Did you read about the Thresher virus? As a winery owner/marketer, it's something you should know about.
The Thresher Group, which runs a chain of convenience stores in the UK offered their corporate partners a store coupon (PDF) good for 40% off of all wine and Champagne during a 10-day period. No mention of it in their stores, no advertising campaign. A quiet little thing, which they evidently do every year.
Stormhoek (a South African winery, whose wines are sold at Thresher's stores) posted a copy of the Thresher's coupon on their Web site 6 days before the sale went into effect. By the third day of the sale, the coupon had been downloaded over 700,000 times, and stores were running low on wines. Anecdotal evidence is that the most-purchased wines were those with the highest price. Then the BBC picked up the story.
Net result: The coupon was downloaded an estimated 3.5 million times and Thresher's sold 60% more wine during that time period.
This is the second of my How Much? posts, which started out by asking, "How much would you pay to have someone buy a case of your wine at full price?" It's also instructive to think about who is getting paid. In this case, Thresher's was willing to pay (the customer) 40% to have someone (that same customer) purchase wine at full-price. A little weird when you say it that way, but it answers the question as asked.
In a comment to my first How Much? post, Mary Baker of Dover Canyon Winery basically said that she is willing to pay (her distribution chain) 35% to have someone (a retail customer) purchase the wine at full price. She also pointed out that it costs a tiny fraction of that to pay (her Web site) to have someone (an online customer) buy a case of wine at full price.
I'm going somewhere with all this, but feel free to add your comments in the meantime.