This year I am working on an initiative to add voices to Snooth. For years we've been working with other wine writers, sharing our audience with them because we feel that having multiple voices speaking articulately about a subject is always preferable to a lone voice. I've been hoping to branch out into the retail side of things as our next step.
In case you hadn't noticed I am a big fan of the consumer-retailer relationship. There is no better ally for the consumer than a well informed, interested and engaged retailer. No one can learn your preferences more accurately or give you better advice. The problem though is that the great retailers are not easy to find. I was hoping to change that I sent out a letter to select retailers inviting them to participate in a program where I feature their recommendations in Snooth newsletters much like I've begun to do with my writing colleagues.
I offered them tons of free publicity every month, I sent out two dozen invitations to the top small shops in the country. I received three replies. Now I understand why the public is so skeptical of the retailer-consumer relationship. I mean if they won't even respond to an offer of free marketing I can imagine how they must react when someone just wants their time to just to pick their brain.
Now I've been in wine retail before, I get it. I understand that we don't always have a lot of time, but what I am asking takes about 10 minutes a month and in exchange you get featured in multiple emails a month introducing your shop and palate to thousands of potential new customers while supporting a program that emphasizes the importance of the retailer-consumer relationship. It sounds like a good deal, and frankly it sounds kind of important. It is a shame that so many people who could help a lot of consumers out there felt otherwise.
I'll follow up with them once more. I wouldn't want to just abandon the project based on the poor response received from this select group. That's where this email comes in. Maybe you can help. Over the course of the year I will be looking for wine industry professionals to contribute to Snooth articles. As I mentioned the project is well under way with wine writers, and you can see the early results here:
What we've been drinking
Now I want to move on with retailers, and sommeliers, and importers/distributors as well. If you're interested in having your voice be heard by the Snooth audience please shoot me an email Gregory@Snooth.com. I was planning on building a list one segment at a time but I now see that that might not be an effective strategy. While some folks might think I'll just end up with a list of recommendations that are purely shilling products I think they are misguided. The truth of the matter is that people buy wine to resell because they believe in the value proposition of that wine. And if they're going to have their name and company attached to that recommendation there is additional impetus to make sure its based on genuine belief and confidence in that wine.
I'm confident that we'll be able to build a great product together. And frankly I'm hoping that this product contributes to the loosening of the critics grip on the buying habits of the American public. The day of the universal critic is over. Wine is far too complex to rely on a single, or even just a few voices for advise. We should have experts in each region, from each region, and with differing view points so that every consumer is able to find their own wine guides. Somebody who gets that they want finesse in Burgundy, structure in Barolo, power in Zinfandel and elegance in Chardonnay. Relying on a single voice is not the way to find all those wines. Let's pull together and give all those voices out there a chance to be heard.
Support Snooth's Global outreach efforts. Recommend a friend or colleague below or contact me. Once a month you'll get an email with three or four questions like the questions I sent to the retailers earlier this month:
What Bordeaux out there is still a good bet for the Bordeaux enthusiast?
What is the most exciting wine you've tasted this month?
What is your favorite Sauvignon Blanc?
A short paragraph for each is all we're looking for and they will be compiled into Snooth articles, sent out to our mailing list and be featured on the site with accreditation and links back to the author's business or blog. I don't believe I'm asking too much for the benefit involve. I hope you all agree.