As a voracious reader, I follow several publications. As my position with Amazing Grapes keeps expanding into the Social Media-sphere, I have added quite a few more publications into my queue for research and ideas.
A recent article by Inc. Magazine caught my eye and its message really hit home with me, Creating Value.
The article starts by providing an experiment with an upscale restaurant selling various kinds of water, some as much as $8.00 a bottle, only to fool the customers that it all comes from the hose in the back of the kitchen. I don’t think fooling your customers is good business, but the argument made is strong. The waiters created value, to of all things – water! As the article states, “selling on value, not price, involves a balance of confidence, personal rapport, and doing your homework, and it’s become more difficult as technology gives consumers greater access to price information and competitors.”
As a Sommelier, confidence in your knowledge of wine is only step 1. It’s a big step, but creating value in the product you carry is key. We carry wines that I believe get an unheeded amount of attention, where as others sit in their cases left for the adventurous palate to find them. It is true that the savvy consumer could easily find the best deals through the Internet. However, (and here comes my argument) how much value has been created by clicking through a website?
Robert Parker has made a successful career for himself because he creates value to wine. He provides a rating system and an accurate description of the wine being analyzed. If Parker decided to start selling wine, we all would be his customers! Why? He extends his palate to the consumer who is looking for value in their money. Wine, unfortunately, is not a product where if you try it, you can just return it for full refund. Once you’ve popped that cork – its yours. Having a trustworthy source to guide you through uncertain purchases, such as wine, is invaluable.
Consider this the next time you uncork your next bottle of wine. Was there any extra, added value when you purchased it? “Value is always long term, price is short term.”