In fair karma contrast to my previous (and I fear it won’t be be the last) exploration of the marketing strategies and service levels of Virgin Media, I was pleasantly delighted by a Virgin Wines experience that has emerged over the past 5 years.
In 2008/9 I was a Virgin Wines subscriber on a deal where they sent me a box of wine every month or something. A mix of red grapes I liked, plus the occasional surprise.
One day, one box contained three bottles of Wilson! Chuffed to bits with a namesake wine I tried one instantly to discover it was horrid and undrinkable. Reading the front label I discovered perhaps why:
“[wine fluff wine fluff]… this wine should develop complexity and softness with careful cellaring over the next 5-7 years.”
Initially I was a bit annoyed, as I subscribed in order to drink, not to put down, but then I admit I was a little excited about actually starting a wine collection! How twee! Yay me!
So, down went the bottles as they moved with me from place to place, never being ready when I looked until when recently rediscovered in deep storage (a watched pot and all that).
Long story short, it was bloody lovely. And totally rekindled my desire to re-subscribe, despite brand damage from their own namesake broadband service, which, let’s be realistic, is nothing to do with ‘Virgin’ aka the Richard Brandson Brand that we buy into when we buy Virgin.
Owned by totally different companies, one Direct Wines the other now Liberty Global (I’ll let you get which is which), it’s a reminder of the power of good brand(son)ing, not to mention a damn nice idea by Virgin wines in the first place:
To commission the wine. To design a bottle label with the recommendation. To put that on the front. And to send it to a subscriber list of people wanting wines to drink immediately. AND to it to people called Wilson! Amazing!
Admirable brand / product / service foresight.