This week, Cruvee (rhymes with groovy), a firm that offers business intelligence and performance management services for the wine industry to help them mine the vast field of on-line social networking, launched an interesting initiative targeted at simplifying wine brand data across the Internet.
That sounds boring, right?
But… it has the potential to be a huge step forward for the wine industry in terms of using technology to help master how basic information about the 6000+ wine brands available in the U.S. are portrayed on-line (rather than the technology mastering how the wine brands are portrayed).
If that sounds boring, consider that it could make your life easier when you’re looking for wine. Now, that’s not too boring, is it? If it is, you’re reading the wrong blog, my friend. Being able to make more sense out of traversing the thousands of wine brands available sure appeals to me.
I spoke to Evan Cover, Cruvee’s Founder & CEO, about the initiative (called ‘OwnIT’), and it has promise – provided Cruvee can score the right level of participation from both ends of the wine distribution spectrum…
The problem that Cruvee is trying to address with OwnIT is the dual frustration felt by those trying to manage wine brand information in cyberspace (mostly wineries and PR types) and wine consumers trying to find reliable information about a wine brand.
If you’ve ever Googled for info. about a wine and looked at more than the first search result then you understand how inconsistent some of that information can be. That’s a problem I only notice, oh, daily. The proliferation of social media online hasn’t helped, either – while it’s great when people get talking about a wine brand on twitter, facebook, or wine blogs, it doesn’t help that often times even basic info. on that wine (or even pictures of the wine) aren’t available when people are basically online trying to learn about that wine. In twitter terms, this is called a #FAIL.
Cruvee’s solution with OwnIT is to act as a central repository for wine brand info. Wineries or PR folk enter the data in one spot, and Cruvee makes it available to on-line wine retailers, wine review websites, etc. One set of data, multiple uses.
According to Evan:
“Overall we know what the problem is in this industry from both a producer and tech standpoint and we are positioned as a noncompeting entity against each sector, which is why we can make this work as well as take that thought leadership role.”
The value proposition for Cruvee? Get participants to upgrade to a paying account on Cruvee’s social media monitoring and other services.
What I like about OwnIT is that after the dust settles, it should make life easier for wineries and wine consumers. Which is a theoretical win-win. And before you status-mongering iPhone users ask, yes some sexy wine-related iPhone apps, like hellovino, are already on-board according to Evan.
It should be interesting to see where goes from here…