Parallel Worlds? Winemaking and Technology Marketing

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Gabriel Marketing Group

We just recently celebrated a banner year here at GMG with a festive holiday party. Held at Parallel Wine Bistro in Ashburn, VA it was an evening to kick back with our teammates, nosh on cheese and other toothsome delights including pesto risotto, shrimp and grits and even pork belly….mmm….paired to an assortment of fine wines. Owner Jason Bursey guided us through a tasting of a bright Albariño, a lovely sparkling Shiraz, and among the most popular bottles of the evening, the supple Las Nencias Malbec from Argentina. We toasted to 400% growth in our founding year and reflected on our first days as a technology marketing company working together around Leah’s kitchen table.

Having come from working in PR for the wine industry and making the leap into high-tech start-up PR last year, the evening got me thinking about the parallels between the two worlds of wine marketing and technology marketing–as well as the differences. Here’s a few.

  • There is no “off” season. One of the misconceptions about wine is that there are only a few months out of the year–harvest in the fall, and bottling in the summer, when winemakers are the hardest at work. The truth is, just like software developers and start-ups, selling your product takes year-round efforts. In you’re not in production or development, then you should be out in the field, meeting prospects and connecting with customers, as well as lining up ideas for future versions and products.
  • “Green” is big, and it never gets old.  Just as consumers and enterprise software customers have embraced cloud-based solutions, VMware, and other green products, green wines are also wildly popular–and getting more popular every year. More and more wineries are using solar power and going organic or even biodynamic. It’s not only good for the environment, it’s good for their marketing efforts. Software developers know the same, and regardless of what your start-up does, finding the green angle is essential to gaining broader consumer attention.
  • Hard work and elbow grease (also: beer) makes the world go round. There’s a saying in the wine industry: “It takes a lot of beer to make a great wine.” While it might seem a rather flippant answer to the question of how fine wine is made, there’s a point–after a long, hard day’s work in the vineyards, the cellar, or the tasting lab, what most winemakers crave is an icy cold one. Software developers aren’t far off either, and follow a similar work hard/play hard ethic. When it comes to start-ups, we have a few clients that were started over drinks at the corner bar–DoubleDutch among them.

It’s fun to compare how two different industries–wine and software–operate on similar business practices. You’ll also find a number of wineries that have been founded by software giants–another connection. What do you think? Are there other connections between wine and software that we might have missed? Let us know!


From the Blog

Leah Nurik