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Purple Wine: Simplified brands = word of mouth

Purple Wine Company has a really great, really simple concept to help spread word of mouth about their wines: One brand = One flavor. 

They have six wines, each with it’s own brand and flavor. For example: Capolan = Merlot, Avalon = Cabernet Savingon, and Mark West = Pinot.

Think of it this way … You find a wine you like, you try to tell a friend about it, and all you need to remember that it’s "Capolan."  Try that with a Beringer wine, that has 7 Tiers, 4 Types, and 8 Varietals.

Here’s Susan Durbrow from Purple Wine explaining the concept:


For wine, one of the big challenges is finding the one guy at a distributor or retailer who will get excited about the brand. Simplicity makes it easier to recommend.

Lesson: If you want people to talk about you, you need to make it easy

A repeatable, simple name is one of the best ways to get the conversation started.  (To all you brand marketers out there who are obsessed with line extensions, how is someone supposed to tell a friend about the 23rd variant of Tide? A new size bottle is not a new brand.)


P.S. Here’s how I met Susan through word of mouth:  Susan’s boss recommends my book. She reads about the great folks at  PFL’s Nick Runyon drops me a note to thank me, and introduces me to Susan. We talk on the phone, then meet at the Silicon Valley AMA meeting where I was speaking.  Small world? No – word of mouth is everywhere, you just need to be out there to make it happen.  (Bonus: Susan is reading the book on a plane, where she recommends it to John Fontana, CEO of Hot Stuff Pizza.)

"I had a new sense about treating people well."

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