For the first time, a Greek wine was featured on Gary Vaynerchuk’s Daily Grape last Thursday. The review of the Boutari Kretikos red 2008 started well, but ended with disappointment: “Tannic, disjointed, awkward, bitter, poor finish” were some of the descriptors used. You can view the episode here.
Boutari is the one Greek brand that is established well in the US, and it is unlikely that a bad review of one of their wines by Gary would hurt them in the short run. My best guess is that in the old days, this feedback would have simply been ignored. The business world is changing at a rapid pace, and no one can afford to do that anymore, not even a giant like Boutari. To my delight, shortly after the episode was available, the heir of the business, Marina Boutari, posted the following response in the comment section of Daily Grape:
Thank you for presenting a Greek wine on the show and making a small survey on Greek wines. *Boutari is a winery that was established in 1879 by my great grandfather and has now 6 wineries in Greece and 1 in France. In 2010, we received for the 13th time the International Winery of the Year award of “Wines & Spirits”. I am truly sorry that Kretikos did not deliver on this tasting. Since I do not want to leave all of you with a medium impression on Greek wines, I highly recommend tasting some of my favourites: Grande Reserve Naoussa 2004 (from Naoussa, North Greece), Kallisti Reserve Boutari 2007 (from the island of Santorini), and Moschofilero Boutari 2010 (from Peloponnese, mainland). The feedback of the readers in the comment section is very useful and will make us all at Boutari work hard to keep improving ourselves.
*Gary asked two questions of the day: What is your experience with Greek wine? How many of you have never had a Greek wine? The hundreds of replies that poured in should be analysed by the Greek wine industry, they certainly got my attention!
Marina’s engagement triggered immediate positive responses from Gary, Jon Troutman (Gary’s right hand at Daily Grape) and readers. Her actions were immediately discussed on twitter and facebook, resulting in an amplification of her message. In addition, on next day’s show Gary gave a super kind shout out to Marina, showing his appreciation for her engagement, and promising her to continue to taste more Boutari wines (click here, minute 03:30). One really needs to put this into perspective; Gary literally gave the thumbs-up to Boutaris’ engagement.
The results of her actions are multiple:
The Daily Grape episode will not be remembered for the low score the wine received, but as the day the Boutari brand started to engage with its’ audience. The conversation has changed.
Many people will view Boutari in a different context, this includes Gary himself.
The brand has been personalised. Marina represents the leadership of the brand, she is the one person that every employee is looking up to in terms of guidance. She came across as honest, down to earth, caring, gracious and engaging. Her message came across big time – I very much doubt that any costly magazine advertisement would be able to achieve similar results.
By analysing her response, a few important lessons can be learned:
First of all she acted in a timely way, while the iron was still hot. Her avatar fitted her message perfectly. She started out with a “thank you”. She then personalised the Boutari brand by mentioning her great grandfather. She added positive information that people might not have been aware of (International Winery of the year). She stated that she was truly sorry for the performance of the wine, and offered alternatives. Finally, she acknowledged the readers and promised improvement. Most importantly, her response was coming from the heart. This was not your usual business talk, but rather an effort to voice her personal feelings.
Brands need to engage and pay attention. They must know what is being said about them. Not one Greek winery is yet engaging in social media in a meaningful way to date. I hope that this post will make you think that your brand might well make headlines without you being aware of it. How do you monitor the flow of information? There simply is no excuse to not take up Vintank’s awesome offer to use their Cruvee engine for free social media monitoring. Just fill out the requested information and at the very least, start listening. This is your chance to engage. It is so simple – yet most of you think it is too hard. It just needs your full attention and time.