1WineDude TV Episode 32: Things The Wine Industry Needs To Hear (The Gary Vaynerchuk Interview And Keynote Highlights From #NomWineConf 2011)

Vinted on April 13, 2011 binned in 1WineDude TV, best of, going pro, interviews, on the road, wine industry events

In today’s episode, you get highlights from wine personality and social media / business guru Gary Vaynerchuk‘s keynote speech at the synthetic cork producer Nomacorc-sponsored "Marketing to the Next Generation of Wine Consumers" conference that took place in Napa last week (at the beautiful Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena). They are things the wine industry probably doesn’t want to hear – but they desperately need to hear them. 

I was part of panel at the event, in which we riffed on the main themes espoused by Gary in his fantastic keynote speech (which delivered some much-needed stern messages to the Napa wine industry – for a distillation of some of those messages, check out my article later this week on the Wines.com blog).  If anyone who attended still thinks that Gary isn’t the real deal after his keynote, then they have their heads shoved into a part of their anatomy that requires a belly-button-window installation for them to see what’s really going on.  Most importantly, Gary also finally admits that I am a handsome man (though I refrained from asking him to sign my chest as one male attendee did – thankfully I did NOT get that on video).

In today’s vid (at the 10:10 mark) I interview Gary about his new book, The Thank You Economy (a book that, well, crushes his previous release Crush It! and is Seth-Godin-level good – and will certainly further brighten his already-nearly-blindingly-brilliant star in the social media space). I also get his take on how different wine regions of the world are performing in terms of engaging their customers (hint: not well).

Enjoy (and make sure to get Gary’s new app at DailyGrape.com while you’re at it)!

Some other resources: WineBusiness.com has a pretty cool list of quotes from Gary’s keynote, and you can get a feel for the highlights of the day through the twitter feed (VinoCartel.com has also put together a twitter stream from the presenters and attendees).
By the way… Nomacorc makes a synthetic wine bottle closure that you can actually extract pretty easily with a corkscrew, so if I were a natural cork producer I’d be worried right now(although in that case I’d already be worried, having lost gobs of market share in the last few years because my product has something like a 2% failure rate… whatever…).




  • Drink Insider

    Great video recap of Gary's keynote at #nomwineconf. Does the last few second clip mean that there will be a WLTV episode #1001 coming up soon? I think Gary is a little hard on the wine community. For the most part he's right, but you can see that a lot of wineries are trying to participate – both on Facebook and Twitter. As for the regions, yea they're pretty behind. But there are some efforts – Loire Valley Wines, for example. Engagement is lacking as a whole, but let's give the industry a little time to adjust. It's not just the wine industry that struggles with engagement. It's a lot easier to start participating than to start engaging. So, baby steps. And it does take a lot of resources. Gary corrected himself in the interview by saying that time is money. He was preaching "free" from the clip you showed in his keynote. Engaging in social media is not free at all. It takes a lot of time and it's a huge commitment to do it right. But, I'm glad that folks like Gary, you, the dudes from Vintank, etc. are carrying the engagement torch into the mass wine community. rock on. – Terry

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, Terry – you are right, it does take time to do it right (or to do it at all), and it'snot just the wine biz that is behind (they are just more behind than most! :-).

      As for WLTV #1001 – my understanding is yes, there will be infrequent interview episodes of WLTV going forward and this will be one of them. Cheers!

  • jcmilam

    I would suggest that many wineries are ramping up their efforts to "understand" social media as many people like myself have been doing for years. Many will get there, many won't.

    It's crucial for any winery to define their "voice" online and who will be that voice for them at their company. This might be the CEO or the guy who trims the vines back each year. It can be both and if they do really "get it" it will be a lot more people than just one. But time is of course valuable and so is cash so I suspect most won't commit that many human resources unless they are simply a talkative bunch in general.

    The voice is the same as one would use in front of customers at the cellar tasting room or even when at an event in another state. Talk about what you do, why you do it, what you love about it and what's tough about it.

    One exercise that I do with clients when helping them to define their "voice" is to ask them to tell me 3-5 things that make their business unique. Things that they feel are as important to the businesses existence as it is to their own desires to continue to stay in said business. These are the topics that we build the rest of our plan around. Another word for "voice" is "essence". Once they find their essence they will be able to speak in their voice, online and in a social context.

  • 1WineDude

    Thanks, jc – so many will never get it, I fear.  Great point about the voice and assigning it to the RIGHT person (instead of just the youngest person on staff, who might not necessarily be the right voice!).  Cheers!

  • 1WineDude

    A couple quick spin-off resources that are continuing the convo. on the topics from the Conference:

    Nomacorc has a new LinkedIn group that will be discussing the themes from the conf. in terms of wine branding: http://linkd.in/dNKs8Z

    Great write-ups and reactions also happening on some marketing / PR blogs by people who clearly got the messages during the conf.: http://www.livingstonbuzz.com/2011/04/13/the-roi-http://www.winergyinc.com/archives/whats-the-roi-


  • 1WineDude

    Thanks, @mroconnell!

  • 1WineDude

    Whoops – missed another great resource from the Conf., the guys at WineBizRadio (who totally owe me, since I got them into the thing! :-) have some coverage of the event on their podcast now available at http://winebizradio.com/articles/a-skype-ly-inter


  • 1WineDude

    And another: presentations from the event are now posted at http://www.nomacorc.com/marketing-to-the-next-gen

  • Ron Saikowski

    Gary V is partially right about Sales and marketing. Yes, you must embrace your customer, Yes you must use social media, but NO that is not the ONLY way to go. As with all great managers, you create "mini-me's" to go out in the world of wine (i.e. sommeliers, wine shop stewards, waiters, etc.) to also help to personally sell, sell, sell, In addition, the other media should NOT be abandoned but also incorporated within the social media! It is not just solely about Social Media, but incorporating Social Media as a part of your overall wine consumer education program program! It is about education, interest, and the personal touch in the wine industry as with all othe industries. It is no longer a means of keeping it simple, but keep it personally multi-culturally, educationally involved! Gary V. has a good start, but it is only part of the picture. Every employee is a part of getting your products integrated in society!

    • 1WineDude

      Ron – totally agree with you; in fact, so does Gary V., I think. He mentioned similar comments at points in his keynote at the conf. that were not captured in my video. Of course, Gary is going to push the social media angle because it’s what he knows best, but he did caution that it’s just one tool, and not a silver bullet, and that it needs to be part of a diversified approach to engaging customers. They key point is actually *engaging* customers – which you clearly understand from your comment – and that’s the thing that so many businesses (especially in wine) just don’t really do outside of the tasting room (and in some cases – including one that was brought up by during the panel at the conf. by a Millennial attendee – they’re not even doing it in the tasting room).


  • 1WineDude

    OK – last "extra" for this post: My distillation of the themes in Gary's keynote – http://www.wines.com/blog/Hey_Wineries__Up_Your_E


  • wine box

    If you are a business that relies on customers – I think every business is customer focused. This is practically does not make sense if you do not know how to engage with customers, partners. Thanks for the post and it really helpful to get some knowledge.

    • 1WineDude

      box – yeah, there is some redundancy in there (maybe for humorous effect?); but I agree with you, the point is that everybody in any biz is selling something, and whoever is buying is a customer, and the days of being able to treat your customers as a commodity are pretty much over. Cheers!

  • 1WineDude

    Ed – GREAT points, and you clearly “get it” when it comes to the messages Gary was giving. Bottom line is that most industries (including wine) have already had some time to adjust, and are losing ground as they are about 6 years or so behind where things are in terms of social media and direct, one-on-one consumer engagement. Not just wine, but wine seems to be lagging a bit more than most. As Gary said, if you really, actually care about your customers then you will want to come up to speed on this stuff; and as I said in the panel, it doesn’t need a plan or long adjustment curve, just start doing it and let the plan develop for you as you go and don’t get too caught up in the strategy. Sure, you need to have some plan and have it tie into your goals and it needs to feel natural and authentic to your customers, but beyond that just get moving because you’re already way late!


  • 1WineDude

    Thomas – all u bro.

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