What does your stand say about you? Doesn't matter what business you are in. Doesn't matter whether it's a trade show or a wine festival. How much effort you put into it, is how much you get out of it. This last weekend, Tousey Winery featured a unique stand at the Hudson Valley Wine Festival. Regardless of whether or not you like their theme or story line, you have to have immense respect for what they put out there.
Tousey launched a new brand they've been incubating for the last 12 to 18mos, called Scarlet Tiger. It's a kind of retro/steampunk brand, aimed at 20-somethings who want to have fun drinking wine. If they crack that code, as many have wanted to in the past, we'll be seeing them on the housewives of the Gold Coast in about 10 years. I wish them luck!
But to me, what was immensely impressive was the booth and the marketing materials surrounding the product launch. The book was made to look like the weathered back of an old bar or store front. It was grime-y, with graffiti, posters and sheets tacked one over the other. It had a street sign like an old shop might have. There was a newspaper with the story about the new brand and other branded product. It was theater. It was brilliant. Didn't matter if they sold one more bottle, the idea was to get the message about the brand out there and seed the marketplace. In that instance, it was brilliant. There wasn't a person I saw all day who didn't have some Scarlet Tiger thing with them. It's no different than Lucas giant Kiss Me line of stickers for their Naughty Girls series. The idea is to make the brand indelible.
If you're a winemaker, can I ask you? Is your booth unforgettable? A banner doesn't make a booth or an experience. A banner is a banner. What are you doing to engage a customer? What marketing message are you sending with a banner and a booth and some boxes of wine?
Scarlet Tiger - here's the storyline to the brand.....
Circus goers witnessed ‘horrific scenes’ on Saturday night
that left seven people dead and 127 people injured. The headliner, a
four-hundred and ninety-two pound Bengal Tiger, is also reported missing.
Shortly after 8:15pm a column upholding the main tent’s
structure toppled over, trapping hundreds of people in their seats. Rescue
workers battled to free victims inside the main tent, several of which had been
pinned for hours. Survivors covered in blankets lay next to the collapsed
structure awaiting medical attention as smoke billowed from the wreckage.
A spokeswoman for Bainton County Police said they suspect
foul play. A formal investigation has already been launched.
The three original
Winton Bros. who own the traveling circus have been brought in for questioning
although, as the police have stressed, not as suspects. A friend, close to the
family reported they were ‘shocked’ and ‘stunned’ by the tragedy.
Meanwhile, it is unknown whether the Circus Tiger’s escape
was intentional or a result of the incident. Police have confirmed, however,
that the head animal trainer was killed at the scene. His exact cause of death
will be ruled by a formal autopsy scheduled for Wednesday. As yet, there has
been no official comment from the Royal Senate. ”Words escape me, it’s absolute
chaos,” the Mayor said in an interview.
The fairgrounds are scheduled to be cleared once the
investigation is over.
Regardless of what you think of their brand (and I think it's spot on. It's well-aimed at the gamer/graphic novel crowd no 50 year-old owner sitting in his office with a team of 40-somethings could ever imagine). It's smart and edgy. But more than that, the owners and team at Tousey thought through every element. They turned your tasting into an almost theatrical experience. Yes, wine festivals should be about the wine. Tousey, on that level, can flip you off! Their Pinot Noir got a 90 from Snooth.com and was also named the best red in the Hudson Valley by the New York Cork Report. So they can back it up with great wine. Their Chardonnay and estate Riesling are also excellent. But they put in the effort to completely change the game....and put the emphasis on creating something different. Everyone at the show, vendors and festival-goers alike were talking about. People 40-45 and up, asked what "that" it was all about. But people 20-35 thought it was cool! That's success.
I talked to Ben Peacock of Tousey. They got a lot of oohs and ahhs, and several requests to bring their display/stand on the road. Funny, because they were going to do that anyway. The next stop for the Scarlet Tiger show is Bethel Woods. And then they use it at several more shows down the line.
"A lot of customers loved the booth. Got great reaction. But they also loved all the other stuff, the news paper was a big hit. And of course, they liked the wine. Yes, we were very, very happy," Ben said cheerfully.
That said, I ask all wine sellers, what are you doing to captivate people's imaginations? What are you doing to engrave your brand onto to people's brains? What will make you unforgettable for the next festival goer. I am telling you right now, wine aside, Tousey has raised the level of the game. Are you willing to play along? Or will you just let them pass you by?
What are the wines like?
The Queen of
Clermont 2011 is an aromatic white blend, with its hint of sweetness, but with enough bright acidity to give it the zippiness to make it refreshing. Great sipper white wine. Great with Asian cuisine.
The Riot 2011 is a proprietary red blend which is highlighted by red berries on the nose with a
pleasant structure on the palate. Easy drinking, and well balanced, the medium-bodied red is a lovely table red for any occasion.