When travelling in outback Australia, many moons ago, we stayed one night in a particular Bed and Breakfast. The host was a man of many tales and apparently he knew one of the marketing exectives of Penfolds, one of Australia’s largest wine brands. The executive complained that all the customers ever asked for was ‘a nice red’. Most people wouldn’t ask for wine by its region, or grape variety or any other metric that would mark people as a wine buff. All they wanted was ‘a nice red’.
So he obliged and produced ‘a nice red’. Our host then pulled the nice red from his wine rack and there to our astonishment was a genuine bottle of Penfolds wine labelled as ‘A Nice Red’. The back label was equally comical and totally absent of the standard ‘grassy overtones’ and ‘hints of pepper’.
Personally I am not a big wine buff. In a blind test I could identify white and red but that’s about it. I know what I like to drink and will have a glass or two when entertaining guests or out with friends.
Now those who dispute the face that wine is a social object will have to look no further that this image above taken from my brother’s outhouse. What better way to pass the time when you are ‘doing your business’ to see the wonderful array of lables around you and remember all the good times you have had with friends. Looking at the picture in the bottom right hand corner is the lable of a 1986 Vasse Felix Cab Sav. Mmmmm…
Which brings me on to the announcement of the day from ‘Mr Wine as a Social Object’ himself. Stormhoek Blue Monster Reserve. It has a nice ring to it. What a great way to stimulate a conversation about a company. I love the sentiment about the Blue Monster. If you are not going to change the world the pack up and go home. It is a sentiment I have written about before.
It applies to whatever and whomever you are. SAP, Microsoft, Oracle, SFdCom. If all you are going to do is flog a few bits of sand and a few bits and bytes then pack up now. Software (and hardware) is more than just a buggy solution that you force on people. It is an enabler and transformer of people and processes.
It’s not just Microsoft that has to tell its story better. We all do. We all have to find better ways to tell our story, because we all have a story to tell.
The new wine won’t fit in the old wineskins anymore.