Execute or Die: Beringer Wine Samples

Execute or Die” is a new series in Hot Marketing Tips where we will feature marketing tactics that were well executed OR ones that were a good idea but died at the execution level.

Wine Samples in the Aisle!

beringer_sampleIn-aisle sampling of wine is an interesting idea and caught my attention during a recent grocery trip.  The self-service “Taste A Sample” message intrigued me and compelled a response.

I grabbed the sample package and opened it to discover a taste strip that is placed on the tongue that will melt and disperse the flavor of the wine (contains no alcohol). The Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon sample was a rich, fruity mixture, but, lacking alcohol, was missing the dryness often associated with Cabernets.

All and all, it was a positive experience so I looked for a bottle of the Beringer to see its price. Count how many hoops the interested customer (me) had to jump through:

  1. I looked behind the sample dispenser and did not see any Beringer.
  2. I looked to the left and right of the same shelf and saw no Beringer.
  3. I searched the shelf below the dispenser and saw nothing and was ready to stop looking because I had better things to do.
  4. Finally, I found one facing of the Beringer two shelves down, directly below the dispenser. The yellow arrow points it out on the photo.

Died at the Execution Level

This sample tactic elicited the desired response which was to look for a bottle, but the execution failed. You don’t make interested customers work to find your product. Additionally, I was misdirected for what I was looking for.  The very basic looking Beringer label that was featured on the sample is different than the one on actual bottle. Another execution failure. 

Who’s Fault?

Responsibility can lie at the corporate marketing level for not matching labels and samples correctly.  However, the execution failure likely occurred in the communication (or lack of) between Beringer sales and the grocery store clerk who stocked the shelves.

Lesson for Business Owners

A good tactic well executed will generate better results than a great tactic poorly executed.  Do not ignore systems that are out of your control (clerk stocking shelves). Make sure a checking system is in place.

Do you have a story of an “execute or die” marketing scenario you have seen?  Did your company ever have an “execute or die” moment?  We can all learn from these types of examples. Tell me about them in the comment section below!

Posted in Execute or Die, hmt

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