Story Marketing came to me at 9 am one morning a couple months back in the form of a FedEx package.
Glad to receive my wine early so I didn’t have to stick around the house waiting for it, I opened the box to make sure no bottles had broken.
The packers surprised me by making every effort to assure my happiness. All nine bottles were carefully and ecologically
packed with cardboard wine cradles that looked—and functioned—like egg cartons for wine bottles. They didn’t shake or bump or break.
And early arrival put this company in the OK column in my book.
A few days later it would be my turn to host our neighborhood. Gourmet Dinner club. And this would be the wine accompaniment.
I picked up and examined each bottle—for its heft, to read the grape content, to read where each of the three types I’d chosen had come from.
A Tale of Three Bottles
A beautiful blue bottle signified the Moscat dessert wine from Italy. The online description had mentioned “the signature blue bottle.”
A typical cava/champagne type bottle—green with a heavy bottom and narrow neck—contained cava from Spain,
complete with label lettering that looked like any from my local wine store or grocery.
But what was this third wine? I remembered ordering a sauvignon blanc to go with the fish course.
Without my reading glasses the label looked really amateurish. White with typewritten text. I grabbed my glasses and put them on to see that I was looking at the back of the bottle.
So I turned it to see the front label where I then read the story of wine stories.
This is what it said: In 1882, my grandfather, Michael Chamiletzki, set foot upon the land of Zichron Yaakov. He made his first home in nearby Shefeya and was chosen by Baron Edmund de Rothschild to develop vineyards on this land. In 1925, the famous poet Chaim
Nachman Bialik visited and gave Michael a new Hebrew family name, “ Tishbi” an abbreviation meaning “ a resident of Shefeya in
Israel.” Four generations have passed and I still remember harvesting by hand in my family’s vineyards and bringing the wagons of grapes to be pressed in the nearby winery. We still follow the traditional methods passed on by our father and
grandfather. Jonathan and Golan Tishbi, wine makers
Wow. I LOVED this.
The least impressive bottle was telling me a story!
And what a story it was.
Filled with generations and bestowals and heavy harvesting.
All on a wine label.
In 104 words.
One short paragraph, told bare-bones, in a chronological story
line that made me a fan.
These people had my attention. Why?
Well, who ARE these guys, anyway?
Now I want to look at their website.
See what else I can buy from them.
Go to Israel to visit their winery.
And I barely even drink the stuff. (I love the taste, but my body doesn’t appreciate the lasting effects.)
But through their short narrative, I experienced in my mind’s eye what that family must have gone through over the years to
get that wine into my hands.
And that was . . . powerful!
It trumped the blue bottle (though it’s very pretty and I can’t wait to taste it.).
It surpassed by far the average-looking green cava container.
I had ordered the sauvignon blanc because it was the type I needed for what I was serving and the price seemed right. It was a bit of a fluke.
But if it had been on a shelf in a wine store, that story would have won me over in a second.
It did out of the box.
Now I’ll look for that company’s wine first.
Does YOUR story resonate with your customers?
Does YOUR story make them gasp, inspire imagination and actively fill in years of your business’s toil?
Do you have a story?
I think you do.
It may be very different from this one.
But it needs to be told.
And what you just read here tells you why.
Tell me what YOU think in the comments below.
(This is a simplified version of the original blog post. To see the original post with the menu courses noted and the wine supplier’s website, click here. )