Direct Mail Marketing and Wine Labels – What’s Your Big Idea?

Not long ago, I read that well-known California winemaker Rodney Strong had passed away. While recounting his professional career, the article cited Strong’s innovative direct mail marketing tactics.An excerpt:”Strong developed a marketing strategy that involved direct mail in which he offered to sell wine with a buyer’s individual information on the label – ‘From the wine cellar of so-and-so,’ or ‘A gift from such-and-such corporation’.”

The program continues to this day, as living testament to its effectiveness.That story got me thinking about the way we market our products and services in relation to their uniqueness.For instance:Why do so many companies today waste time and money marketing average products and services to hard-to-impress consumers? Why don’t more companies follow the Rodney Strong model (remarkable product / service idea first; marketing second)?Marketing the RemarkableRodney Strong took something simple but interesting — personalized wine labels — and made it available to his audience. Why was it so popular? Because nobody else was doing it at the time. Rodney gambled on an idea, and it worked. He made something that was remarkable to his customers. Then, all he had left to do was tell them about it (in this case through direct mail), and they asked for it by the thousands!Here’s the idea again:Come up with a remarkable product or service, and then start telling people about it. Word-of-mouth will take it from there.How Do You Measure Up?If you struggle when creating your direct mail message, it might indicate that your product or service could use a shot of “the old remarkable.”Or think of it this way…If you stripped away all the marketing glitz and set your product on a shelf by itself (or described your service on a plain piece of paper) — would it seem remarkable? Would it impress members of your target audience? Or, are you relying on your marketing to add the pizzazz?Instead of struggling to promote something average, dig deep to find the above-average aspect of what you’re selling. If there isn’t such an aspect … go back to the drawing board and make one.* You may republish this article in its entirety as long as you include the byline and author’s note. If publishing online, please leave the hyperlinks active.