There are some things discussed here often enough that you might be sick of hearing about them.
Stories are important.
Humans crave relationships.
Branding is about customer feelings.
This morning, these things come to play in the service of wine.
Yes, it’s a little early in the morning to be tippling.
Not too soon to be talking.
At the moment, we’re talking a new, seven-minute film from a Sonoma winery that recently caught my attention.
It tells the story of a woman named Isabelle.
After the deaths of her Italian immigrant father and uncle, Isabelle suddenly found herself running the family’s winery.
Sonoma County in the early 1900s seems a long way away in a time long ago. It’s also a place filled with sweat, struggle, toil, repression, fear and possibly even bloodshed.
This short story focuses on the challenges of an underdog surviving the odds to establish a beloved business of note and acclaim.
This small, woman-owned operation triumphs over oppressive forces, acts of both man and God, and becomes a celebrated icon of the culture which thrives to this day.
What’s not to love?
Well, let’s see…
The film has a high-quality Hollywood-style feel, so clearly there’s big budget at work here.
Cursory research shows the scrappy young daughter of Italian immigrants ran the winery until she sold it in 1970 to a gentleman winemaker.
In 1981, her winery was acquired by a wine & spirits giant, and then folded into their subsequent luxury brands conglomerate.
Several years later, that luxury brands conglomerate sold Isabelle's little winery to a Fortune 500 company that is one of the world leaders in beer and wine, with 9,000 employees and $7-billion in revenue.
That doesn’t sound so warm and fuzzy anymore, does it?
That said, never let facts get in the way of a good story.
Despite the business transactions she made later in her life, Isabelle’s origin story is focused, human, resonant and fun.
It makes the business seem approachable and worthy of a consumer relationship.
It makes the prospect feel one, significant way about the business.
Yes, the story has been cherry-picked and dramatized for fun & profit.
It has its own magnetism and is appealing.
The storytelling communicates timeless themes.
It positions a glowing halo of brand around a product that might otherwise go unnoticed.
And this style of brand storytelling is entirely scalable.
No matter how small the business or how limited the budget, there is usually a story to be told.
And if that story makes the prospect feel the right way about the business, is it time to tell that story well, in brief, with potency, and with legs?
There is a story that rings of humanity and truth in every brand.
It is incumbent upon us to find that bell, and ring it with definition and clarity for the customer.
Your Lean, Mean Creative Director in Park City
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Blaine Parker is prone to ranting about any and all things related to brand. In many ways, he is a professional curmudgeon. While there is no known vaccine for this, the condition is also not contagious. Unless you choose it to be so.