately sell more wine. It occurred to me that there is a basic fear that also needs to be overcome before more wineries join the wine blogosphere. The fear is not controlling the message or what becomes of the online conversation.
When I was at Kodak, I was trained by PR flacks on how to answer any type of question and not say anything that was “off-message”. In many cases, this leads to repeating the same canned response highlighting the product or servicesÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ key benefits and how much we care about our customersÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ businessÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦ blah, blah blah. Much of this attitude still pervades large companies today and most likely the wine industry where healthy egos and lots of money are also at stake. I only mention this because blogs, as marketing guru and blogger Hugh MacLeod says:
“…are not selling channels, they are disruption channels.”
I’d say most every winery needs to be disrupted and blogging is the most efficient medium to accomplish this goal. Why? Because of direct shipping, oversupply, brutal price competition and industry consolidation. Disruption is everywhere in the wine industry and most wineries need to change in order to stay competitive. Why not be on the leading edge and expand your market beyond the interests of your distributor and the status quo?
Johnnie Moore, another marketing consultant/blogger, summarizes the value of blogging well:
“…the value may not be the immediate impact of their words on the market, but how the conversation changes the blogger. As Hugh says, it may be a mistake to focus on using blogs to sell things; it’s more about creating real engagement – where you are changed too.”