Checking in on “Hopes for 2008″
Some of you may remember that instead of predictions for 2008 I crossed my fingers and hoped for things in the wine industry. Here is a quick post to give an update on progress of those hopes:
First, Happy New Year to all our readers, partners, and family. As we move into 2008 many people are making predictions about what is going to occur. Instead I wanted to pose ten things I hope will happen in the wine industry in 2008.
- Wine bloggers will start to have influence like the mainstream media becoming more professional and significant and be treated by wineries as a core part of their PR strategy.
UPDATE - Bloggers are becoming more and more relevant. The AWBA and the Open Wine Consortium are helping pull this movement much farther and faster. In fact, I was at a major company the other day and they asked about three bloggers I know. Moreover, some bloggers are leading major breaking news that have become larger mainstream media stories. Progress meter - 50%.
- Colleges/trainers/people will start classes/programs/symposiums training the next generation of consumer direct experts.
UPDATE - One of the wine industry’s leaders, Lesley Berglund is starting the first consumer direct school. We LOVE it. Progress meter 50%.
- Compliance regulations will ease in many states and more services and software will emerge to help wineries overcome the nuisance of these cumbersome and seemingly arbitrary rules.
UPDATE - Regulations ARE easing up allowing more access more than shutting down (for wineries at least). Our software FINALLY launches to all wineries the 15th of this month (my deepest apologies for the continual delays - we have nothing but great feedback from clients, non-clients, and more and I guarantee, it was worth the wait but will continue to need improvement and we are committed to do so). Progress meter - 65%.
- Self Distribution/Direct to Trade will have more states open and become a new alternative route to market.
UPDATE - We will be at 21 states by this time next year. Some minor issues still pending but we are solving them one by one. Progress meter - 65%.
- Wineries will make consumer direct a key part of their sales and marketing strategy (not a subset of hospitality) and allocate proper resources to support and grow this profitable part of their business.
UPDATE - the wine industry continues to shift to direct due to market catalysts HOWEVER hospitality and traditional channel sales still dominate a winery’s mindshare. Progress meter - 50%.
- A Wine 2.0 company will become meaningful to helping connect consumers to wineries.
UPDATE - lots of companies vying for this title - current leaders: Crushpad and Snooth - can’t really gauge this one.
- The rest of the web based portals will treat wine as a key part of their portal strategy as opposed to an afterthought.
UPDATE - this shift is also in the wind as indicated by major e-tailer Amazon. Progress meter - 50%.
- An innovative group of wholesalers will realize that consumer direct and self distribution/DTT are not a threat and embrace both these channels.
UPDATE - A new group of wholesalers is emerging. So far only about 5 - 10 but it is starting to open eyes. Progress meter - 20%.
- FedEx/UPS will embrace self distribution and DTT and help the wine industry solve some of the antiquated logistics issues (e.g. at rest).
UPDATE - I know it is on their radar but a solution requires a lot of work still. Progress meter - 10%.
- Technology vendors serving wineries will meet more openly to help solve the issue of disparate systems.
UPDATE - A lot of efforts are being made here. Randy Hall on the OWC, open API’s from a few tech leaders, partner management groups, conversations between competitors and disparate systems (I can attest, I’ve been in a few). A lot of progress here. Progress meter - 70%.
- (ok, one last one) - the Inertia team will start our Friday themed BBQ’s again (I still laugh remembering our root beer float/Elvis BBQ) and more wineries partners (and future partners) will join us.
UPDATE - building our new platform, free compliance, DTT, integrating operating partners, and more, more, more have distracted us from BBQ’s (not to mention rain). Progress report - 0% (that one was bad)
Well, it is nice to see so much progress but let’s all cross our fingers and hope that the last %’s of progress finish over the next 8 months of the year. I know I have my fingers crossed.