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A Wish for the New Year: Let’s Have More “B” Corporations

As we make our wishes, resolutions and plans, we would like to suggest that we see more “B” Corporations in the New Year ahead. “B” stands for “benefit,” and this new type of corporation distinguish itself from the traditional “S” and “C” Corps because B Corps are not only for profit, but also for the public benefit.
B Corps are typically defined as “people using business as a source for good,”… Read More

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Feliz Navidad!

Happy Holidays! It’s time to give! This is the time of year when we find ourselves rushing around buying presents for our family and friends. It’s a symbolic way of showing them that we care. But what about the folks we don’t even know, those less fortunate, what can we do to brighten their holidays and their futures?
We recently were invited to participate in a rather unique program in Mazatlán Mexico.… Read More

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Doubt the Doubts Interview with Paul Blais


Posted on October 26, 2013 by Paul Blais

Podcast: Play in new window | Download

Michael Houlihan, author of the New York Times bestseller The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand, started the Barefoot Wine brand with Bonnie Harvey in their laundry room in 1986, made it a nationwide bestseller, and successfully sold the brand to E&J… Read More

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Why Worthy Cause Marketing Works

We are often asked, “What’s the difference between ‘Cause’ Marketing and ‘Worthy Cause’ Marketing?” The most obvious difference is the intention of the marketing. With Cause Marketing, the emphasis seems to be on creating an image that your company is sponsoring a particular non-profit. The intention is to show the general public that you are helping a cause that everyone agrees is beneficial. Many… Read More

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How to Succeed in the Wine Business Without Really Knowing a Damn Thing About It

How to Succeed in the Wine Business Without Really Knowing a Damn Thing About It 
Written by Jordan Wright of Whisk and Quill 
Last month I spoke with Barefoot Wines founder Michael Houlihan about his upcoming book The Barefoot Spirit (Evolve Publishing – May 2013).  Michael, who has been in the wine industry for nearly 30 years along with his life and business partner Bonnie Harvey, created the… Read More

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Santa Barbara News-Press Article on Michael Houlihan

March 7, 2013 5:59 AM
When he returns to Santa Barbara for a speaking engagement this week, Barefoot Cellars co-founder Michael Houlihan will be treading familiar territory.
He attended City College 1965-67 and it was here, in the early stages of Barefoot, that Mr. Houlihan, who founded the brand with partner Bonnie Harvey, pounded the pavement making the sales.
Mr.… 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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Investor’s Business Daily Interview

Michael spoke with Morey Stettner, who writes for the “Managing for Success” page at Investor’s Business Daily. They discussed Worthy Cause Marketing – the lessons that Michael and Bonnie learned, and advice to other business owners on how to maximize such marketing projects.
Investor’s Business Daily is a daily business newspaper aimed at senior executives, professionals and entrepreneurs,… Read More

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Inc. Magazine Article

Kevin Daum’s Inc. Magazine article highlights Michael & Bonnie’s discovery of the philanthropic marketing technique, Worthy Cause Marketing. Click here to read the full article!… Read More

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World’s Best Sale Pitch: “My Product will help you Increase Sales”

We’ve spent over two decades in sales, and it’s true – nothing happens until the sale is made. We have a friend who described her sales job as “conveying the value proposition of (her) product to (her) buyers.”
There are many books written on the subject of sales, sale techniques, and best closing strategies. We’ve often said the best sales person is the “Assistant Buyer”. The key to sales success… Read More

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