Wine Clubs need differentiation!

I had an appreciation for BottleNotes and their use of social networking to enhance the “wine club” concept.  Something I just recieved makes their innovation even more important.

Apparently, Forbes.com has created a wine club.  It has all the standard acutriments – three levels of prices, newsletters, wine reviews, and a trinket shop.  What does this mean?  Well, basically, it means that wine clubs are the first “commodity” in a world where things change every year.  By “commodity” I mean it has so little value that it can be completely outsourced and/or “re-labeled” and still have exactly the same value as any other brand.  Think “bottled water”.  It comes from different sources but, and you would know this if you ever watch “The Apprentice” as saw “Trump Water”, the difference is the brand behind the commodity.  In this case, the Wine Club has been reduced to a cookie-cutter operation that Forbes is marketing to its readers (no doubt the demographics of which match quite closely to wine drinkers) and it has no differentiation.

A while back I did a survey online to determine the value of a wine club.  Turns out, most people join them for the discounts more than anything else.  One commenter at the time mentioned that its way more valuable to find a real-life wine shop owner, with an understanding of wine to help you experiement.  I think you can do the same with a reliable magazine (Wine Spectator is considered the devil but at least they can give you some pointers with the tasting ratings).  Either way, I haven’t seen any real value in a wine club unless you’re a winery trying to help your fans get access to your wines.  This wine club from Forbes.com (powered by WineExpress no less) simply proves that I’m right…

Get to know your corner wine shop owner and Enjoy the Wine Life!

Author: Joel Vincent

Growth Hacker and wine lover

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