Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Sticky (22) Northstar Wine Club

This blog is a consideration why some products and ideas go viral, survive a long time, become the standard and others don't. It is important to understand that while we generally consider the positive effects, there is also a variant of sticky that is pure poison. There are scads of wineries in Western Washington, but Northstar is my go to for Merlot. And somehow they survived the 2004 movie Sideways with the famous quote, ("If anyone orders Merlot, I'm leaving, I am NOT drinking any f*cking Merlot!"), that durn near killed Merlot, at least in the USA.

It wasn't even a great movie, it falls in the class of movies that I saw once, do not intend to see again and not because I sometimes drink Merlot.

Northstar makes consistently good Merlot, (and other vintages), and they charge a significant price for them and not just because they are in Walla Walla, (the city so nice you have to say it twice and where you can expect to pay at least $10 more per bottle).

In business, it is wise to be ready to wine and dine and some people don't go for Pinot Noir if you get my drift, so I belong to the wine club which is an assortment of six bottles per year, so Kathy and I share their other vintages and keep the Merlots in that special rack that people keep for visitors right next to the Otis Kenyon.

Now, I know what you are thinking, this doesn't sound sticky to me. Hold on, being a member means you can take a friend, or client to their wine blending class. Everybody I have taken to that has had a blast. Yes, that too is pricey, but you get a tour, the class and the blending lab and get to take home of bottle of your own blend.

Something happened this morning that put them on my sticky list. I received an email: This email confirms that your order has been processed. We will send another email with tracking information when your order has shipped. If you have any questions about your order, please reply to this email or call us at 800-391-1409.

One problem. I am in Hawaii and my wine is headed to Washington, you have to sign for alcohol and I don't really want two $40 bottles sitting on my front porch even if UPS is willing to skip the formality. So I called the 800 number, they stopped the order, are storing our bottles for us, (good thing, one of the bottles was their Petite Verdot and Kathy loves it), and they rescheduled the delivery for the day I get back.

The reason I think this is "sticky"(Simple/Unexpected/Concrete/Credible/Emotional)" 

  • Simple: Join the club, get the case discount when you are in Walla Walla, the bottles find their way back to you.
  • Unexpected: I had no idea it would be so easy to change my shipment.
  • Concrete: "Concrete details allow us to imagine a scene and, crucially, imagine ourselves in it." [Lifehack.org] I have the bottles right in my rack.
  • Credible: This is what they call internal credibility, "Internal credibility is the ability of our ideas themselves to convince through an appeal to our audience’s sense of how the world works and how they see it." [Lifehack.org] They are my "snob bottles". I do not usually spend this much on wine, (a $13 bottle of H3 from Costco serves me just fine), but if someone knows red wine, they know the Northstar winery.
  • Emotional: Now that you know the Sidekick story please join me in feeling like a rebel when you pop a Merlot.

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