Debbie Gioquindo and Keryl Pesce, co-founders of Happy Bitch Wines, join the Social Pros Podcast this week to discuss the powerful story behind their brand’s origins, the crowdsourcing approach that helped their business bloom, and some wacky giveaways that have earned them some well-deserved attention.
Read on for some of the highlights and tweetable moments, or listen to the full podcast.
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“We lay awake at night thinking about how to make it a happy experience.” -@TheHappyBitch (tweet this)
“Pinterest isn’t a place to sell. It’s a place to show your love and what you’re about.” -@hvwinegoddess (tweet this)
The birth of Happy Bitch Wines is a story of heartbreak, a choice to be happy, and a crowdsourced decision.
Keryl wrote her book Happy Bitch to help other women get over the challenges in their lives. When wine blogger Debbie saw a tweet from Keryl asking her followers about the idea of creating a Happy Bitch Wine, she knew right away they had to meet. At the Hudson Valley Wine Festival, they had tastings of their first rounds of wine and asked people to vote on a favorite. This crowdsourced approach got wine lovers invested in their brand early.
An overwhelming majority of the reaction to their brand has been positive, but occasionally someone prickles at the “bitch” part of the brand name. Debbie and Keryl love the brand name, though, and so do most people they’ve interacted with. Keryl explains, “If we were plain vanilla and entered the market doing everything average that won’t upset anybody, we’re also not going to get any attention.” That risk has been well worth the reward of memorability and people immediately identifying with the brand.
The Happy Bitch ladies have become known for their amusing antics in line with their brand image, including passing out 600 hot pink thongs to anyone who liked their Facebook page on the spot at the New York Wine Expo in 2012 and offering the chance to win a pair of SheBalls at the Boston and New York Wine Expos this year.
Partnering with like-minded brands in promotion can be invaluable for both brands to expand awareness and their consumer base. These ladies prove that time and again.
Social Media Stat of the Week: Only 51% of B2B Marketers Say Marketing has Financial Value
Shockingly, according to MarketingCharts, only 1 in 2 marketers of the B2B persuasion agree that marketing has clear financial value to their business. This, of course, is not just limited to social media but has implications for marketers across the board. It may help social media marketers understand, though, that marketing’s value in general is not having its narrative told well in the boardroom, not just social media marketing in specific.
The goal, as always, is not to be good at social media; the goal is to be good at business because of social media. Good marketing won’t succeed without cooperation from other aspects of the business. In larger businesses, this means having three different scoreboards: a tactical scoreboard, an operational scoreboard, and a strategic scoreboard. This keeps different divisions on the same page and helps everyone understand the real value that comes from marketing.
This week Zena brings us an article from The DePauw about trend-based reporting. With Jeff Bezos acquiring the Washington Post, he may try to take trend-generated news content to the next level.
We’re seeing a lot of computer-based attempts to get us the “right” information, algorithms designed to decide for us whether content is quality or not. It’s an interesting idea, but it may be a slippery slope long term. People will get an increasingly closed set of information based on what they’ve viewed before, and we could all end up in our own little echo chambers.
Four Your Information
How did you get involved with social media?
“My husband told me I had to,” says Keryl. She resisted at first but relented when her book was coming out. Debbie joined more willingly; as a wine blogger she was already entrenched in the social media mentality when Twitter first came out.
What do you like best about social media today?
Debbie loves using social media to make true connections. “I have connected with a lot of people all over and I consider them my friends,” she says. Keryl loves the fact that they can have a captive audience there and know that people are really listening to them.
What do you like least about social media?
Keryl doesn’t like the diligence required to build a steady following, and similarly Debbie doesn’t like the time commitment involved with doing social media.
If you could do a Skype call with any living person, who would it be?
Keryl choses Ellen Degeneres, a true Happy Bitch. “I love how she is spreading the same messages that we’re about of loving life and being authentic” without preaching, Keryl says. Debbie would like to have a call with Jean-Charles Boisset, owner of a wine empire, partially for personal reasons: his wife told Debbie that he may be able to shed light on her family’s wine trade history in Hungary.
See you next week!