It’s that time of the year when our minds start drifting off to (hopefully) the festive break, so the perfect opportunity for a new – more lighthearted – idea. Leading up to the new year, The Buyer is asking leading figures from across the trade to share the campaign or business idea they have been most proud of and what impact it had on themselves or their business. We are also asking them to pick out an initiative or a campaign they wish they had done. First up is winemaker Justin Howard Sneyd MW and his ingenious idea to make his Christmas promotional campaign for his Domaine of the Bee wine stand out.
So what can you do to draw attention to your wine this Christmas with no budget? Well for Justin Howard-Sneyd MW it has been a case of transforming his normal emails to regular customers of his Domaine of the Bee wine in to a series of festive promotional mailers, designed to make you laugh as well as buy some wine.
What was the wine/campaign and who was it for:
This year at Domaine of the Bee, in order to gain some cut-through and make our messages stand out in our customers’ inbox, we decided to upgrade our December emails to make them a true ‘Campaign’. So we created ‘Beecember’.
What was the idea behind it?
Rather than sending random offers, and occasional ‘last orders’ type emails, we decided to send four emails, one for each week of December, and clearly billed as part of a campaign. In each email, we made sure we had:
- an offer
- an opportunity to help, or to learn more about Bees
- something Christmassy
- one of my favourite jokes
- and a random piece of Christmas trivia.
How have you pulled it all together?
We created a special template in Mailchimp, with lovely seasonal theming, and sourced great images for all four emails. I flicked through my personal joke book, and we gathered together some Bee-related products / offers that we felt we wanted to promote alongside our wine.
How are you putting the plan in to action?
We sent the first email out on December 1, offering free magnums to anyone ordering over £250, and immediately saw a large number of sizeable orders. The second email went out on December 8, with a free delivery offer, (and promoting our recent IWC Gold Medal for The Bee-side Grenache) and we had a very good weekend of orders.
We sent the third email out at the end of last week.
What impact have you seen so far?
So far, we have sold three times as much wine as we did last Christmas.
Any lessons you learnt from doing this campaign from other promotional initiatives?
Make your communications relevant, and on-brand. Manage people’s expectations about how and when you are going to communicate. Offer something of real benefit – this doesn’t have to be a discount. Make people smile, or show them something interesting.
The campaign I wish I had done…
Explain the campaign and who it was for?
Perhaps not quite a ‘marketing campaign’, but I loved the piece on VICE.com about The Shed in Dulwich – a fictional restaurant that managed to climb to the top of the TripAdvisor rankings and become the number one restaurant in London (out of 18,000), without ever existing. So then they had to create it.
What is it about this campaign that you particularly like?
I love subversive anti-marketing, and part of the reason this has gone viral is that it ISN’T trying to sell anything (except perhaps the creative genius of the man behind it – Oobah Butler – if that is his real name…)
Why do you think it was successful?
Although it is a fictional restaurant, it is (or least it appears to be!) a real story, about an age-old discussion on style over substance. And it is hilarious. The fact that is may actually be a spoof almost makes it better, as it is so absurd that it really SHOULD be a spoof. And it makes VICE.com look good.
What lessons could other businesses/take from this idea?
Be original, be funny, don’t take yourself too seriously.
- If you would like to share your best campaign or idea you have had in business and then also reveal the initiative you wish you had done then send Richard Siddle an email at email@example.com.