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Happy Birthday Barefoot!

Twenty-seven years ago, Barefoot Wines were bottled for the first time. But how the wine found its way to the bottling line was a fluke in itself. A farmer wasn’t getting paid for several years for his grapes and his friends went to bat for him to see how much they could collect. It wasn’t easy. The winery owing for the grapes had no money and was in bankruptcy. It was controlled by the secured creditors (other farmers who… Read More

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Cause Marketing or Worthy Cause Marketing?

The nation’s #1 wine brand was built without relying on commercial advertising. Instead, while building the Barefoot Wine brand, we used what we termed, “Worthy Cause Marketing.”
Every business faces the same problems. How do you get the word out about your product or services? How do you do this in an efficient, targeted manner? How do you gain a loyal following? Customer acquisition and retention can cost millions,… Read More

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The Joy of Giving

As we scurry around to complete our holiday gift lists, let’s take some time to think about gifts in general and what they mean to us. A gift is more than its material value. Sometimes the least expensive gift has the most value to us because of who it came from and their good intentions. It’s a symbolic gesture that says, “You are important to me, and I care about you.” This makes the recipient of your gift feel good,… Read More

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Tailor Your Message to What Your Audience Wants to Hear

If you want to make a statement, tell them what you want to say. If you want to make a deposit, tell them what they want to hear. Sounds simple enough, but what do they want to hear and who are they anyway?
Every successful business learns eventually that there are a whole lot of folks between them and their end-user. Each one wants to hear a different message for a different reason. Sometimes we get so excited about our new idea… Read More

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Outword Magazine Interview

Barefoot Wine’s Founders Do Well By Doing Good
The story of how Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey in 1986 launched a scrappy new brand that would transform the US wine industry is one of accidental opportunity and the vision and courage to seize it. “We fell into business backwards,” Harvey says today.
And seize it they did. Houlihan, a wine industry business management consultant, and Harvey, an office manager,… Read More

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5 Ways to Increase Your Service Business

In this two part series we are addressing service businesses. Last time we identified a way of classifying your clients and customers. This time we will offer some ways to increase your business.
Your goal is to get more referrals. These are new customers who were sent to you by your existing customers. They will only do that for you if their first experience was beyond their expectations.
How then can you ensure that their… Read More

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How to Improve your Service Business

Over half of all businesses are service businesses. These industries include many professions from legal and engineering to hair cutting and plumbing. All these services require excellent management, positive company culture, and most important, return clients.
Brian Tracy says, “If you want to be successful, ask yourself this question: How can I increase my service to my customer today?”
More than any… Read More

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A Solid Business Foundation is Necessary for Success

When you build a house, the foundation must be laid strong and straight. If it’s not, the framers try to make up for it. When they can’t, the drywall guys try to make up for it. When they can’t, the painters try to make up for it. When they can’t, you’re going to have to live with it. So rather than cause problems all the way up your structure, lay your foundations straight and true.
It’s been said that it’s not the… Read More

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Positive Company Culture is critical to Growth and Survival – Part 3

This is the third part in the series about the original Barefoot culture. Culture really sets the tone, boundaries, and expectations the team has toward your company, your mission and your product.
We’ve saved the best for last because having a common cause and a common challenge forges, more than any other single factor, positive company culture.
When you are growing especially a new a brand, something… Read More

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Positive Company Culture is critical to Growth and Survival – Part 2

A company survives and grows due to sales and the loyalty of customers and staff. Sales are based on price, value, dependability, integrity, availability and perception. The basis of perception is image, networking, and more recently, the transparency of the producer.
Transparency is what the brand stands for, its authenticity, its identification with higher values, and the actions it takes to demonstrate those… Read More

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