Marketing is Fun, Differentiation is Hard. A 3-Part Series.

Marketing is fun – and hard work.

It’s the latter part that’s not always so obvious.

I remember a former colleague who sought a cross-functional transfer from technical product management into global marketing.  I asked why.  Her response:  marketing is more fun.

Yes, marketing can be fun, but like the rest of business, it’s also a serious challenge.  Non-marketing observers may not realize all the hard work and preparation required to achieve success.

Which leads to the focus of this post – marketing differentiation.  It’s hard to do.

To stimulate your thinking, I have three new examples to share.  Note how the idea of “customer experience” is central to each marketing story.

And, I’m experimenting with something different myself to provide a better reader experience:  short, one-example posts on three consecutive days.

Part 1:

User Experience Innovation Creates New Kind of Wine Store

Think about where you buy wine.  I’ll bet most shoppers would say that the retail wine experience tends to be the same.  Racks of shelves with wines by geographic origin.  Some off-shelf cases on display.  Maybe the ambiance varies up or down, and so too perhaps the friendliness and knowledge of the staff.

But that’s not breakthrough.  Consider what’s happening at a new wine retailer in New York City called Taste Wine Company.  Every bottle stocked is available for in-store, pre-purchase tasting.

Yes, that’s right.  Dispensing machines line the walls and pour approximately 1-ounce samples.  It’s all part of the founder’s $500,000 store-opening investment, per wine reporter Lettie Teague, writing in The Wall Street Journal.

You can have six free tastes per visit, which is a lot.  Plus, a mobile app is coming that offers customer note-taking and retailer monitoring of your sampling quantity.

Taste Wine Company also takes a page from the “different” section of the wine retailer playbook and organizes its wines by a self-defined taste category instead of by geographic origin.

Harvey Chimoff is a versatile marketing and business team leader who believes good marketing sells. Contact him at harveychimoff dot com.

Part 2 Tomorrow:

Redefining the Boutique Hotel Experience for an American Audience

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