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Is the Wine Industry Ready for New Label Technology?

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Many in the wine industry talk about the new things in label design that is revolutionizing the industry. These are people who point out that there are new label papers, applications using foil, embossing techniques, shrink sleeves, colors, and scannable labels (QR). Yes, there are some nice new look to wine labels. But, a new approach that will capture the imagination, utilizes captivating technologies, combines tantalizing colors, and has proven research indicating customers are compelled impulsively to pick up and handle the product upon which the label appears. When was the last wine label you saw was one you could experience?

That new label product being promoted to the wine industry is a hologram. Holograms have been around commercially since the mid-70’s. The National Geographic Magazine introduced a small holographic image of an eagle on the cover of a monthly issue. I saw it and was amazed that you could see on side of the eagle and then the opposite side by simply rotating the cover of the magazine.

I was a marketing manager for a company in Manhattan and was so intrigued by the holographic image I wanted to use it our consumer booklets. The major drawback was the price of the holographic image; approximately $2.00 each. Today hologram labels can be done, in volume, for as little as $0.05 each, 1 x 1 inch. Pre-production/set-up costs would be approximately $2,500. A front label for wine could cost approximately $0.74 each for a 4 x 3-inch size.

“Actual costs depend on how sophisticated the ultimate image needs to be to get the desired visual effect,” says Mr. Alec Jeong, General Sales Manager at Integraf, a supplier of holographic labels. “For a high-quality hologram, pre-production can start as low as $1000 for something simple as a logo or go as high as $8000 for a gorgeous display that combines 3-D depth, animation and stunning reflections.”

What makes holograms so interesting? Holography is a photographic technique that records the light scattered from an object, and then presents it in a way that appears three-dimensional. In the 70’s the object to appear in 3-D the model had to be in the actual size off the image to be generated on a special paper using lasers.

New techniques now allow 3-D images to be generated using computer graphics modeling that can be applied to laser type imaging to generate 3-D effects.

What makes the application of 3-D holographic labels so interesting for the wine industry?

· Holographic images produce 3-D effect that capture consumer attention when pursuing shelves of wine. Applications can be tailored for vertical or horizontal bottle displays.

· Producing a 3-D label today is cost effective.

· Holograms can be utilized to combat counterfeiting of some wines.

· Holographic images can be tailored for many marketing requirements-branding, neck hangars, and attention grabbers for passing consumers walking an aisle. For example, some holograms can be produced that will produce a burst of light as you pass by a hologram label.

· The whole label does not need to be made as a hologram.

· These labels do speak to the millennial generation who is technology savvy. This demographic does represent over 60% of the wine market and is fueling the growth in wine sales.

Ms. Toni Hamilton, Director of Marketing at ASL Print FX, has established some guidelines for effective wine labels. Do holograms conform to her guidelines? She asks, for example, on a store shelf will the label command attention in 3 seconds? Some research already performed by Integra indicates holographic images perform well. Will a holographic image reflect the wine, the winery and the target market? Every demographic responds to messages and the delivery format of a message differently. Research and testing would be the judge; more on market applications follow. Lastly, in almost all market demographics labels need to be fun, can have humor, should employ unique graphics and may be somewhat bizarre.

A label design firm in Napa has said there are exceptions to most rules about good labels-critter images on labels however are passé.

We know wine labels are/may be: art, informational (partly by law), entertainment, and used to influence consumer action. The following are some thoughts about the interaction of a wine label with the consumer.

As a consumer, do you think we are immune to marketing manipulation tactics; we’re much too smart for that trick, right? But, we should not be defensive about wine marketing tactics because the label can give us a lot of information (not just the legalese) about brand choices available to us. Labels create enduring loyalty, stimulate trials of new wines, foster enjoyment/expectations (the psychology mental expectations) and allow us to relate to the creators of some of our favorite wines/wineries and winemakers. Combined with the internet, we can now be more educated about our wine purchases and become educated brand evangelist for great inexpensive as well as expensive wines.

The life and value of a wine label is based upon research and testing. And research shows, “The more the consumer likes the label, the more they like the wine.” At least that is according to Mr. David Schuemann, Owner of CF Napa Brand Design a top-rated label design and marketing firm in wine country.

David Ogilvy, an advertising industry icon, had many quotes about using visuals to sell products. One I appreciate, which can be applied to holographic wine labels, “If you grab attention in the first frame (being applied to TV commercials) with a visual surprise, you stand a better chance of holding the viewer. People screen out a lot of commercials because they open with something dull.” “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy.”

Other than advertising (print, TV, direct response), the wine industry generally has a major marketing tool in their bag of tricks to reach the consumer and motivate the consumer toward that first trial: the label is a major tool in the bag. The label can’t carry and perpetuate a bad brand, product or image to success. But, it will encourage a trial and then on to a repeat customer.

Wine Business Monthly has reported, in the Hispanic marketplace 70% of the purchasing decision on wine is price related, recommendations account for 40% and label design represents 14% of the buying decision. Obviously, there is a lot of cross-over between categories, but the relative importance of wine labels is enough to make it important in selling wine. If family recommendations came about due to a label initiated trial and a follow-on recommendation, labels could impact sales by nearly 30%-trials and re-purchases.

Mr. Kyle Swartz, reported in Beverage Dynamics, January 2016: “Regarding labels, 46% of women said they were intrigued by “traditional/classic/sophisticated” designs. 39% were intrigued by “fun and fanciful” looks, while 37% noticed labels that indicated “organic/sustainable” wines. “Witty and clever” attracted 36% of respondents, and “benefitting a cause I’m interested in” intrigued 30%.” Do you think any of these responses play into the holographic label discussion?

These comments are important given that 83% of wine is bought by women, of which 36% are millennials and are mostly focused on purchasing experiences not just the product itself. With the U.S. being the largest wine market in the World, labels are extremely important. It is noted also that Swartz reports, 53% of women do browse labels. As noted by Ogilvy-The first frame (substitute “visual impression” for our discussion) will cause further exploration.

Wine is back in the spotlight for growth, primarily attributed to millennials. As a demographic, millennials represent approximately 60% of the U.S. market and are focused on wine purchases in the $11 to $20 bottle of wine. However, label strategies are not necessarily driven by the price of a bottle of wine. At ALL price points for any product, the product is repurchased based upon a price to value relationship. No one buys Two Buck Chuck thinking the quality/value is a bottle to be racked for 10 years or put up in a fine wine auction at Christy’s. But at any price point labels will generate trials for the value proposition and that is communicated with a brand strategy.

In an attempt to show that I am not out of touch with reality. We all recognize there are many components that influence our decision on wine purchases, other than acquired/established personal preferences for a specific wine. For this discussion, we are focused on the tactile and visual ques that cause us to do a first try of a wine we see on the self-these are not listed in any order or inclusiveness.

· Price

· Label design

· Weight of bottle/product

· Closure type (cork or screw top-plastic plugs would not be visible under foil)

· Wine description on front and back labels

· Varietal/style

· Appellation/AVA

· Familiarity with the wine producer

· Recommendations (friends or retailer or winery)

As an aside: More recently there has been a lot of attention paid to the wine market in China. Here the label is very important because of the traditional importance of images and colors. Interestingly, colors such as red, gold and yellow connote wealth, good luck and elegance.

I came across a 2010 study authored by Vince Bonofede from California Polytechnic State University. The title of the research is- ANALYSIS OF WINE LABEL DESIGN AESTHETICS AND THE CORRELATION TO PRICE. Contrary to the title of the study it did touch on issues of label design on wine selection. The study was based upon mathematical and regression analysis and looked at 7 categories of rules relative to design aesthetics.

After complex analysis Bonofede concludes, “Ultimately wine is meant to be enjoyed, not a stressful walk down the wine isle. If a wine label is what grabs your attention first, then go for it and enjoy.” That is to say, if a wine label was aesthetically pleasing to the consumer (i.e. color, shapes, font sizes, etc.), then the label could have an overall effect on the consumer’s opinion of the wine (Burnhard, Martin, and Troncoso (2008).

I think holographic labels will soon be making inroads on wine labels. Certainly, the use of such images will promote product trials, conversation, reading labels for information, promote branding and promote a product and winery image that is long lasting. The frequency and impressions of such a label need to be explored as a component of marketing.

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Teaching Styles: Guide on the Side or Sage on the Stage?

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In the early 90’s California teachers were getting released in record numbers. There was a huge budget crisis, districts were raising class sizes and eliminating classrooms, which meant many of us had to go. I was a second year teacher, untenured. I received my goodbye notice in March then set out scrambling to find another position.

I found myself interviewing in the growing community of Moreno Valley. I felt I was ready for anything, but I’ll never forget the interviewer asking my about my style of teaching. He asked, “Would you consider yourself a Sage on the Stage or a Guide on the Side?”

What a great question. Simply asking the question implies so much. If I say that I am a Sage on the Stage, immediately I might be considered a micromanager. A power hungry control freak of a teacher who needs his/her students to act only on command. Or even worse, I might be seen as a showoff whose main goal in teaching is to hear ones’ own voice.

As I sat in the interview room, it seemed the more politically correct answer would be the Guide on the Side. “Guide” doesn’t seem like such a loaded word as “Sage”. A guide leads the way. A guide points out facts. Guides know what pitfalls to avoid.

I had to make a snap answer. It’s been almost two decades, and I still think about my response. I expected that in time, I would make revisions to my answer. Surprisingly, I feel still feel good about the response I gave.

Basically, I believe that there are times when a teacher needs to be the Sage on the Stage and times when the teacher needs to get out of the way and be a guide on the side. Additionally, I’ve seen very effective teachers who can work a class, create amazing discussions, and help students construct learning all from the front of the class. By contrast, I’ve seen other teachers who spend very little time in front of a class, choosing to do most of their teaching in groups. Therefore, the situation and the personality of the teacher play a great role in the debate: Sage on the Stage or Guide on the Side.

Reflecting on the question “Sage” or “Guide” is not a bad idea. My philosophy in teaching, as well as life, has always been balance and moderation. There have been times when I’ve been stuck in the Sage or Guide roll for longer than is necessary. Just asking yourself the question might lead to some meaningful soul searching and deeper understanding about yourself as a person and a teacher.

The Merits and Demerits of the Sage on the Stage

There are definite merits to the Sage on the Stage approach. The teacher on his/her stage, managing the flow of information is definitely faster than the Guide on the Side. I’ve tried to incorporate “guide on the side” strategies for my grammar lessons, but I’ve found that direct instruction works best when introducing initial concepts. I may use “guide” strategies to aid mastery of the information. However, there are dozens of grammar and punctuation skills the students are required to learn in ten months which does not lend itself to the Guide on the Side philosophy.

This benefit is also the biggest argument against the Sage approach. As more and more demands are heaped upon teachers, it is easier to get through the curriculum with this method. However, besides being exhausting for the teacher to be on the stage all day, students require time to digest and process information. Sage techniques such as lecture and group discussion tend to favor the quick thinkers. These students do most of the critical thinking for the class. Consequently, the majority of the class misses out on this important skill.

The Merits and Demerits of the Guide on the Side

I recently began a sixth grade unit on the Hebrew’s exodus from Egypt like this:

Imaging that you were a guest in someone’s house. After a few weeks, you realized that you were doing all the chores in the house, your mom was cooking all of the meals, and your dad began to pay all of the bills. You were once a guest in this house. Now, what have you become?

The students had to read the material from their social studies books and explain how the Hebrews were like your family in the story. The connections they found were excellent. The follow up discussion continued to bear fruit as one group after another pointed out new ways to look at the analogy. I was a guide on the side, interjecting hints along the way.

The follow up to this was that the students had to create the second part of my “guest” analogy. They read about Moses and the Exodus and had to create an analogy about how they were able to move out of the house where they had become slaves.

The lesson was time consuming, but very effective. As effective as it was, I noticed that there were still things that I needed to teach the students directly. Many students, having no background knowledge on the topic, needed me to put this time in history into context. Once again, I was back to being the Sage on the Stage.

Final Thoughts

The moral of this story is that the art of teaching is knowing when to be the “guide” and when to be the “sage”. Once again I return to my original point: Simply asking yourself the question “What Kind of Teacher Am I?” is enough to help make you a better teacher. Being ever mindful of the balance between the two provides the opportunity for the self-reflection we all need.

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Greatest Ever Barcelona XI

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Like many of the best teams in the world, its almost impossible to have just 1 team as a greatest XI. Barcelona arguably have had the biggest turnover of superstars to have played for the club. You have a who’s who of football to have turned out for the club. I could quite easily go for 3 teams for this great club, but I have settled for 2 teams.

Goal Keeper

Like most attacking sides, they have not had the very best goal keepers to have kept goal for them, so I have gone for Andoni Zubizaretta. He is Spain’s most capped player with 126 caps and was a very good goalkeeper.

Right full back

I have gone for Albert Ferrer, who was part of the first “dream team”. He was a very good defender as well as being excellent in going forward.

Left full back

I have gone for another member of the so called dream team, Sergi Barjuan. He was very identical in play to Ferrer as they were both quick, great on the ball and he could defend very competently.

Central defenders

I have gone for Miguel Nadal and Carlos Puyol. Both excellent players and whilst Nadal was known as “the beast”, he was very good on the ball. Puyol always gives his all in every game that I have seen him play.

Midfield

I have gone for a 4-man midfield comprising of 4 all-time greats of the game in Michael Laudrup, Johan Cruyff, Luiz Suarez and Laslo Kubala. Michael Laudrup was a wizard with the ball and perhaps did not get the world renown that his talents deserved, partly to do with the fact that he was Danish. Cruyff is a living legend and his reputation goes before him. Suarez is arguably the greatest ever talent to come out of Spain whilst Kubala was voted Barcelona’s greatest ever player.

Forwards

I have gone for Diego Maradona and Romario. I have read too many times that Maradona was not successful at Barcelona, but that’s comparing him to himself and not by any other player’s standards. I have seen matches that he was involved in at Barcelona and he was breathtaking at times. Romario was just a born goal scorer.

Team 2

Goal keeper

I have gone for Francisco Platko, the Hungarian, whom, I have to admit I have never seen play but he is reported to be very good and I did not that many options.

Defenders

This time I have gone for 3 defenders and they are Jose Ramon Alesanco who captained the club for a long period of time and was a very good defender and leader, Ronald Koeman, okay, he was not a very good defender in terms of actual defending and maybe he would just pip a tortoise in a 100 metre sprint, but he could pass the ball like no other and had a shot on him to die for. He also scored 1 of the most memorable goals in the club’s history, when he scored the winning goal at Wembley, against Sampdoria for Barcelona to win their first ever European Cup. The third defender is Migueli who played for Barcelona from 1973 to 1989.

Midfield

I have gone for a 5-man midfield comprising another array of wonderful footballers. The first is Luis Figo, whom I felt played his best football at Barcelona and he was absolutely terrific. Whilst teammate, Rivaldo, was getting all the plaudits, Figo. I felt was the best player. The second midfielder was a mainstay of Cruyff’s dream team and that was Pep Guardiola, who was one of the best playmakers, I have ever seen. Injuries blighted a bit what should have been a superlative career. Ronaldinho is my third midfielder as he is truly majestic and surely, even at this stage in his career, already an all-time great. The next is his Brazilian compatriot, Rivaldo who will always be remembered fondly at the Nou camp for scoring, perhaps, the greatest hat-trick ever, against Valencia, which enabled Barcelona to qualify for the champion’s league, on the last day of that particular season 2000/2001. Last but not least, I have chosen volatile but brilliant Bulgarian attacking midfielder/forward, Hristo Stoichkov. Stoichkov had a seemingly love-hate relationship with equally brilliant and equally volatile Romario. One minute they are hugging each other for setting up the other for another brilliant goal and the next minute they are sniping at each other because one of feels that the other did not pass the ball to him.

Strikers

I have gone for the absolutely brilliant Brazilian Ronaldo and Sandor Koscis.

I know I said I will only pick 2 teams but way too many players that I like have not been picked because just too many greats played for Barcelona, so I have managed to squeeze in a third team

Goalkeeper

For Goalkeeper, I have gone for Antoni Ramalletts who played for Barcelona in the 40s to 60s and won the best goalkeeper award for 5 consecutive seasons in the 50s

Defenders

I have gone for Abelardo Fernandez, a very capable defender who always gave his best, Juan Asensi who was also a very good defender for both Barcelona and Spain and Eric Gensana.

Midfield

I have gone for Bernd Schuster, the current manager, who was a brilliant midfielder and should have won far more caps for West Germany, if not for his bad relationship with the West German FA. Luis Enrique, one of my favourite players with his all-action style and loads of goals to boot. For a midfielder, he scored a fair amount of goals. Allan Simonsen, the brilliant Dane, who was European footballer of the year in 1977. Johan Neeskens, the current assistant manager, who was a wonderful midfield player.

Strikers

I have gone for a 3-prong attack and they are Paulino Alcantara who though I have never seen play scored 357 goals in 357 matches, now that is impressive. Josep Samiter who scored 326 goals for Barcelona and Hans Krankl just edging out Samuel Etoo and Patrick Kluivert.

Some of the players that I have not mentioned include the present crop of players like Rafa Marquez, Thuram, Xavi, Deco, Messi, Zambrotta and past greats and good like Hagi, Prosinescki, Laurent Blanc, Gica Popescu, Carles Rexach, Jari Littmanen, both De Boers, Cocu, Laarsson, Mark Hughes, Lineker, Beguiristain, Goikoietxea, Edgar Davids, Riqueleme and Sorin amongst others.

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5 Simple Steps to Be a Media Star

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This series of articles are focused on how to become known as an expert. Today we will focus on how to gain media attention.

Dale Carnegie said in his famous book – How To Win Friends and Influence People, “babies cry for and grown men die for”. We all want attention and recognition. We seek media attention to get our name splashed in newspapers, radio and TV. Not only is it something we personally want but it is also a great strategy to gain expert status and get clients.

I have been written up in print, interviewed on radio and TV. Did you know one appearance on TV can catapult you into fame and launch your career into the stratosphere? Fawn Germer, who I recently hear speak, was featured on Oprah. She has leveraged it to the hilt. We all know what can happen if you are seen on The Oprah Show. Businesses become hugely successful and a million books are sold! Dr. Phil and Dr. OZ started as guests on The Oprah Show. Now they have their own shows.

So how do you get attention of the media?

Here are 5 simple strategies:

  1. Find an angle that will appeal to the media: It is quite easy to look up what current stories are already being covered in the media. Just find an angle to latch on to the story. It is not enough to say that you are a chiropractor or a massage therapist. What is new, unique or newsworthy about your profession?
  2. Prepare you story: Once you know the angle, create a pitch that is easy for you to communicate. Human interest stories are featured all the time. Pick a struggle and how you or a client overcame that struggle.
  3. Get a list of reporters: Today it is easier to find reporters on the internet. Social media has made reporters and journalists much more accessible. Pick the target market you want to focus on and find the reporters who cover such stories.
  4. Call or email them: Depending on the information you have and how timely it is, you can just pick up the phone and call the reporter. Make sure you are aware of simple protocols. TV, radio and print media – all have different strategies in collecting and sharing information. Pay attention to when and how you should approach the media.
  5. Build a relationship: I consistently write comments to the reporters. You will be amazed how many of them will reply back. Make it a habit to communicate with them so you can be recognized. Today the media is required to build a following and be in touch with their audience.

These simple and effective strategies will help you start moving towards being a media star.

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