… Oscar Wilde
I’m Shipping up to Boston
Conventional wisdom is just that… conventional. A way of thinking that’s far too safe for today’s most effective brand marketers, that small subset of dreamers who display an entrepreneurial mindset. These wine biz imagineers tend to be the ones with the ability to move the needle past the restrictions imposed by conventional wisdom. Through a Twitter friend request, I discovered a great example of this new wave of brand marketer in Máire Murphy, an Irish expat, who grew up in her mother’s wine and spirits distribution business in Belfast. After graduating with honors in marketing from the University of Ulster, Máire moved to Boston to run the marketing department for the Martignetti Companies, transitioning to sales after four years as the first woman, ever, to sell wine for New England’s largest distributor. Ever the ground breaker, Máire moved to Sonoma County to work for the then emerging wine tech company, Wineshopper.com, which soon merged with Wine.com. With the bust of the dotcom bubble, Wine.com decided to close their Napa based offices.
Everybody Takes a Tumble
When one door closes, another opens-up. Máire with her husband & business partner, Walt Averill, launched the Sin É Wine Company, generating on-premise focused wine brands at a rapid clip. Noticed and then approached by Springfield, VA based Billington Imports, Máire and Walt sold their company, and Máire was hired to be the VP of the Billington Wine Studio, a portfolio of eight California based brands producing more than 40,000 case of wines. In 2008, though having lived and worked in the States for some time, Máire was named one of the ‘Top 50 Business’ people in Northern Ireland.
Not willing to be be pigeonholed, Máire and Walt continued to drive innovation by launching Wines West, a wine business focused sales and marketing firm, and introduced Rua, a new Napa Valley entry that is modeled on a wine that Máire remembered from her first trips to France with her Mother, the Saint Emilion Grand Cru , Tertre-Roteboeuf. With an awareness of the crowded marketplace, The Wines West team wanted to differentiate their wines not only in flavor profile and story, but in the presentation. After many brainstorming sessions, the idea of a new reusable capsule appeared in a dream, that resulted in the development and launch of Capabunga.
A Wine Marketer’s Immagination
The Sunnyside of the Street
Capabunga is one of those ‘why didn’t someone think of this before’ moments. But, isn’t that what dreamers do? They think of solutions to problems that everyone else knows exist, but they’re most often the first movers in identifying a niche market, and because they imagine the process through to completion, the execution leads to a new perspective. There are so many good examples in the history of the evolution of wine packaging moving the needle forward, but this is the first and perhaps best example to date of a new ‘once the bottle’s open’ reclosure solution. The loss of this talented individual by Ireland’s beverage industry has been a win for the USA wine business. Go raibh céad maith agat, Éire!
Acknowledgement: Thanks to Landmark Vineyards for providing the set location
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