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November 13, 2005

Labelling can be good...

It's funny what happens when you start actually having a conversation with people... We started talking about the stuff that matters to us and lots of people have joined in. Stormhoek has been a catalyst for a lot of interesting discussions. Much of it has taken place with and through our friend Hugh Macleod's blog.

If you go back into the last 90 days of blogging, you'll see that the blogosphere's conversations about Stormhoek have ranged from our marketing model to the econometrics of Stormhoek vs. the 28 million spent by Sainsbury's on their Jamie Oliver campaign to BBC blogger Metcalfe accusing Stormhoek of having an unfair advantage over our competitors by blogging (We were especially pleased with that conversation).

But, we continue to want to improve Stormhoek (we are guilty of being a bit... hmm, compulsive about this). For the last few months, we have had some of the best minds in packaging looking at creating a new label - one that expresses the central theme of freshness and communicates that Stormhoek is fanatical about quality, but also embodies the conversation.

Hugh makes that point that its not about the 'frickin wine', but of course it is. His point really is that wine, by definition, is a social catalyst. Think about what happens after you twist the cap, or pull the cork and sit down with your friends, significant other or, better yet, strangers. The conversation evolves.

We decided that the best fulcrum for the development of the label is not our designers studio, but the bloggesphere. So we asked Hugh to bring it to the folks who have expressed in Stormhoek.

In the last 48 hours, nearly 50 people have posted their opinion (and many more by email) and it is clearer than ever that Stormhoek has become about what evolves after the cap it twisted off the bottle. We are happy about that. We would much rather be about the conversation, than just about the beverage. For us, Great Wine is a given. We hope to transcend the wine talk.

So, we talk about Stormhoek's competitors being Apple, Microsoft and Google. Some people don't get it, but our point is that our wine should't provoke any less emotion nor enhance people's lives any less than those brands.

Microsoft chief blogger, Robert Scoble, has now proclaimed Microsoft's real competition: Stormhoek. Of course, Robert talks about competition for share of entertainment dollar. We agree, but there's more: It's about share of the conversation. Tell Bill not to worry. We'll be gentle with him.

Posted by Jason at November 13, 2005 10:56 PM

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Comments

Wow, this blog post is a bit like a corked bottle of sparkling Stormhoek – a load of froth that somewhat leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

Your post consists of the usual marketing spin, which you are totally at liberty to write. Why anyone would choose to read this drivel, I don't know, but I really must pull you up on the line

BBC blogger Metcalfe accusing Stormhoek of having an unfair advantage over our competitors by blogging (We were especially pleased with that conversation).

For a start, I'm not a "BBC blogger". I work for the BBC, yes, but such a statement implies I am writing some kind of BBC-endorsed journal – which I am not. Name-checking the BBC in the way that you have to strengthen the "outcry effect" is a bit of an old trick, in fact it's practically vintage. For a company that is "proud of it's freshness" it's a shame you are resorting to such a stale tactic.

It's also inaccurate to say that I have "accused Stormhoek of having an unfair advantage over your competitors by blogging". I have never said that, this quote is either your own conclusion or a line from the ever-immoderate Mr MacLeod. Either way, I'd prefer it if you didn't attribute it to me, thanks.

What I have said is that the kind of false blogging you are partaking in pollutes the blogosphere. It demonstrates either a lack of understanding of the difference between "marketing" and "blogging" – or sheer disdain for the medium itself. Eitherway, looks like someone just pissed in the wine bottle that the rest of us drink out of...

Posted by: Ben Metcalfe at November 15, 2005 12:26 AM

Thanks for your comment, Ben. We're just trying to do the best we can. Good luck to you.

Posted by: Jason at November 15, 2005 8:45 PM

Actually Ben, you said,

"I just think it pollutes the blogosphere as you are giving one brand an a disproportionate advantage over its rivals "

and not, as was written above,

"...accused Stormhoek of having an unfair advantage over your competitors by blogging”.

Frankly, I think you're splitting hairs, and disigenuously so.

Source:

http://benmetcalfe.com/blog/index.php/2005/09/20/london-geek-dinner-with-scoble-10th-dec-2005/

Secondly, you seem to define "Writing what you want, reading what you want, and linking to what you want, and trying to be open about it" as a form of pollution.

I find this attitude rather elitist, anti-entrepreneurial, out-of-touch and cynical. You may not be a "BBC Blogger", but you're BBC through-and-through.

I've said it before- social media (e.g. blogs) and socialised media (i.e. the company that signs your paycheque) are fundementally incompatible. Watching you try to straddle both sides of the fence (rather unsuccessfully, IMHO) while trying to stay on your high horse is frankly rather comical.

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