Book club is a monthly series where we highlight the most informative and inspiring books on marketing, advertising, and business strategy.
Follow the link to buy This Little Pinot Went to Market.
Whether you’re dishing out a second course, or a second helping of advertising, we can agree that everything goes better with wine.
From the earliest pages of this book, Professor Larry Lockshin eloquently explains the core ideas of effective strategy, “Marketing, in a sense, is the philosophy of satisfying the buyer that must permeate successful competitive companies . . . the perception [that customers] have of your company is carried by your products and your people in every interaction.” From this vantage point the book takes the reader on a guided tour of wine marketing. Through the lens of wine, the author examines key ideas from marketing science, and how they apply throughout the marketing mix.
The beauty of this approach is that the lessons from these articles can be applied to many categories aside from wine. They reflect fundamentals truths about marketing science and consumer behavior.
The book is structured as a compilation of short, easy-to-read articles. The writing is concise. The examples are direct. The analysis is smart. And if you want to learn how to tell a story that weaves complex theories and research findings into an engaging narrative this book is a useful template.
Lockshin takes on challenging marketing topics like Double Jeopardy theory, salience, segmentation, and market based assets. Throughout the book he somehow manages to convey the significance of these ideas, without burying the reader in data, or sacrificing nuance. As a reader you come away with the impression that, like wine that develops subtleties over time, this straightforward approach reflects his mastery and deep reflection on the subject.
Some of the key ideas/topics covered in this book:
- Marketing’s role within a company (seems obvious, though it’s often misunderstood)
- Straightforward explanation of market based assets
- Identifying factors in the market that contribute to the growth of the category
- Common mistakes committed by small wineries, which conveniently apply to small brands in other categories
- A simple way to measure market penetration and see if a brand is on the right growth trajectory
- The influence of wine labelling and package copy, and strategies for effective packaging
- Price and pricing strategy
- Fundamental questions for marketers to answer, and act on (e.g., When and where do people buy? What role does the product play in their lives? Do different groups buy for different reasons? Do they rely on different kinds of information when they buy?)
- Distribution, and how to form an effective partnership—an aspect of the marketing mix that’s often overlooked, but critically important to building a brand
- Most importantly, this book makes empirical generalizations from marketing science meaningful by showing how they apply in an actual category
This book is on Plannerzone’s reading list because reading these articles is more engaging than considering theories in abstract, or through the heavy-handed anecdotes that fill marketing textbooks. It’s also very well written, and a good reminder on how to make complex ideas accessible.
As usual, it’s better to let the author speak for himself. The following are two videos, one on the book, and a presentation on the author’s research in wine marketing.
This is a useful primer on the types of things to mention in a book pitch, although I deduct style points for not including a clickable link in the YouTube video or its description.