just the facts

My coined phrase for it is candor branding. This wine stopped me in my tracks at the retailer:


Region: Morgan Hill, California
Winery: Vin Ordinaire
Type: Red Wine
Variety: Red Table Wine
UPC: 086067000115
Price: $7.49

It’s not exactly the same as generic branding.  Generic branding is either passive or me-tooed. There’s nothing passive or emulatory about this label. And a “candor brand” could full well be candid about a premium product.

But here’s what’s key to my encounter:

  1. I wasn’t shopping for wine;
  2. I stopped and looked at wine;
  3. I examined a CPG for which I hadn’t previously encountered advertising;
  4. I asked a busy clerk for more information about the vendor;
  5. I looked up the company online; and
  6. I took a picture.

No “branded” product has commanded my attention that effectively.  What I identify with is the “grown-upness” of the message.  The nerve—and dignity–to talk to me that plainly. Who are these beautiful people, I wondered.

In the sea of relentless and muscular advertising and seductive consumer packaged goods’ packaging we’re accustomed to the lie. It’s been there so long we assume it:

  • that gourmet pizza pocket won’t look like that picture on the package when we heat it;
  • there aren’t those big chunks of meat in the actual soup; and
  • that burrito doesn’t have all that cheese.

Here’s a wine sitting amongst it all saying “Hey, I’m cheap, I’m red and I’m wine”–all of which I can readily confirm.  It’s distinctive and refreshing.  In the sea of the overblown and oversold where you take the square root and subtract 5 daily, the hype-less and literal may be a key way to differentiate. How ironic is that.

Coca-Cola has a product I consume regularly called Powerade Zero—PowerZero. I call it an “IV drip” because it’s a saline solution with great electrolytes, no sweeteners and zero calories that gets me through a workout—and amazingly, there’s nothing on the market like it at that price point. Of course Coca-Cola can’t sell an “IV drip”. And 1st off it’s not even in the “drip” or sparkling and still beverage business, anyway. Coke is in the sparkle business. Coke is really in the same industry as Disney (can’t help now recalling that profitable Columbia pictures move Coke once made). Same for Apple— I digress.

But other entities can do candor—Vin Ordinaire presumably—and cut through to a slice of consumers like no other. And, dare I threaten, potentially attentive and loyal ones.










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