Despite popular belief, Henry Ford did not invent the assembly line. He stole the idea (I know, sorry). If there’s a silver lining in your now bursted bubble, it’s that I’m going to share how you can do something similar in creating emails to your winery customers. It turns out that streamlining your emails to go out in less time than you can say “Model T” (and with better results) is actually quite simple. Just don’t tell Henry Ford we told you.
Let’s begin with Armour Refrigeration, who produced the world's first refrigerated train car. Naturally, the next step was to fill those cars with products and make some cold hard cash. So started the Armour Meat Packing Facility.
A disassembly line.commons.wikimedia.org
Imagine an early 1900's brick warehouse with a trolley system hanging from the ceiling. Meat hooks dangling in mid-air, ready for animal carcasses to be strung upon them. In this facility, the cattle or pigs (not sure which, honestly) would be brought to the top of the multi-story building… and slaughtered. They would get hung on the trolley system, then be progressively rendered and packaged at the next floor down. To get to the next floor, they would use wooden chutes. At the ground level, they packaged and crated the finished perishables into the refrigerated boxcars, then hauled them off to metropolitan areas around the nation.
Henry Ford cited his visit to this plant as the inspiration behind his assembly line.
The same thing - only in reverse - was to become a proven industry best practice. Tailored and adapted to the unique business needs of countless other industries. Indeed, stealing an industry best practice is very lucrative.
How does this relate to winery emails?
Despite the internet’s claim that millennials are “killing” wine (amongst other things), I would argue that not only are they are NOT killing wine, they are drinking it in boatloads, and redefining how wine is purchased and consumed along with it. A recent study by the Wine Market Council says millennials drank 42% of all wine in the U.S. in 2015, more than any other age group. Additionally, millennials make up 30% of "high frequency" drinkers, meaning they drink about 3 glasses of wine per sitting.
On Aug. 21, a total solar eclipse will sweep across America for the first time in almost 100 years, casting millions of people into temporary darkness. One astronomer has said it will be the “most photographed, most shared, most tweeted event in human history.” Mike Kentrianakis, the solar eclipse project manager for the American Astronomical Society, deemed it “the most gorgeous natural wonder you will ever see.”
Few leaders would dispute the notion that knowing more about your customers is good for business. Business Intelligence (BI) has become the standard for helping leadership gain visibility into business operations and make data-driven decisions. This is no less the case within the wine industry, where aggregated consumer data is popping up in places we never expected. Yet, while we know that the analysis of data is vital to maintaining a healthy brand, becoming overwhelmed with information overload is an almost inevitable side effect.