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Annals of Marketing
When Marketing is Not Needed
Monday, 19th November, 2012  - David Farmer

As an experienced wine merchant I do not like making mistakes when tasting wine. Even at this late stage of my career I'm still anxious when tasting and keep saying to myself; 'David, do not make a big error'. Fortunately the tasting boundaries of wine are quite narrow and it requires rare stupidity to reject great wine. Realising the wine is great but refusing to pay the asking price, well that is a different and more common problem, and those are the decisions you regret.

I suspect we all get some satisfaction from the mistakes of others as it helps us to be more accepting of our own. It hurts if you are marketing an event or product and the critics, or worse the public, make the call and pronounce it a dud; but at least some of the time they are wrong and the products succeed anyway.

These annals are about marketing items and ideas, so what are we to make of things which just take-off without marketing or minimal marketing. And is there an understanding or a meaning to be found from a product which is panned but goes on to be successful anyway?

Do we call these unusual successes the non marketing of items? They succeed from street talk or perhaps the viral spread over the web. Anyway I have decided to include two items about non marketing or how some things just happen that defy the odds.

Let's start with this gem.

In November, 2009, letters and memos released from the BBC archives revealed that readings of Enid Blyton books and plays were banned for 30 years from the 1930s. The opinions included; as lacking "literary value" and being "such very small beer", a "tenacious second-rater" and the best of all, an internal email dated 1938 by Jean Sutcliffe, head of the BBC Schools department saying, "There is rather a lot of the Pinky-winky-Doodle-doodle Dum-dumm type of name (and lots of pixies) in the original tales." [various reports, Stephen Adams, Telegraph UK, November, 2009]. Enid Blyton has sold 600 million books.

And another.

On May 3rd, 1960, a short musical 'The Fantasticks' opened in New York at the Sullivan Street Playhouse. It closed in 2002, becoming the longest running musical ever. The New York Times review, 4th May 1960, was at best lukewarm to cold and Brooks Atkinson perhaps regrets these comments; "Although it is ungrateful to say so, two acts is one too many to sustain the delightful tone of the first... ...Perhaps 'The Fantasticks' is by nature the sort of thing that loses magic the longer it endures."

The Fantasticks is still being sung and to date there have been more than 11,000 productions in 3,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, as well as in 67 countries, including Afghanistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia; Patrick Healy, New York Times, May 2nd 2010.

An original investor recalls; "A lot of times during that first summer of the show, there would only be two or three people sitting in the audience. People kept telling us to close. Annie and I would go to the playhouse and drink five scotches apiece just to deal with our nerves about this show that we fell in love with." Dividends will cease flowing in 2020.

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Hamburgers Under the Golden Arches

Wednesday, 3rd July, 2013

The Founder of the German Retail Colossus Metro Dies, Age 89

Friday, 15th March, 2013

Cheez Doodles, Cheetos, Fast Foods and Wine

Wednesday, 27th February, 2013

When Marketing is Not Needed

Monday, 19th November, 2012

Marketing Bogus Items - Assets on Balance Sheets

Thursday, 4th October, 2012

In Recognition of Eugene Ferkauf - Retail Pioneer

Thursday, 20th September, 2012

How Do You Tell Customers You are Changing the Recipe?

Monday, 13th August, 2012

The Price Tension of Supply and Demand

Thursday, 28th June, 2012

Are Heritage Wine Brands Worth Anything?

Sunday, 22nd April, 2012

Marketing a Business

Friday, 2nd March, 2012

Using Negatives and Telling the Truth - Can it Work?

Sunday, 15th January, 2012

The Dream of Sales and Marketing - Making Consumers Spend

Sunday, 13th November, 2011

Turning Disaster into Triumph

Sunday, 21st August, 2011

A Question of Balance

Friday, 1st July, 2011

Marketing a Colour Change in Fish

Monday, 9th May, 2011

Marketing the Aldi Way - A Note on Theo Albrecht

Monday, 7th March, 2011

The Art of Marketing the Arts

Friday, 14th January, 2011

The Deadly and Effective Comparative Marketing of Woolworths

Wednesday, 24th November, 2010

Just Being Yourself Is Good Marketing

Saturday, 9th October, 2010

Studies Show Wine Consumers Fall Into Unique Segments

Friday, 20th August, 2010

Advertising Guru Sir John Hegarty Says Wine Market is Impenetrable

Sunday, 1st August, 2010

Reclaiming Your Brand

Sunday, 4th July, 2010

Writing Job Applications

Wednesday, 19th May, 2010

Marketing - The Rules of Success

Friday, 30th April 2010

We Pay Tribute to a Marketing Legend

Tuesday, 6th April 2010

The Art of Marketing Fragrances

Wednesday, 24th March 2010

The Andre Rieu Phenomenon

Monday, 1st March, 2010

Riding the Organic Wave

Sunday, 21st February, 2010

Keeping Supply Lower Than Demand

Wednesday, 13th January, 2010

Facts About Marlboro Man and Marlborough

Wednesday, 18th November, 2009

Be Very Clear About What You are Selling

Monday, 5th October, 2009

Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend

Saturday, 12th September, 2009

Ah yes, the Art of Marketing Yourself

Thursday, 16th July, 2009

Do You Understand the Creative?

Sunday, 5th July, 2009

First Cat's Pee and Now the Taste of Cigarettes

Wednesday, 17th June, 2009

Finding the Flavour that Works

Wednesday, 10th June, 2009

Not so Easy at Fresh and Easy

Sunday, 7th June, 2009

Twittering - Where Will it Lead

Sunday, 31st May, 2009

Is This Shooting Yourself?

Sunday, 24th May, 2009

What's in the Name

Saturday, 16th May, 2009

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