Over the past few years I’ve been trying to get more and more into wine – understanding what makes good wine good, picking out different flavor profiles and learning about the regions and processes that different wines go through to get from grape to glass. And very recently I’ve finally jumped into some bottles that are more serious, that may appreciate in value, that need to be put in the cellar for several years before drinking, and that require patience (my father actually built me the wine rack pictured just for these types of bottles).
As much as I’ve been investing in bottles because of the complex flavor profiles they bring, the ratings, and (hopefully) appreciation in value, want to know what I’m REALLY buying? Memories and Experience. More specifically, the experience of sharing these bottles with people. Wine is in a relatively unique (but not totally exclusive) position of being a product that has memory triggered hard-wired into it. The smell, the act of popping the cork, the taste – all things that tie us to a moment in time. I will always remember who I had that first bottle of Belhurst Red with, or the Brunello, or the friends who shared one of the best Riojas I’ve ever tasted. I’m paying for the experiences that go with the wine probably more so than the wine itself. In a lot of instances, that is a major factor in the wines I’ll buy. They’re awesome bottles in my opinion for sure because of the things that go into making a good bottle of wine. But I’ll seek them out and continue to buy many of them, not just to drink, but to display and remind me of the stories and experiences that I associate with that particular bottle.
We do this to lots of other types of things as well. Cars, vacations (it’s the whole mantra behind the souvenir business, right?). I’d ask you to think about a couple things for a moment and if you have some ideas, please fire away in the comments. In your business, what are you really selling-and how can you drive positive experiences into your products and services?
Do you have more examples besides wine where the intangibles often outweigh the tangibles? And – what is the bottle of wine (if you can remember) that you associate with a great time? Leave a comment below!